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Local comic plays off blue-collar experiences

| Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 1:46 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Stand Up Comedian Zach Hudak, stands outside Avi's Tavern in Rural Valley, were he will participate in a stand up comedy show Saturday night.

COWANSHANNOCK — Something funny is happening in Yatesboro this weekend.

Area resident and comic Zach Hudak will host and participate in a stand-up comedy event at Avi's Tavern Saturday night.

Hudak, who has been doing his stand-up comic routine for close to a year and a half in venues within the greater Pittsburgh area and neighboring states, said he draws inspiration from his blue-collar background and from humorous moments in his life.

“There have been a lot of crazy things and crazy people growing up,” he said.

Some of those crazy stories can be made into great comedy, he added.

He's also channeled his humor to help benefit others, having participated in Pittsburgh's Steel City Comedy Tour, which helped raise money for volunteer firefighters.

Hudak said one of his major influences has been New York City's Comedy Cellar and the Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.

And although stand-up comedy shows are not that common in Armstrong County, Hudak hopes to change that.

Saturday night at Avi's will feature three other comic acts.

One of those comics, Julia Leist, of Lawrenceville in Allegheny County, said she is excited about doing the show.

She met Hudak at an open mic event not long after starting in comedy. She's been doing stand-up for less than a year.

“I guess I'm pretty funny,” she said.

She acknowledged that there are “way more guys than girls in the comedy scene.”

But she doesn't let that deter her.

“I always liked comedy growing up,” said Leist, adding that one day she figured, “Hey, I'm weird — maybe I should give it a try.”

She said that George Carlin and the Monty Python writers have been big comedic influences for her.

For Leist, life is funny.

She said she draws inspiration from everyday situations and the thoughts that arise from them.

Comedians Alex Stypula and Matt “Wheels” Onesti will also be performing Saturday.

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