Packing a punch(line)

The Nobodies of Comedy tour at Victoria Theatre

By Erin Callahan

Photo: Comedian Liz Miele will perform as part of the “Nobodies of Comedy” tour at the Victoria Theatre on April 10; photo: Mills Entertainment

“The best comics you’ve never heard of” are coming to Dayton.

On April 10, the “Nobodies of Comedy” tour will visit the Victoria Theatre and five unknown comics from across the country will take the stage. The tour, a Mills Entertainment production, has run for more than 12 years and has visited several cities in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Texas, Ohio and more.

There are several comics that travel on the tour. Those coming to Dayton include Matt Bergman, Tony Deyo, Tim Krompier, Liz Miele and Ralph Tetta. This group comes from diverse backgrounds and they each add their own unique twist to comedy.

For example, Krompier’s comedic style is autobiographical, pulling from his “married with children” lifestyle, while Deyo is known for his comedic timing that stemmed from his experience as a professional symphony musician. Bergman boasts a sarcastic style, Miele a “youthful charm” and Tetta never performs the same show twice.

No doubt the diversity brings excitement to the experience.

Deyo became a comedian after years spent as a professional symphony musician. Since then, he’s made appearances on the “Bob and Tom Radio Show” and “Conan” and was named one of the year’s best by the New York Post.

Like Deyo, Bergman didn’t start out as a stand-up comic.

Bergman performed stand-up in college while studying criminal justice, but after realizing he was “afraid of criminals,” he decided to pursue a comedy career full time. The change of heart paid off. Since then, he’s gotten the opportunity to open for several big names and he recently received a request to open for Mike Birbiglia during his Comedy Central Live Tour.

Miele has also made an appearance on Comedy Central in “Live at Gotham,” which she described as a turning point for her career after first trying stand-up at just 16 years old.

“I discovered stand-up when I was 13 or 14 and I just became obsessed … I watched a lot of Comedy Central,” she says. “The show was helpful in making me a full time comic, giving me roadwork and having people know who I am. I mean, I’m doing a tour called the Nobodies of Comedy, so I’m still in a very transitional phase of my career, but [the show] was one of the first things that helped put me on the map. The act of doing something on television was incredibly rewarding.”

While Miele started as a deadpan comic, she has become more passionate and logical about the topics she discusses on stage, often sharing her thoughts in the form of enthusiastic outbursts – “kind of like a debate team, where I say this is what we’re talking about and I’m going to tell you how I feel,” she says.

Miele draws inspiration from personal experiences including relationships, break ups and missing flights – always asking herself: “What can I learn from this?” She cries about it, laughs about it and then turns it into ten minutes of material.

Krompier also finds inspiration in his every day life, despite the fact that his life is relatable to many other comedians.

“At this point, everything’s been done,” he said. “If you’re a comedian, everyone has touched on every premise at this point … but if you do it from your own angle, that’s how you stay original. Even if other people are married, have kids, or grew up in situations I grew up in, I come up with my own version.”

Miele and Krompier both enjoy projects outside of stand-up. Miele writes and performs in a few web series and Krompier is the executive producer of morning show services at Premiere Radio. Both comics agree they enjoy the process of writing new material for stand-up the most, coming up with a joke and trying it on an audience for the first time – an experience Miele described as being very similar to bungee jumping, “seeing how it goes and hoping it works.”

Coincidentally, that’s the key to Tetta’s success. He uses improvisational skills to create a brand new show for every audience – no small task, as he’s visited 41 states and two Canadian provinces throughout his years of touring. Along the way, he’s performed with Drew Carey, Adam Sandler, Denis Leary and Bobcat Goldthwait.

Looking forward, Krompier says he hopes to get more of what he has: making a good living doing what he loves. For now, he’s enjoying the experience of the Nobodies of Comedy tour.

“It really is a gift for comics that aren’t huge names to travel and work,” he says. “There are great audiences that are happy we’re there, and we’re happy to do it.

The Nobodies of Comedy Tour comes to Dayton Friday, April 10 at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. main St. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30-$50. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 937.228.3630.

Reach DCP freelance writer Erin Callahan at ErinCallahan@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Erin Callahan
Reach DCP freelance writer Erin Callahan at ErinCallahan@DaytonCityPaper.com

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