Just for laughs

Hoboken standup comic takes his act around the county

Alex Csedrik, one-time professor and sometime copy writer and editor — but a comic all the time — doesn’t believe in attack comedy or humiliating people who are out to be entertained.
“I like pointing out human foibles,” said the host and producer of WOW Comedy, a comic revue.
The Hoboken resident is making the rounds in Hudson County, hosting shows at the Shannon Lounge in Hoboken, The Venice in Bayonne, and the Brightside Tavern in Jersey City.
Csedrik, who began performing standup in 2011, has since honed his craft with the circuit of young and emerging comics that make up the bulk of each month’s WOW lineup.
“I have been in several comedy festivals (2014 Hoboken Comedy Festival, 2014 Black Box Comedy Festival),” he said. “I’ve been a comic for five years this July.”

“A standup is supposed to be a fun way to poke holes in the errors of society,” — Alex Csedrik
A resident of Hoboken for the last two years, Csedrik started the WOW Comedy series at the Shannon Lounge and has been expanding it elsewhere.
“I always wanted to be a full-time writer,” he said. “When I was a junior in college, I had a mentor, a professor that made us create a dream chart. This put the goal in the middle with all the different avenues to achieving that dream. One of these was to become a standup comedian.”
While doing comedy is not yet a full time job, humor appears to be in his blood.

The human comedy

A graduate of LaSalle University, where he won an award for his fiction writing, Csedrik got his MFA from Montclair University and went on to Fairleigh Dickenson.
“I try to focus on the illogical nature of being human,” he said. “It is a minefield ripe for plucking. For instance, people do everything possible to stay out of the rain, but in summer will spend hours in swimming pools. We are constantly contradicting ourselves.”
He said he has a field day playing off the dating scene and the contradictions that are inherent in social situations.
Originally from Lyndhurst, where most of his family and many of his friends still live, Csedrik said one role model is comedian Larry David.
“I often compare myself to Larry David. We’re both bald and middling,” he said.
But Csedrik defies one of the mainstays of comedy that came into vogue with people like Don Rickels, Lisa Lampanelli, and Andrew Dice Clay. He doesn’t insult his audience.
“I’ve always felt when I talk to people or meet them for the first time and have a conversation, many have a hangup when it comes to comics,” he said. “They think all we do is make fun of them when we go on stage. That’s not what all of us are trying to do. I love to interact with the audience. But that doesn’t mean I’m looking for a big nose or to say someone is dumb. I can get a laugh out of them without an affront.”
Comics, he said, have a role to play in society.
“A standup is supposed to be a fun way to poke holes in the errors of society,” he said, “a carnival mirror that shows the audience themselves.”
WOW Comedy is held at The Shannon, 106 First St. in Hoboken every third Saturday of the month. Seating starts at 4:30 p.m. The show runs from 5 to 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover charge (cash only). The next show, however, will not be until July 23 (which is not the third Saturday, he said, but he had a conflict.) That night will be WOW Comedy’s third anniversary show.
WOW Comedy at Brightside Tavern 141 Bright St. in Jersey City is held every first Friday of the month. Seating starts at 7:30 p.m. The show runs from 8 to 10 p.m. The cost is $10 per person (cash only) and a two drink one food item minimum.
WOW Comedy at The Venice, 31 Cottage St. in Bayonne, is held the second and third Wednesdays of the month. Seating starts at 7 p.m. The show runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The show is free. Appetizers are half price. The next show will be held on May 11.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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