By Rosa Najera, Contributor
“I wrote a joke, Jay Leno did the joke and everybody in the studio laughed,” said comedian Paul Mecurio. “I created something that people responded to and made an emotional connection to that I didn’t have as a lawyer.”
The comedian will be in Omaha performing Nov. 14-17 at the Funny Bone.
Before writing monologue jokes for Leno, Mecurio said he was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer on Wall Street.
At a private function, the comedian said he met and shared his jokes to Leno, who ended up using one on “The Tonight Show.” Mecurio said at Leno’s suggestion he started to try out his jokes at open mic nights, and he began living a double life – lawyer by day and comedian by night.
It was a tough decision to leave his career at Wall Street he said but he didn’t want to miss out on pursuing something he was passionate about.
“When someone reacted to my joke it’s an amazing powerful thing that happens, you feel like you created something out of thin air,” Mecurio said.
Since then, Mecurio has won an Emmy and Peabody Award for his work on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Daily Show was an office job that required you to pick up a newspaper everyday and “scour” for different topics to write about, he said.
“You spend a few hours writing every morning kind of like a final, glue it all together and get it over to the head writer and Jon Stewart and they’d pick the joke they liked,” Mecurio said.
Currently, the stand-up comedian has a sitcom and animated series in the works, makes regular appearances on CNN, Fox News and hosts his podcast “The Paul Mecurio Show.” He said “I kind of do everything.”
Mecurio’s podcast, available on itunes, is something he said he was really excited about being able to interview Paul McCartney, Stephen Colbert, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jay Leno. Mecurio has also dabbled in acting in some television shows and films like “High Art, Low Life,” according to his website. “I usually play characters where I get to sleep with the hottest woman on the show, basically I’m doing porn,” Mecurio said as he laughed.
The comedian said he liked everything he did but at the core he loved doing standup. “That’s what I am, a comedian, a performer.”
In regards to his comedy he said he feels like he has a clear voice now, unlike when he first started when he would write random jokes about anything. “I like to talk about human nature and what makes people tick, and right now I’m talking about how people can be annoying.”
Mecurio said he has never been to Omaha but looks forward to it. “It’s going to be fun and the crowd is supposed to be really good,” he said.