Comedian Gianmarco Soresi to perform five shows at Bridgeport’s Stress Factory

Gianmarco Soresi is as up-and-coming as a comedian can be. His recent Comedy Central set was a smash, and so is his podcast, "The Downside." His first comedy special, "Shelf Life," was nominated for three Emmys and is currently available on Amazon Prime. Plus, he's racking up the TV guest spots. He's been on everything from "Blue Bloods" to "The Last OG" with Tracy Morgan, and even made it to the big screen with no less than J-Lo, in the film "Hustlers." Plus, he does a mean Jeff Goldblum impression!

So, why did his opening act, Ariel Elias, just get tapped to perform on Kimmel and not him? 

"Yeah, you heard about that?" he laughed on the phone from his New York home. "She wasn't necessarily tapped to be on. She asked him if she could be on."

"Someone threw a beer at her during her set. Basically, to be clear, the guy missed. Then he ran out of the place. A video of it got put online. She had shut down a heckler,” Soresi explained. “It wound up going viral. And she wound up on Jimmy Kimmel as a result. He saw it and commented and she asked him on Twitter if she could come on the show. I need to have someone throw, like, a six-pack at me."

When pressed on more details, like if the club's bouncers sprang into any sort of action, his laughter got even more uproarious. "How optimistic of you to think there'd be bouncers at a comedy club. The wait-staff grabbed the butter knives just to be sure. There are no bouncers at comedy clubs!"

Soresi's appeal is an interesting one. A dash of Mulaney here, a little Maniscalco there.

"I'm Italian, but I'm more Jewish. That's a two-hour set right there. Mahtza pizza, as they say. Destined for greatness. And therapy!"

As for The Stress Factory in Bridgeport, where he'll be playing five shows Dec. 1-3, he had this to say: "I'm excited. I heard it's big, so I'm feeling it out. Any club that books me, I respect their booker tremendously."

Does his stand-up have anything in common with his popular podcast? Surprisingly, not really.

"The podcast is called 'The Downside' because people just call in and complain. They don't have to tell me how they're blessed and all these things. Come on and tell me what you're unhappy about. Your family life, your personal life, your career, things in the world that need to stop. People like it. They feel like they can come on there and be themselves, and that's the goal."

During the pandemic, his phones were ringing off the hook. But none of that — or even COVID, for that matter — made it into his latest set. "I don't talk about COVID. I'm sick of COVID. There's nothing to talk about. What am I gonna talk about? How I ate the same meal for a year straight? I touch on it briefly, but I move on."

"I think in the very beginning people had clearly forgotten how to behave in public spaces as a group," Soresi said. "But now we're in a sweet spot. They're happy to be out. They're finally off Zoom. I did a lot of shows on Zoom. When a joke didn't work I couldn't tell if the Wi-Fi wasn't working or the joke wasn't. It was a constant struggle. But people are excited. And they're appreciative. They're like, 'I haven't laughed. In a long time.'"

As for the three-day stint at The Stress Factory, even more laughter was elicited when Gianmarco was asked if he'd be headed home to New York every night.

"I'm not commuting from New York for these five shows. I'm the worst driver you've ever seen. I failed my driving test six times, so I'll be staying put in Bridgeport."   

Vinnie Penn is a freelance writer.