Tag Archives: America’s Got Talent

AGT’s Tom Cotter Coming To Bridge Street

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America's Got Talent - Season 7You might best remember him as the guy who lost to a pack of dogs, the Olate Dogs, on Season 7 of “America’s Got Talent.” But the appearances and becoming the first comedian to make it to the finals on the reality talent show gave Tom Cotter just the exposure he needed to move on big time with his career.  The Providence, Rhode Island native who now lives in New York is bringing his rapid fire humor, not once but twice, Friday to Bridge Street Live in Collinsville.  He will be performing two shows with his special guests, his wife and comedienne Kerri Louise and Will Thomas. He promised there will not be a dog to be found at the show as he “Spilled the Beans” with Java.

Q: Okay, tell me a joke!

A: Two peanuts were walking down the street, one was assaulted. (get it..assaulted…a salted !)

Q: How would you describe the kind of comedy you perform?

A: I describe it as pathetic and a cry for help but most people describe it as rapid fire misdirection. My claim to fame is I can cram two hours worth of material into a one hour show. I provide a lot of left turns and throw some curveballs when I do my act.

Q:  Bridge Street Live is a great venue here in Connecticut. What do you know about it?

A: I have played there before and the challenge is I am not the tallest guy in the world. I make cookies in a hollow tree. Lighting is always a problem for me wherever I play because I am so short. But I am comfortable at Bridge Street because the stage is great and the lighting good. Low ceilings hold that laughter in and a lot of room for seating and that makes the laughing contagious and infectious. I love that place and who knew, Collinsville.

Q: When did you know that comedy was the path you wanted to pursue, I mean I know you dabbled for a while in some hard duty as a cop on Nantucket and your dad was a very well neurosurgeon. Seems like comedy was an interesting choice, no?

A: I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but loved comedy and thought I would take some time off to get it out of my system and just never looked back. I was making a living at it but after being on AGT, it took off way beyond where I thought it could go. I felt like I stepped in unicorn poop. I have a great wife, three healthy kids and am pleased where I am, although the friends of mine who became lawyers now have the BMWs and big houses. Would I like to be tapped to host “The Tonight Show,” yes but am good where I am.

Q: I understand you were very strategic when it came to auditioning for AGT. Explain.

A: I had been on a reality show with my wife and we ended up being eliminated. The judges were mean and the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and I decided reality tv wasn’t for me. AGT came along and said my act was perfect and it would be easier because on the other show I had to do a two minute routine and on AGT it was only 90 seconds. And that behooves a guy like me who is a rapid fire one –liner guy. But I kept watching Piers Morgan and noticed he hated comics and would not advance any of them. But then Howard Stern replaced him and I figured that if I was going to do it, it was the time. Of course the dogs ended up with the million dollars, and honestly, I worked with them for four months after the show on a tour we all do and they did the least amount of work.

Q: You know, we have a Connecticut comic on the show, Darik Santos. (note: Santos was eventually voted off the show)

A: Don’t tell me anything. I had to Tivo the show because I was working in the Bahamas doing a show for a pharmaceutical conference and don’t want to know who gets eliminated before I watch it!

Q: Anyway, do you have any favorites on the show this season?

A: With no disrespect to Mr. Santos, I do know two comics in the competition, Joe Matarese and Wendy Liebman. I think Wendy will move on. She is so polished and funny.

Q: I would imagine husband and wife comics married to each other makes for a pretty happy household with no arguments and a lot of jokes. Does that all provide fuel for your routine?

A: We get approached a lot to perform together because there are not many comedy couples who are willing to work together. We do Burns and Allen, Lucy and Desi bits. But we are like any married couple. We have arguments, we fight a lot about the little things but there is lots of levity and the biggest laughs come from the kids. They are funnier than any comedian I’ve ever seen.

Q: It is intriguing to me that given what seems to be a “no bounds” attitude when it comes to language and topics in comedy routines, yours is very “PG” rated and you are very successful with that tac. What’s the secret?

A: There are venues I have not worked with because they think my material is not “edgy” enough, not “blue” or “dirty.” When I started out my routine was much dirtier but that really limits you. I do a lot of college comedy and corporate work. They pay well and even at colleges, the bastions of free speech, they are still kids. I don’t want people offended by what I am saying but I do want them to leave the show with their sides hurting because they laughed so hard. I do dance around adult topics and use the double entendre but that’s it.  I was once advised that ‘the cleaner you work the more work you will have.’ It’s true.

Q: Is laughter the best medicine?

A: I have always said it is and that I am available without a prescription. Of course if a woman were in the throes of labor and you held out my CD in one hand the epidural needle in the other, she would probably choose the epidural. My dad is a doctor and he agrees, laughing releases endorphins and that makes you feel better and tightens your abs at the same time. If you put stand-up comedy in hospitals, people would be healthy.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I shot a tv pilot, a children’s show that is on life support right now. It’s about pranks and practical jokes, kind of a cross between “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” We’ll see.

Tom Cotter will perform at  7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Information: 860-693-9762 or 41bridgestreet.com


CT’s ‘3 Penny’ Up Tuesday On America’s Got Talent

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penny (2)

Courtesy of 3Penny

For those into NBC’s  America’s Got Talent reality talent show, tonight is Connecticut’s night.

New Haven’s  3Penny Chorus and Orchestra perform in the semi-finals at Radio City Music Hall and whether they move forward in the elimination round depends on votes.

The group wowed judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howard Stern in Las Vegas in June with its rendition of  “Call Me Maybe.”

3Penny is a volunteer chorus and orchestra performing music from Bach to Jepsen with a twist. 

As far as tonight, conductor Arianne Abela had this to say to Java:

“We are very excited and Colin (Colin Britt, arranger)  and I are overwhelmed by all the logistical details of organizing 55 people, but we are also so thrilled and honored to be able to perform in Radio City Music Hall. It’s a place I never dreamed of performing!

We hope people like what we have– it is just as fun and uplifting as our last, and we hope to show people how much fun we have when we are playing and singing together.”

Show starts at 9 p.lm. and voting at 11 p.m.


“AGT” Nick Cannon Stops By At ESPN

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ncannon There was some fun to be had over at ESPN Monday as comic/actor/rapper/producer/tv personality and “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon stopped by the Bristol-based sports mega-network to appear on a variety of its tv and radio shows before heading back to his own projects. Cannon, who is married to singer/actress Mariah Carey, not only hosts the popular reality show but is the creator of “Wild ‘N Out,’ a popular comedy team reality show that was on a six-year hiatus but returns to MTV2 on Tuesday. The very personable Cannon, who, with Carey, has two-year-old twins, a son and daughter. grabbed a turkey burger, fries and a bag of pretzels at the ESPN cafeteria, before settling down for a few minutes to Spill the Beans with Java.

Q: Your “Wild ‘N Out’ show is finally coming back! How does that feel?

A: It’s exciting. It will be the show’s fifth season although we did take a long hiatus. When I originally created it, I didn’t want a structured television show. I wanted it to be like the Dean Martin Show, you know, an improvisation show created for my friends. I wanted it to be like a nightclub where we can get on stage and battle each other comedy-wise. We’ve switched the show to New York which is really nice. The show is a lot edgier and more in your face this time. It’s just two comedy teams battling it out.

Q: I understand you are quite accomplished in the field of martial arts. True?

A: My brothers were the ones who were more accomplished. They went to the junior Olympics. I was a little older than them. But we all competed in martial arts tournaments and I have a black belt. It was a team black belt. I think I got it when I was 13. I still do martial arts now and am studying Kung Fu now.

Q: I also heard you are a big boxing fan. Choosing from boxers, living or dead, what would be your dream match?

A: I think everyone would love to see Ali and Tyson, when he was in his prime. That would be interesting although I think Ali would win. I still admire Tyson. I guess I would have to say Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather. I would love to see that.

Q: “America’s Got Talent” has had opera singers, country singers, dog handlers and a ventriloquist as winners. Any predictions for this year?

A: The talent this year is amazing, the best ever. I’m going to say that it my opinion, it might be a band that wins this year. We have a couple of really good ones. That’s the beauty of the show. It’s not just singers and although people seem to expect singers to win. We have so many different acts. I think a band winning this year would be outstanding.

Q: Can’t help but notice your wedding band. How many carats is it?

A: I think it is about 17 carats.

Q: Sounds like married life is going well. And how is fatherhood?

A: It is amazing. The best right now is that they are two years old and all about watching the world. Our daughter (Monroe Cannon) is out of diapers already but my son (Moroccan Scott Cannon), he just isn’t interested. He doesn’t care.

Q: Will there be more kids?

A: I think we are done. My wife told me if we want more kids, I will have to carry them. So I guess we are finished as far as more children.

Q: Can’t help but notice your wedding band. How many carats is it?

A: I think it is about 17 carats.

CT’s 3 Penny Makes It Through Round of ‘America’s Got Talent’

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A group of Connecticut-based musicians made its way through the first round of the popular NBC tv show “America’s Got Talent” this week and has moved on to the next round in Las Vegas.

The group, 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra, led by University of Hartford Hartt School grad Colin Britt and Yale grad Arianne Abela, impressed the tv show judges with a unique version of the Carly Rae’s hit pop song “Call Me Maybe” at the New York City audition site.

Britt is well-known in the Hartford area where he is a staff accompanist at the Hartt School, the Connecticut Children’s Chorus, and for several public school choirs in the Hartford area. He is also the assistant music director at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

On the show, the two said they chose the song because it had been “stuck in their heads” all summer.

While the judges, Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandell showed a bit of trepidation as they watched the 45 chorus members and 22 orchestra members walk out onto the stage, they were soon fans. After the performance it was a “yes” from all four when it came time to determine whether or not the group would continue on the reality show.

Among the musicians that are part of the group is Wethersfield Public School music teacher Jakob Voychick.

Las Vegas auditions that will determine which acts go on to the live show will air on July 16 and 17.

WDRC “CT’s Got Talent” Taps Taubl Boys As Winners

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talent2Remember the Taubl Family, those seven talented kids and two talented parents who were stars a few years ago on “America’s Got Talent?”

Well the four brothers, James, Jack, Jeremiah and Sam Taubl, proved they still have it winning the WDRC  “Connecticut’s Got Talent Show” at Zendri’s Stillwood Inn in Meriden on Wednesday night.

Calling themselves “The Asberry Boys,” the four siblings performed a Justin Timberlake tune (accompanying themselves with violins and guitars) wowing judges, Broadway star Billy Johnstone, recording star Jeff Pitchell and the far-less-talented Java.talent1

And what did the star-worthy foursome win?

A gig on Fox Ct next month and an even bigger gig in August, opening for “Chicago” at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre.

“This is great, just great,” said Jeremiah Taubl about the opportunities for the four who are all interested in pursuing a professional singing career.

The talent show was the brainchild of WDRC personalities Mary Jones and Brad Davis and featured nine acts chosen from hundreds of video submissions.

talent3And among those nine, another surprise. Remember Greater Hartford Arts Council head and former insurance exec Kate Bolduc?

Well she too is an accomplished songstress and musician, and these days, sporting a new look that is a far cry from the conservative, buttoned-up professional from days gone by.

talent4Ms. Bolduc was rockin’ it in leather and satin and five-inch sequined stilettos. And she looked and sounded great!  

Second runner-up for the evening was Wint Fenderson (definitely best name of the night!) and first runner-up Crissy Grazio.

hangAnd just have to give a shout-out to Bob Eccleston who performed on his “hang drum,” a percussion instrument that looks and sounds like a steel drum.

You learn something new everyday!