Greg Fitzsimmons and his Tales of Irish RedemptionPosted by Gabriel Arguelles
Greg Fitzsimmons is part of a generation of comics that started in the late 80s. They were a group of weekend warriors that included such names as Louie CK, Jim Norton, Greg Giraldo, and Marc Maron, traveling between Boston and New York City and hitting all the comedy clubs in between. Eventually they all became road comics and got their names out, but not before slogging it out in two of the toughest, most unappreciative cities for comedy. Fitzsimmons is a guy who has been assaulted onstage, has dealt with promoters who don’t pay up, has gotten physical with audience members when they’ve failed to respect his space, and who has witnessed at least one legendary brawl that included both police and cheap doughnuts in a Worcester, MA comedy club. The important thing about all of it, the part that I haven’t yet gotten to, is that he’s very funny. Fitzsimmons has been around the block enough to cut hecklers to ribbons with unprecedented ease. Look for the proof on YouTube. Even when he’s not tearing hecklers apart, he’s hilarious. His sense of humor can be caustic, occasionally taking his audience to dark places without being depressing. He also has bits about his wife and kids, about aging, and about what it means to be a man.
The Best Week Ever veteran has become part of the ever-growing Opie & Anthony / Howard Stern / Adam Carolla school of comedy—smart, sometimes overwhelmingly macho, and always vulgar. He is the host of the Greg Fitzsimmons Show for Howard 101 on Sirius Radio and he tapes FitzDog Radio, a free podcast, afterward with any guest willing to stick around after the Sirius shows. FitzDog Radio has been a staple of the iTunes comedy top ten for just short of a year now, and Fitzsimmons’ charisma with the guests is clearly the reason. Following in the Howard Stern tradition, he gets them to say things they wouldn’t otherwise say in public. Sometimes the process of extracting dirty stories is a little cringe-inducing for the listener, but it’s clear that the guests are having a good time.
Fitzsimmons’ first book was released last week: Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox. The concept of the book is a simple one—he wrote a memoir based around letters received by his parents over the years from teachers, principles, and the authorities. The way he tells it, his father would read whatever noticed arrived from school while Greg waited, terrified. If what Fitzsimmons did to earn the notice was funny, his parents would laugh. If it wasn’t funny, he received a beating from his father. If there was ever a school of hard knocks for comedy, this was it.
Greg Fitzsimmons will be at Parlor Live all weekend. Be sure to come out.