A round of applause
BY LINDSAY SONSKY
(Original publication: April 11, 2003)
A Jewish senior citizen, an unemployed architect and a fraternity
brother walk into a bar ... Sound like the beginning of a joke? It is.
With nothing in common but the urge to be the wise-guy on center stage,
a Westchester-based group of comedians have come together to form the
Like 2 Laugh Comedy Group.
Joshua Filipowski, 24, of Rye Brook, is the mastermind behind the
six-comedian act of Westchestarians and Manhattanites. Since his
fraternity days at the University of Wisconsin, Filipowski has spent
days as a financial planner and nights doing stand-up anywhere willing
to give him the stage time. Of course, getting that time is the
challenge, he says.
"In New York City there's a lot of 'barking' and 'bringing'," said
Filipowski, who explains 'barking' is standing out of the street telling
people about the show that night and 'bringing' is getting stage time by
having five or more paying friends in the audience.
In the city, you're a dime-a-dozen," said the Rye native.
Getting stage time on his own was hard, so Filipowski decided to bring
his act back home. After doing some networking through Westchester
comedy Web sites and meeting some other stand-ups at clubs in Manhattan,
the group was formed.
The talent which also includes Sasha Guilaume, Shlomoh Sherman,
Jill Twiss, Dave Slattery and Adam Shuty have already graced
venues in Port Chester and Sleepy Hollow. There next performance is
slotted for April 15 at Garth Road Inn in Scarsdale.
Guilaume, 26, of Port Chester, used to be an architect before his
company reacted to the bad economy and laid him off. The best part about
not having a job, he says, is that he has more time to work on his
"Architecture is a very noble career, but I would rather be the court
jester," said Guilaume. But passion and survival are two very different
things. In the two years before he joined the group, Guilaume's stand-up
routine has only made him $70.
"I feel like kind of a father figure to them," says Sherman, a
65-year-old ex-Orthodox Jew from Scarsdale, who wanted to do stand-up his
entire life but never took the leap until he retired from his career as
a computer programmer. He recently put together a Web site for the group
It's the job of a comedian to goof on the human race, says Sherman. A
big part of his act is goofing on himself.
"Being an ex-Orthodox Jew is very funny," he said.
Entertainers often look for virgin territory, said Sherman. He added
that one of the reasons for forming the group was because there is not
enough stand-up comedy in Westchester.
Although there has only been a little comedy, Sherman says, people in
Westchester aren't used to it. But he's not worried about lacking an
audience, he said.
"People everywhere like to laugh," he said.