Born of Italian parents in the ‘dark armpit of Hackney’, and still Living in London, Tony Marrese will be at the Wedgewood Rooms next Friday as part of the Wedge’s Comedy Club.
An experienced DJ, he also has a past as a competition-winning landscape gardener. When not enjoying his hobbies of stroking pigeons and paragliding with cats, he is often found gigging and compering comedy shows.
When did you first realise you were funny?
I knew I was funny when I realised I could get in and then out of trouble by playing practical jokes. One of the first ones I enjoyed was opening up the Quality Street chocolates at Christmas scooping out the fillings and replacing them with chillies, peppercorns, and any other stuff I found in the kitchen. Then my mum would charge me with passing them round to the Italians. Thank God those old village folk eat anything. So it was all good!
What would you be if you weren’t a comedian? I would be a DJ because I love music and I was a DJ for more than 15 years. The great god Tinnitus put an end to that.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Performing on my own at a very crazy stag-do in Brighton. It’s the highlight because I was the sole entertainment and it had to go well, there was no one else to blame or to lean on
Tell us about three things that make you laugh. My wife because she often improves my jokes. Politics, simply because its such utter rubbish and in plain view. My Turkish neighbours, because I can run old school humour by them and they laugh a lot.
Tell us a joke. I’ve been losing my eye sight lately, but it’s strangely selective. I can’t see rats or cats. I went to the doctor, she said I have cataracts. Who’s your biggest hero?
My dad, because he had to fight his way through life from a very poor beginning.
What have you got in the pipeline?
Sewage mainly. No, I’m developing two sitcom pitches, one of which we have already made a pilot for and sold it to London Live. The other is a development of a web series we made for Google last year called Fanboys Anonymous.
The Wedge Comedy Club is on Friday, August 15. Doors open at 7.30pm, with food served until 8.45pm. The night also stars Andrea Hubert and a special guest, with Dinga as compere. Tickets cost £8, go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk