From warming up the crowds at shows like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show to hosting a 12-year run on SiriusXM, Pete Dominick has done it all. Now, he’s headed South, taking his stand-up on the road for this year’s Charleston Comedy Festival. No stranger to the stage, Dominick has been doing comedy for 20 years.
“After the first 10 years of my career doing stand-up and traveling around the country, I wanted to be home more with my wife and newborn daughter, so my work was more centered in New York doing television and radio,” says Dominick. “But, now that my SiriusXM show is over, I’m getting hardcore back into stand-up.”
Dominick knew from a young age that he wanted to be a comedian, seeking out any and every chance to entertain people. “I was a class clown in high school, never missed a day. And not because I loved school but because every day, there was an audience to perform for,” he explains. After his time in college, he moved to New York City at the age of 18 and starting doing comedy clubs. As he became more successful, he eventually landed a job with The Daily Show and, later, The Colbert Report.
His role with both of these major comedy news shows was to get on stage before the show began and warm up the audience with his own humor. “I think both of those shows were very special, unique, and important for their time,” Dominick says. After Stephen Colbert left The Daily Show to pursue his own project, The Colbert Report, he asked Dominick to come with him, and while he did not have to spend as much time on set as others, he fondly recalls the tight-knit nature of the cast and crew. “Stephen created an amazing family atmosphere on that show,” he says. “He’s also probably the greatest comedian and satirist of our time because of what he did as that character.”
During his career with television, Dominick also hosted a three-hour live talk show five days a week for SiriusXM. After 12 years, the show ended this past October, leading Dominick to switch the show to a podcast. The new show, Stand Up! with Pete Dominick, is intended to mimic his original radio show during which he interviews a range of experts from civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis to celebrities and comedians like Alyssa Milano and Kevin Hart. Dominick tends to tackle general topics like parenting and social media and while the show is driven by Dominick’s natural curiosity rather than comedic efforts, it’s a way for him to connect with his audience and have a meaningful conversation that, in turn, gives him a better understanding of the world.
When asked what makes his style of comedy unique, he laughs and says, “Nothing.” And, that’s really the best way to be. Comedy is all about connection and how we relate to each other and our shared experiences. “I want to be relatable,” he says. “If there’s anything that makes me unique, it’s that I appeal to a wide range of people.”
Pete Dominick Stand-Up
$20 Sat. Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Woolfe Street Playhouse