Kent grad comes home for DVD special

Samantha Tosado

Courtesy Outback Concerts

Credit: Ron Soltys

John Caparulo at the Ohio Theatre

May 3 at 8 p.m.

$22.75, $17.50 with student ID (discount seats limited)

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 7th at 11 a.m. at the Playhouse Square Ticket

Office; or 216.241.6000.

An 11-year-old boy goes to basketball practice. He then proceeds to change in the locker room, but when he goes to look down, the inevitable happens, a child’s worst nightmare. He had an accident in his pants. The embarrassed boy is astonished by what has happened and instead of sulking in his sorrows, he decides to make jokes out of the situation. The rest is history.

Kent State graduate and Ohio’s own John Caparulo has been doing stand up comedy acts since 1997, however it wasn’t until his basketball practice incident that really got him into telling jokes.

“I started telling people the story and made it funny,” Caparulo confessed. “It’s a really fun thing to be able to do.”

Caparulo said that although the accident wasn’t a fun thing at the time, he turned it into something funny to help him get over it easier.

“I was a crushed kid going into adolescence,” he said. “But I made it funny so people can relate to me and laugh along with me.”

Caparulo always knew he wanted to pursue a career in show biz. After graduating Kent State with a degree in radio and television production, he then decided to move to California in hopes to land his dream job.

“I moved to L.A. after college because at some point you got to grow up,” he said.

However, this young comedian wasn’t going to put his foot in the door anytime soon.

Instead Caparulo got a job as a doorman at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard. Caparulo said that he would perform his acts after hours since he wasn’t as well-known as the others.

“I performed basically when everyone who was in the audience was too drunk to leave,” he joked.

Caparulo also worked at a golf course cutting grass to make some extra cash.

“It’s not glamorous at first, but it’s all necessary for the journey,” he said.

Caparulo said his jokes aren’t any ordinary jokes. He admitted that not many comedians talk about the big picture and that most of his personal jokes come from aggravations of everyday life.

“So many comedians just joke about politics and stuff like that,” he said. “I address things that are more realistic.”

Sure enough, Caparulo’s hard work has finally started to pay off.

In 2003, Caparulo got the opportunity to audition in Montreal at the Just For Laughs comedian festival. Only 20 comedians could make the cut. Although he didn’t make the cut at first, his representatives pulled some strings, and Caparulo was the 21st comedian to perform.

“I turned out to be the only one out of 21 people to sign a deal.”

After returning to the United States, Caparulo signed a deal with Fox.

Caparulo has come a long way.

He has appeared on many different television shows including “The Tonight Show,” “Chelsea Lately” and “The Late Show.” He also has his very own special on “Comedy Central Presents,” not to mention he landed a spot in Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Tour that came out in theaters last month. His most important event, however, is his show in Cleveland at the Ohio Theatre on May 3. Not only is he performing at his home base, but this show will be recorded and sold in stores on DVD.

“It’s cool to be able to shoot the DVD in Cleveland versus some random city because it’s where I grew up,” he said. “It’s kind of a big deal.”

Caparulo has come a long way from being a shy kid from a small Ohio town and now a full-time comedian touring the United States. Caparulo said this is all he’s ever wanted to do.

“I’m really fortunate and I’d rather live a normal life if I could, but I can’t,” he said. “This business is my life.”

Contact all reporter Samantha Tosado at [email protected].