ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “People need to laugh now more than ever. Laughter is healing, we need more of it,” said comedian Jimmy Shubert.
There will be three shows, Thursday through Saturday of this week, with a food truck at the Friday and Saturday shows. The tickets are pre-pay only through their website. No admission will be allowed at the event, and one car equals one adult ticket price.
Ippolito says he and the team were originally inspired to do drive through show with a radio frequency by neighborhood Christmas light displays that play music through the radio.
“The show will be live with a stage, a few large screens, and the sound will be broadcasted through everyone’s car stereos,” said Ippolito. “Drive in theaters were a part of Phase 1 and we just had to think outside the box.”
Ippolito says that people will be able to tune into the shows through the radio, a nice callback to the origins of the Carlson building. The frequency will be provided when you pull up with your ticket.
That still left who the comedian would be for the event.
“Who better than Rochester’s favorite comedian to kick off these events,” said Mark Ippolito with Comedy at the Carlson.
“Mark said he was struggling, that eh couldn’t get any names, and I said, well yeah let’s do it,'” Shubert said. “Yeah I would come, let’s do this just for the story, let’s make it happen!”
Shubert is fresh off a comedy album release, “Zero Tolerance,” which is currently number one on iTunes. He has three specials under his belt, and has appeared in Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, King Of Queens, and many other TV shows and movies.
If you want to show your appreciation, flash your lights when you laugh. Not hearing your audience might be a challenge for any comedian, but with decades of experience, Shubert is ready to go.
“Just like at the comedy club, but you’re in your car,” Shubert said.
Shubert’s eagerness was evident. He was in full-on stage mode during the interview, occasionally flexing some “colorful language.” His eyes lit up when talking about comedy.
“I love to make people laugh,” he said. “It’s my favorite sound in the world.”
Despite not doing standup for months, he’s been working, writing 30 minutes of new material, much of it focusing on the pandemic and the shutdown.
Comedy at the Carlson is only donating the proceeds from the shelter at the Rochester YWCA. Ippolito says two of his team members, Suresh Goel and Cheryl Brunelle, helped steer them in the direction of the YWCA.
“We are just happy to give people a show during these hectic times,” Ippolito said. “It’s a no-brainer. These women are in a shelter during a pandemic, and they’re running out of resources… It’s an honor to help the Rochester YWCA.”
Ippolito says they will be continuing these drive through concerts with Tammy Pescatelli, benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association. Each week they will pick a different fundrasier to benefit.