With his stout build, ever-present, worn-in ball cap and matter-of-fact delivery, John Caparulo probably looks and sounds like a guy you know. The stand-up comedian and Ohio native came on the comedy scene right around the time "blue-collar comedy" began to surge in the early-to-mid '00s. But if you ask Caparulo, it's not a trend he meant to piggyback on to find his current success.
"I really had no idea that I was white trash until I moved to L.A.," Caparulo says in an email interview.
Based on frequent appearances on talk shows like Chelsea Lately and his growing fanbase, Caparulo's everyman approach is yielding some great results. Before he comes to perform in Lexington this weekend at Comedy Off Broadway, we got to ask him questions about his earliest comic influences, the "blue-collar" label and recording podcasts with his wife.
Question: Who or what were some of the first things that got you thinking about doing stand-up comedy?
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Answer: Eddie Murphy was probably my first comedy idol. I loved his SNL sketches and his movies, but Delirious (Murphy's 1983 concert film) was the first time I was able to see how much fun it could be to tell stories and get laughs.
Q: Whether you were performing as a part of features like Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show or doing your own standup specials like Meet Cap and Come Inside Me, what is it you do on stage that people appreciate?
A: To this day, I really don't know. I figured out a long time ago that watching my performances afterward is never the same experience. It's pretty horrifying to tell the truth. The only time I don't think I'm awful is when I'm up there. So maybe it's that. Self-confidence might be attractive, but it's not all that funny.
Q: I saw where you're also doing comedy podcasts, but yours is with your wife (called Domestic Disputes featuring his spouse, Jamie). How did that come about? Does your dynamic as a couple lead to more than a few funny moments?
A: It seems like you almost have to do a podcast to be a comedian in this era. But I hate feeling like I'm just doing something that everyone else is doing. The idea of recording a podcast where I interviewed other comedians about being a comedian didn't appeal to me since it's been done so much already. I also didn't want to have to keep any appointments or leave the house to do it. That's when my wife suggested the idea of us arguing about a different topic every week and calling it "Domestic Dispute." I said, "That's a terrible idea! Call it 'Domestic Disputes!'"
Q: You've been kind of dubbed a "blue-collar" comedian in your career, but that seems like lazy categorization. What type of comedian do you truly think you are?
A: I'm just an honest comedian. What I've always hated the most about being labeled that way is that it implies that I'm playing a character. I've never been anybody but who I really am on stage. OK, one time I was Bumbulina in a production of Cats, but that was for a middle-school play. I was 32, but they needed somebody with the legs and the pizzazz to pull it off.