The Italian Hurricane Vic DiBitetto returns to Ridgefield Playhouse
After two sold-out shows at the Ridgefield Playhouse last year, Vic DiBitetto returns for two nights on Feb. 28 and 29, promising new material but plenty of similar laughs.
A one-time winner of America’s Funniest People, DiBitetto is known for his mix of honesty, humanity and frenetic high-energy in crafting a comedy show that fans love.
He’s best known for creating comedy videos, and his Bread and Milk routine was a viral sensation, with nearly 19 million hits on YouTube to date. Other popular viral characters include Tony Gaga, That Guy, Frankie Pentangelli, Fool by the Pool and Ticked Off Vic.
The comedian, known as “The Italian Hurricane,” is looking forward to being back in Connecticut.
Keith Loria: You’ll be returning to the Ridgefield Playhouse — a place you’ve had great success.
Vic DiBitetto: Yes, my manager likes to put me in Connecticut in February. Next, he’s going to be putting me in the Amazon in August.
KL: What’s been happening in your life since you were last here? How did 2019 treat you?
VD: I’ve been selling out theaters and they keep adding shows, and my following is getting bigger and better. It’s been crazy. I never thought it would get to the point it is now. I keep posting videos and doing what I’m doing. I must be doing something right because I keep noticing at the shows that it’s people of all ages, and I’m just riding this wave.
KL: Last year when we spoke, you had talked about maybe expanding your appearances to the Midwest or other parts of the country that you’ve never performed live.
VD: Yes, I did that. I went to Denver and had a nice turnout. There was Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit. I’m not exactly a household name in Boise, Idaho, so I may not go there, but we’re still building the brand.
KL: Russell Best is your manager and I understand that your career is basically a two-man operation.
VD: My manager does a great job. There’s no one helping us out and I have no Netflix special and no sitcom — we did this all on our own, just me and him. I was at a theater a couple of months ago and we sold it out — one that a famous guy from a sitcom couldn’t even sell out. That’s what he helps me do.
KL: Do you have interest in a sitcom?
VD: Here is what’s mindboggling to me. No TV producer, even if they don’t think I’m the greatest actor or talent, just my following alone translates to fans and views and it’s just crazy. I absolutely want to do that. I’m not jealous of these guys, but they’re no better than me, and I’m no better than them, but it would be nice to have a shot. It’s a beautiful, unfair business, but when it is beautiful, it’s beautiful.
KL: How would you characterize where you stand in the echelon of today’s comics?
VD: I’m right on the cusp. I’m doing better than most but not as good as some. If everything stays the way it is, I’m happy. Who am I to complain?
KL: I know you’ve experimented with a couple of video ideas in the past. How do you know what works and what to devote your time to?
VD: We try projects and throw the spaghetti against the wall and whatever sticks, sticks. You can’t leave any rock unturned. I have a coffee line that’s doing good that I sell online and at my shows.
KL: The Bread & Milk video opened the floodgates for you, and while it was your most successful, it certainly wasn’t your first.
VD: I’ve been doing videos since 2009. That might have 20 million views on YouTube, plus it’s shown on other stations and platforms, so more people have seen that than anything. You put all my videos together, it’s hundreds of millions of views and you can’t even calculate it correctly. I’m being recognized everywhere I go and I love it. I try to keep them funny and relevant but never do I deal with politics. People come to me to get away from that circus.
KL: Does your stand-up have any tie-in to the videos?
VD: It’s totally different. There are times, I am doing my act, and people yell out bits from my videos and it’s weird and distracts me. I’m getting heckled by my own material. We are talking about one day doing a specific show with a big screen that I host and just show the videos. There’s so much content, I could do a two-hour show on those alone.