The Mangina Dialogues podcast makes live debut at FTC
Podcasts are all the rage, and two local comedians have one of the hottest one’s going, with their show, The Mangina Dialogues.
Hosted by stand-up comedian Nick Scopoletti (aka Nick Scopes) and Comedy DJ The Gregalicious (aka Greg Alprin), the podcast combines hot topics with timeless comedy fun. Every Sunday, The Mangina Dialogues bring discussions on comedy, music, lifestyles, pro sports and all aspects of pop culture to the podcast.
On Feb. 18, The Mangina Dialogues will be going live for the first time, performing at the Fairfield Theatre Company (FTC) for a night that’s part comedy show, part podcast performance.
Keith Loria: How did the two of you meet and realize you had this comedy connection?
Greg Alprin: Nick is a personal trainer at Equinox in Southport. I joined the gym and they partnered me with him for a fitness orientation, and through the course of training with him, he mentioned he did stand-up comedy. My history is in the entertainment industry — all different areas of it — and I told him I would come check him out one night when he was performing. At the time, he was doing open mic nights at a comedy club close to where we live. I went, fully expecting him to be terrible, but ultimately, out of the 25 comedians, he was by far the best and it hurt me that I had to tell him he was good.
KL: And that led to working together?
GA: Yes, we started a relationship in trying to do some comedy together. We first started hosting some open mic nights ourselves at a bar in Fairfield, which led to us wanting to try a comedy podcast. That’s led to where we are now.
KL: This is your first live event. What can those coming to FTC expect on the night?
GA: The way we developed the show, it’s a combination of stand-up comedy with comedians we are bringing in from the local Connecticut area and then we’re going to interview them in a “Tonight Show”-style setting. Remember back to Johnny Carson when a comedian would come out and do some time, and then he would invite them to the couch. That’s similar to what we will do. We will also have a house band by the name of Hawkins who will open the show and serve as house band when we are on. We will also have an interview portion where one of the comedians will interview Nick and I.
KL: I understand you’re also going to get the audience involved somehow.
GA: Yes, there will also be a game of chance for the audience, where anyone who wants to do a minute worth of stand-up comedy will put their name in a hat, and then we’re going to randomly choose those people throughout the show and then have interactions with them after that.
KL: What can we expect from the interview with you and Nick?
GA: We won’t know in advance what the questions will be, so it will be spontaneous and we will improvise, so we will be in the hot seat.
KL: Tell me about some of the comedians coming out.
GA: There’s Andrew Ginsberg, a New York City professional stand-up who is also a fitness trainer and is very funny. He’s a cross between the style of Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano. He’s very sharp witted and does a lot of humor about himself and his marriage. Then there’s Alyssa Goggi, a local Connecticut comedian who is the emcee and goes by “the door girl” at the Stress Factory. She’s unbelievable and sells out 300-person shows on her own. She’s so funny. She loves doughnuts and is a novice professional eater.
KL: Who else is on the card?
GA: Beau McDonald, another local guy, who is a partner with our entertainment company. He’s a giant teddy bear who does a lot of self-deprecating humor and performs regularly in New York City. The fourth is Cody Marino, who will be opening the show and do some crowd warm-up. He’s very funny and has a big beard, and does a lot of off-color humor. Then, of course, Nick will be doing a set also.
KL: What will the interview portion of the night consist of?
GA: We’re going to be talking to them about their history, how they got started, their influences and traditional stuff like that. The rest of it will be interactions about their bits they choose to work out that night.
KL: What do you like about doing the podcast?
GA: I really enjoy talking to the guests on the podcast and we’re now getting some bigger guests and we are having a lot of fun with them. We don’t expect them to just tell jokes. We might talk to popular, well-known musicians and talk to them about their experiences on the road or how they got their band name, and that all leads to humor. It’s very casual and we have a good time.
KL: What are your plans for future live events like this?
GA: The hope is to take it out more regularly and we’re going to see how this first one goes, but we do expect to have other opportunities available to us in the year ahead.