Pronounced “Shall-Lee-Foo,” his last name – C–H–A–L–I–F–O–U–X – has given those taking those taking the stage before him trouble for years. Now, the Cincinnati-based comedian aims to make audiences remember not only his name, but how funny the man behind it is when Wiley’s Comedy Joint this Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24.
A regular at the world-famous Comic Strip Live during his time in New York City, Chalifoux’s accolades are those of a comedian that has worked to earn his keep at his craft. A featured past performer at both the Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington, Ind. and Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta among others, Chalifoux has also been featured on The Bob & Tom Show as well as BBC Radio. Additionally, his jokes have been heard on Sirius/XM radio, featured in Reader’s Digest and he’s written for ESPN.com.
Now that he’s served his time in the trenches of the city he calls “comedy college,” Chalifoux is excited to be back home in the state where his career started years ago.
“I loved New York City. I loved living there and I loved doing standup there; the mix of audiences and venues is incredible and the amount of incredible talent you’re alongside in the trenches is inspiring,” Chalifoux says, speaking of the city he called his “comedy college.” “At the same time, there are certain lifestyle things NYC isn’t the best for and there are things outside of comedy I wanted in life, so moving back to Ohio once my family grew made the most sense.”
Chalifoux’s on-stage persona is much like his off-stage, a fact he knows sometimes comes as a shock to those who think of comedians as wild and crazy individuals that are always “on.” A married father of two daughters, Chalifoux credits his domesticated lifestyle for giving him a “wealth” of material seeing how “I’m home with the kids a lot and constantly failing in new and increasingly embarrassing ways.”
Saying stand-up has instilled “a deep love and respect for jokes in me,” Chalifoux says being a married stand-up comic that doesn’t party hard on the road does come with its share of pros and cons.
“It’s much worse to be the unbearably obnoxious guy trying to be funny in every conversation. I do it professionally, so I’m not trying to prove myself to people around a water cooler,” he says. “In terms of wild road stories, I do miss out on that a bit. When I’m gone for a weekend, I try to treat it professionally, and spend most of the days holed up in a coffee shop somewhere writing jokes … After spending a chunk of my 20s in a city with reliable public transportation and spending most nights in bars/nightclubs drinking for free, you have to get a handle on that.”
Now preparing to release his debut stand-up comedy album this year, Chalifoux promises to deliver a mix of entertaining stories and observations from the mind of a man trying to make people “laugh a lot and forget all their BS for a few hours.”
“I don’t do a ton of observational/topical stuff – there’s Twitter for that – so audiences can expect to see a lot of jokes at my expense. I’m also not going to be up there doing ‘Git-R-Done’ jokes or talking about my penis a lot (only a tasteful amount),” he says. “I’m also bringing two terrific comedians with me in Josh O’Neill and Molly Hartzell, who are both hilarious. So, audiences can expect a lot of jokes … And maybe cookies.”
WHO: Mark Chalifoux with opening acts Molly Hartzell and Josh O’Neill
WHERE: Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine Street, Dayton, OH 45402
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28; 7:15 and 9:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 24
FOR MORE INFORMATION: (937) 224-5653 or http://www.wileyscomedy.com/events/21783