An alumnus of West Chester University, Tom Cassidy claims to have been doing comedy since second grade. After taking a break from the laugh track in high school and college, Cassidy immersed himself back into stand up after his graduation from WCU in December 2007. Since then, he has been performing his stand up all around the Philadelphia area, and showcasing other young comedians like himself at The Note on East Market Street.Q: Why did you start doing stand-up again after college?
Cassidy: I knew I wanted to do it, but it was more about finding the right time to actually pursue it.
Q: Do you have any stand-out influences from the comedy world?
Cassidy: I’m a fan of a lot of comedians, but my favorites would have to be Dave Chapelle and Larry David.
Q: Do you have a specific kind of content you focus on in your comedic material?
Cassidy: I don’t have one major focus – I try and cover anything and everything, while putting things from my life in my material as well as current events, pop culture, race, politics, men and women, observations, and sometimes just goofy stuff. I also have some smart dumb jokes, or maybe they’re dumb smart jokes, I’m not sure.
Q: Where have you performed previously?
Cassidy: My past shows at The Note were straightforward comedy shows that showcased young comedians from Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. It was called “The Tom Cassidy Comedy Series” and was spread out over four editions throughout the summer and early fall. I’ve also been featured on Comcast On Demand’s “Local Comedy On Demand.” Other performances of mine have taken place at the Laff House and Helium in stand-up contests, as well as numerous shows in [Philadelphia].
This Thursday, Nov. 19, Cassidy will be hosting another event at The Note, titled “The Not-So-Late Show” featuring himself and rock-reggae-indie band Inity. The show will feature fellow comedians H Coley, Chris Cotton and The Legendary Wid, performing various types of comedy, including interviews, short bits and a monologue. Inity will perform as the house band, and close the show with a musical set.
Q: Do you know the members of Inity personally?
Cassidy: I met JP Hussey in my senior year of high school when we were both working at the Philadelphia Cricket club. JP, the guitarist for the band, is a couple years older than me, who also went to West Chester. I’m pretty sure the lead singer/guitarist Ben Kane also went to West Chester. The bassist is Rasta Mike and Alex Beaster plays the drums. They’ve been together for over five years, I believe.
Q: Have you ever worked with [Inity] before?
Cassidy: They perform all over and have been performing at Spence’s “Reggae Night” regularly since this past summer. The only time I ever worked directly with them before this is when I shot a documentary in college – they performed at my house at RamsGate.
Q: What is the set like for “The Not-So-Late Show,” and what is your role that night?
Cassidy: The show is set up like a late-night talk show, except it’s not on “late” and we’re only pretending to tape it. I will MC the show, and Inity will perform as the house band. H. Foley will serve as my sideman. The two other comedians on the show are Chris Cotton, a young comedian who was just featured at the Improv in DC, and the Legendary Wid who has been on Comedy Central and VH1, and is probably one of the original and most well-respected prop comedians.
The show starts at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets for “The Not-So-Late Show” can be bought at www.thenotewc.com.
Tara Tanzos is a third-year student majoring in English and minoring in creative writing. She can be reached at TT649875@wcupa.edu.