DOM IRRERA is a man of many faces and voices, each funnier than the last. With a quick change of expression and dialect, he segues from character to character in a non-stop commentary on the human comedy. At one moment hes a coffee shop waitress born to sling hash, the next hes a street-smart instructor giving lessons on "How To Be Italian". He can mine humor from any situation and his characterizations are always dead-on.
A cable TV comedy favorite, DOM continues to pile up the credits. In 1992 his HBO "Command Performance" stand-up comedy special garnered great ratings and high praise. It was a follow-up to his 1989 HBO "One Night Stand", which earned him the CableACE award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special. In 93 and 94 he hosted "Comedy From The Danger Zone", a late-night special for Showtime taped at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. He has hosted a new stand-up comedy series for Showtime titled "Full Frontal Comedy" which began airing in summer 95. In addition, this past fall he hosted Comedy Centrals football highlights show, "Offsides", their #1 rated original programming to date, and will do another season of the show in the fall.
He opened for Cher on her last national tour and he currently headlines select solo dates at top comedy clubs and casinos across the nation which led to American Comedy Award nominations as Funniest Male Stand-Up in 94 and 95. On the acting side, DOM guest-starred on a very popular May 94 "Seinfeld" episode on NBC in which he played a prop comic named Ronnie working at the same club as Jerry and he guest starred on the ABC series "Lois and Clark" in the fall 94 season. Hes also recently completed a pilot for ABC titled "Metro North", a Barney Miller type ensemble comedy which is a candidate for their fall schedule.
DOM knew hed be a comedian as early as the first grade when the Catholic school nuns brought him in front of his cousins eighth grade class to publicly reprimand him for his antics. Instead of being chastised, he grasped the moment to provide further comedy and had the class in hysterics ..his ultimate path clearly defined from that moment on. By the third grade when he watched the likes of Jack Benny on the tube he felt part of a kindred spirit that would shape his life.
His keen eye—and ear—for observing the people around him were developed while growing up in a multi-generational Italian household in South Philadelphia with his mother, sister, grandmother, uncles and cousins all under one very big roof. A great-grandmother even lived across the street. Together there were three floors and four generations of family--that helped provide fodder for the variety of characters DOM is so popular for. "Whenever my grandmother told stories she used to change voices, sort of acting out the characters, so it seemed very natural. I thought everyone did it," DOM notes, "It was just a way of expressing myself."
A popular headliner, DOM has developed a following beyond the comedy club circuit through his many television appearances. In addition to his own comedy specials, hes also guested on "Arsenio", "The Tonight Show", "Late Night With David Letterman", "The Jon Stewart Show", "Comic Strip Live" and "Sunday Comics". Hes also frequently recognized as a featured performer on Rodney Dangerfields "Nothing Goes Right" HBO comedy special and had recurring roles on "Shes The Sheriff" and "Its Garry Shandlings Show." On the big screen, he played the Hollywood writer in Robert Townsends movie "Hollywood Shuffle."
DOMs talent was spotted while he was a sophomore at a Catholic high school when one of the priests urged him to study acting. Since it didnt require a term paper, DOMs interest was piqued. He went on to Biscayne College in Florida to major in the craft and was also chosen for the Junior Varsity basketball team. He still holds a passion for that sport along with racquetball.
After graduation DOM returned to Philly and taught fourth grade at Most Blessed Sacrament School for three years while working evenings in local Equity productions. In one scene of "The Changing Room", a play DOM was in that was about an English rugby team, the all-male cast appeared briefly dressed. DOMs photo ran locally with the newspaper headline, "13 NAKED MEN IN PLAY." As the word spread through the Catholic school it was transformed into him being a "naked dancer" and caused quite an uproar until it got straightened out. The kids, who already loved him, loved him even more after that.
In nurturing his comedic talents. In 1984 "Star Search" beckoned him to Los Angeles and opened a whole new source of West coast opportunities. Again the lmprov came into play. The staff had become so enamored of his work that they continually brought agents and talents scouts to share in their new "discovery" "The Tonight Show" booked him right away and soon people like Bette Midler were popping in to ask, "Is DOM IRRERA on tonight?"
As much as he loves acting, DOM admits to being hooked on stand-up and plans to continue in both areas. As he says, "What other kind of job would pay me for talking about the neighborhood guys I grew up with... guys like Fruitfly, Weasel, Joey Bag of Donuts and so on.. .this is great!" A versatile talent, DOMs star is definitely on the rise and its getting brighter every day.