One more “guest blog” as we give some Pittsburgh Comedians

a chance to express themselves!

By: Mike Buzzelli (Pittsburgh Comedian)


This summer, I was performing in a seated reading for a local playwright’s new project (Brian Edward’s “The Post-Mortem Crisis of William Shakespeare”).

Somehow I got cast as Elizabeth X, an all-knowing drag  queen who tells the main character, William Shakespeare, to get his act together (so to speak). Since it was a play reading, I didn’t have to dress up. I wore jeans and a polo shirt (my regular wardrobe). No wigs. No makeup. No dress. Thank God. I have never worn a dress. Not a kilt. Not even a grass skirt at a luau.

The playwright suggested I got over-the-top with it. I did the entire performance as if I were Blanche Devereaux.” Picture it, a big hairy guy pretending to be a Golden Girl. I have to say, it was a hoot. I had a ball, and the audience reaction to the entire play was fantastic.

We’re actually not at the strange part of the story, yet.

I was dashing from my day job to rehearsal. I got into downtown about 20 minutes before my call time (call time is a pretentious way actors say, “The time I had to be there”).

Since I was coming straight from work, I was starving. I ran into the Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop next to the building where the 12 Peers theater is located (Liberty and Fifth). It was a decent sandwich…but I think calling it ‘gourmet’ was a stretch. It didn’t come with artisanal goat cheese, Kalamata tapenade, red pepper remoulade nor was it on a toasted brioche. It was just a sandwich.

While I was chomping down on my alleged gourmet sammie, some guy smiled at me. He turned to me and said, “You look like an actor.”

I was flattered because I was about to go read some lines at the theater next door. I wanted to say, “I am an actor.” But I’m not really, I’m a columnist, a comedian and author, but I am not an actor. Ask anyone who has ever seen me on television or in a movie (I only have a few credits on my IMDB page and they were mostly non-speaking roles).

I politely said, “Thank you.”

He looked back at me and said, “It’s not really a compliment. It’s more of a statement.”

He giveth and taketh away.

When I went to throw my sandwich wrapper in the garbage (I reiterate noting ‘gourmet’ comes in a wrapper), I kept hoping he meant Vincent D’Onofrio (I have a slight resemblance to him, but I’m much heavier). I convinced myself it was Beast from “Beauty in the Beast.” That would have definitely NOT been a compliment.

It had to be a fat guy. The other choices were Wayne Knight or Jason Alexander, since Dom Deluise is dead. The only other fat actor left was Rosie O’Donnell, and I want to reiterate I was not wearing makeup or a dress (not that Rosie does either, actually).

I think I’m better off not knowing.

“It’s not really a compliment” is a jagoffy thing to say. Yeah, I’m using jagoff as an adjective. Someone who says “It’s not a compliment” is full of jagoffery. It was pretty much like saying, “You look like some ugly/fat guy I saw in a movie once.”

Dude, if you’re out there reading this, you know you’re a jagoff, ya jagoff!


My book, Below Average Genius, a compilation of my humor columns at the Observer-Reporter is listed as a HOT NEW RELEASE IN HUMOR at Amazon.
A Hot New Release sounds dirty
Click the pic to get more info

 Anyone who makes a legit comment below before 11pm, 8/31/2012 is eligible for a raffle of a signed copy of the book!


  1. Now, if you had been his waiter, and he said you looked like an actor…
    My question is this, if the only thing you have to say to a total stranger is something stupid, why say anything? Why not just keep it to yourself? Answer, because that’s not the Jagoff way. Jagoff’s are experts at sucking the life out of the rest of us with their words and actions. That’s why we must stand together, a united front in our yellow shirts and try to stem this growing tide of jagoffery. ( I’m available for speaking engagements and political speach writing on this topic…)

  2. Written (spoken) like a true Pittsburgher, if he would have incorperated a Southside accent on the stage he would have clearly made the big time with all those big wigs. Glad to see more Burgh comedians finally breaking out. Good luck in the future and whatever it may hold for you.

  3. Hey all. Thanks for commenting. One of you just one a copy of the book. I am leaving it up to the administrator of this website to decide. Cause I’d go with Deb McManus (she thinks I’m cute).

    – MIke Buzzelli, author of “Below Average Genius” at Amazon right now.

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