By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
It is a pleasure to welcome comedian James P. Connolly to Jake’s Take.
James served in the Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm, where he was forced to write jokes for his Colonel. James’ humor and personality lead him to host numerous programs for Comedy Central, HBO, and VH1. He also made appearances on National Lampoon XM Radio, the nationally-syndicated Bob & Tom Radio Show, and is one of the most played comedians on Sirius XM’s comedy channels. His playful, confident style and unique sense of humor have also caught the attention many Fortune 500 companies who have turned to him to be the Master of Ceremonies for host their meetings and award shows.
James P. Connolly also made a point in his career to help give back to the military as he produces an annual Veterans Day Comedy Show that benefits the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and has made multiple trips overseas to entertain the troops. This Saturday, he will headline the 2017 Variety Show, which benefits the Kansas City chapter of Variety’s Children Charity.
James took time out of his schedule to take The Five Question Challenge. He opened up about his decision to pursue a career in comedy, shared more information about his yearly production with Veterans in Film & Television, and talked about his new show: Vet on the Street.
Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in comedy? How did your passion for comedy evolve into the desire of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry?
James P. Connolly: I got into Comedy while I was serving with the Marines in Desert Storm. Apparently my “goofing off” skills were in more demand than my “close with and destroy” skills. My Colonel asked me to write him jokes for a dinner he was hosting. He wanted to roast all the officers in our unit. It went great, so I decided that if I survived this, I would give comedy a try. Once, I did it I was hooked. Never saw myself doing anything else. I am glad it worked out, because I do not have any other job skills that I know of.
JE: You produce an annual Veterans Day Comedy Show that benefits Veterans in Film and Television. When did you first get the idea to create this series and how has Hollywood rallied around your special?
JPC: I started doing the Benefit when I found out about the VFT (Veterans in Film & Television). It was a supportive, grassroots idea to bring Veterans together who were trying to make it in the entertainment industry. VFT is run by an all-volunteer group and they had no money. I decided to do the Benefit to raise funds for them and help bring attention to the great work they were doing. This last year, we raised money for the Semper Fi Fund.
JE: Currently, you host We Are The Mighty TV’s Vet on the Street. Could you describe your show to my readers? Why should they watch it?
JPC: Vet on the Street is a “man on the street” show that helps to bridge the gap between the military/veteran community and civilians. We ask people military/veteran questions and see what they know. We have fun with them without making fun of them. I bother people on the street until someone takes pity on me and answers my questions.
JE: On April 1, you will be headlining the Variety Show at Arvest Bank Theatre for the Kansas City chapter of Variety’s Children Charity. What can the audience expect from your set?
JPC: (jokingly) Wait…I agreed to do what?
JE: If you had the chance to meet with comedians who are looking to give back to society, what advice would you share with them?
JPC: Find something that matters to you and lend your skills. Chasing a career in the entertainment industry can be exhausting. Helping people who are helping others by adding the gift of laughter is, for me, the most fulfilling way to do Comedy. Or you can just give back the things you have taken from society…no questions asked.
For more information about James, visit his website.
If you are in the Kansas City area on April 1, make sure to check out the 2017 Variety Show which benefits Variety’s Children Charity. For tickets and information about the show, visit the website.