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Stand Up or Shut Up! [Starz]

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Stand Up or Shut Up! - Starz Comedy’s new weekly original micro series every Friday at 7:50 p.m. [The 10-part series premiered on Friday, July 21 at 7:50 p.m.]

Viewers get an inside look at what it takes to make it as a stand up comedian. Follow six “would-be” comics as they go through orientation and workshop classes at the American Comedy Institute (ACI) in New York City, culminating with their graduation – on stage performances at comedy clubs in The Big Apple. If you’re funny there, you’re funny anywhere.

The series is hosted by Michael Somerville, recently voted one of New York’s “Ten Hot Local Comics” by The Improper magazine. Somerville introduces the students on stage and visits with them off stage, as they go through their “normal” lives.

The Students
Judith Currin – Currin is an interactive producer at a major New York advertising agency. She attended the ACI workshop in 1991 doing stand up for six years, without much success. After a nine-year hiatus from performing, Judith jumps on stage a lot wiser, and hopefully, a lot more relaxed.

Steven Hanley – He is a critically acclaimed author of the political satire The Legend of Bushistotle: History’s Greatest Philosopher-Warrior-King. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, he freelances as a translator and Spanish-language copywriter for some of the most prestigious magazines, companies and law firms around the world.

Katy Olsen – After living in a trailer park with her alleged white trash family in Tampa, Florida, Katy traveled to NYC six years ago to pursue a career in comedy. But reality is reality and she needs to work long hours at a Mail Boxes Etc. in order to support her comedy Jones.

Robert Paris (aka “Big Louie”) – This pumped up bruiser caught the comedy bug when he got out of the big house (if you know what I mean). Although “Big Louie” makes a living as a personal trainer, the key to survival with Louie is to laugh at his jokes and no one will get hurt.

R.K. Smith – This Bronx bus driver is known as the “Black Ralph Kramden,” 300 pounds of class clown. Making his passengers laugh has been his mantra for 13 years and he hopes to take it to the stage where he doesn’t have to share it with irate New York drivers.

Josh Zepps – This dashing Aussie is a radio personality in his hometown, even though he lives in New York City. He transmits comedy bits to Australia everyday from his Manhattan apartment. A master impersonator of political leaders, Zepps’ typical day consists of reading the morning news for material and getting on the computer to do his show.

The Host – Michael Somerville
The New Jersey native was a freshman at the University of Notre Dame when he first tried stand up. People laughed, and he was hooked. After graduating, Michael moved to New York and got a job at an advertising agency. It didn’t go well. The company expected him to be there at 9:00 a.m., regardless of how late he was out the night before. Plus, his neck was getting irritated from shaving everyday. Michael has been doing stand up at all the major clubs around the country for seven years.



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