New resident Joe Trammelhas big plans for L-A comedy

AUBURN — Vegas comedian Joe Trammel has a fever and the only prescription is more laughter. So he’s marshalling his frenetic energy, channeling 300 or so crazy characters, packing up his huge trunk of props and boning up on pop culture … till he lets it all out for laughs on stage at the Sapphire Nightclub, 150 Center St., Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.

Trammel spent a couple of decades on stage at prominent Vegas clubs, including Planet Hollywood, opening for A-list celebrities and doing reality TV. He beat out thousands of entertainers in 10 major cities to be chosen as one of 10 to star in Wayne Newton’s “The Entertainer,” a 10-episode series on E-TV. And in 1993, he even beat out famous SNL alumnus David Spade for the title of Arizona Comedian of the Year.

And all that was after he studied acting and dancing in Hollywood. Which was after he danced on “Sold Gold,” “Dance Fever” and appeared on “Entertainment Tonight.” Which was after he spent his “youth” as an Elvis impersonator. His bio says he performed his Elvis impersonation alongside comedian Andy Kauffman when he was 8.

Oh, and sometime in there he squeezed in a stint as an award-winning martial arts practitioner.

(Deep breath)

So, what’s a professional Vegas funny guy like Joe Trammel doing in a place like this? Raising a family — (“It’s a much better place to raise kids than Vegas”) — and living near his wife’s parents.

The Trammels, Joe, his wife, Jessica, and their two children, officially moved to Auburn in 2014. Trammel tried long-distance commuting, continuing to work in Las Vegas and coming home a few times a year to see his family. After more than a year of that, Trammel and his family had had enough. And the veteran entertainer left his busy life making people laugh, for fulltime life with this family in Auburn.

And now, after some time off, he’s itching to get back on stage. It’s perfect timing, according to Trammel. People need laughter. “It is the best medicine. And I am also doing it for my own personal reasons; I just have to get back on stage.” So, he says, he’s going to bring some Vegas to L-A.

Friday’s show at Sapphire, Trammel says, is just the beginning. He has ideas for a comedy club, maybe shooting a movie, comedy workshops and classes for locals who want to explore the craft; and he’s very enthusiastic about involving L-A’s growing number of local comedians in the mix.

He says he’s just reached out to local full-time funny man Mark Turcotte, the founder of the Comedy Fix, an annual benefit comedy show, and the force behind Maine Event Comedy. And he’s looking forward to getting to know any and all local comedians.

Though he may be a joker at work, Trammel says he’s “dead serious” about his plans to grow the comedy scene in L-A.

Friday’s show is a double bill; Boston comedian Dave Russo will open for Trammel. He and Russo met when they competed on “The Entertainer” and have remained friends and performing partners for years.

Russo is known as co-host of NESN’s “Dirty Water TV,” is seen on “Comics Come Home,” with Dennis Leary, produces a regular comedy series and reports on the best of Boston night life. He has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” and was selected by the producer of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to perform on NESN’s “Comedy All-Stars,” according to his website, Russo can also be heard regularly on WEEI sports radio’s “The Planet Mikey Show.”

Comedy at Sapphire Nightclub

Who: Award-winning Las Vegas visual comedian Joe Trammel; award-winning Boston comedian Dave Russo, opening for Trammel.

Where: Sapphire Nightclub, 150 Center St., Auburn

When: Doors open 7 p.m.; show starts 8 p.m.

Cover Charges: 18+, $20; 21+, $10; $5 off all cover charges with valid college I.D. (must show at the door)

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