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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

An American Body

John DiResta on the set of American Body Shop.
John DiResta on the set of American Body Shop.

John DiResta is a man who has been around. As a stand-up comedian, he’s traveled all over the world including Alaska-twice. He’s also been around the block a few times when it comes to the television scene. His sitcom DiResta aired for a full season on UPN in 1998 and he has also had his own show on FX called “Trash to Cash.” Today DiResta has two shows, “Hammered with John and Jimmy DiResta,” a home improvement show on HGTV, which has returned for a second season, and a new sitcom, “American Body Shop” on Comedy Central. The Long Island native now calls Los Angeles home between breaks from his shows and stand-up comedy career. Mass Media: You’ve done stand-up, movies and TV. How do those three arenas compare? John DiResta: With stand up you get an immediate reaction and you get to know if you’re funny or not right away. TV is a steady paycheck, and a good Monday through Friday gig. Movies are fun, interesting and creative but take a long time and are usually in a remote place.

MM: How would you describe your comedy?

JD: I would describe my style as real life stories, real events, real language and a lot of real moments. I like to interact with the audience and I like to have fun as a group. When it comes to comedy I’m a giver.

MM: Who were your biggest comedic influences?

JD: Howard Stern, Richard Pryor, and Sam Kinison. I like the boldness of Howard Stern, the out right wittiness of Richard Pryor, and Sam Kinison who is just a wild dude that did it his way.

MM: You’ve spent years as a stand-up comic traveling all over. What is the most memorable place you’ve been?

JD: Most likely is Hong Kong. On the way to the show the plane actually flew over the North Pole. It was at an Italian restaurant in the middle of Hong Kong during comedy night. Every meal was like fear factor and I had the biggest tits on the whole island. It’s a very petite place Hong Kong.

MM: You have a new show, “American Body Shop,” how would you sum up the show in one sentence?

JD: Little Rascals 2007, just a bunch of schmucks that always get in trouble

MM: On “American Body Shop” you play a mechanic, are you a very handy guy when it comes to cars?

JD: Believe it or not I’m a rustic furniture builder. When it comes to cars I’m not, but I’m a pretty handy person. I was born with the bad car gene, if I buy a car it breaks down automatically.

MM: Do you have any bad body shop experiences?

JD: I’m the type of guy that’s such a gullible schmuck. There’ve been situations when I’ve said “just fix it” I don’t care how much it costs.

MM: In your HGTV show “Hammered,” your brother is portrayed as the handy one. If you need work done around your house do call your brother or do it yourself?

JD: Unfortunately he lives 3000 miles away so I have to do it. We actually save things that are broken for when he comes to visit. He’s really good, he’s like a modern day da Vinci.

MM: If you weren’t doing comedy what would you be doing right now?

JD: I’d probably be a retired New York City cop living in Florida making rustic furniture…smoking pot of course.

MM: Now that you’re “Johnny 2 Shows” are you still able to find time for your stand-up career?

JD: Yeah, I’ve worked the last five weekends; it’s the busiest I’ve been. If I’m not on the road I’m doing work in here in [Los Angeles].

MM: Do you think you’ll ever get too busy for stand-up?

JD: It’s fun, I like to do it, and eventually you get paid very well. I keep a running count of my shows, right now I’m on number 2,554. I’d like to do 10,000 and then quit.

MM: What is your motto when it comes to performing?

JD: To have as much fun as humanly possible, to personally have fun, and that translates to fun for everybody. There are three rules of comedy: number one, to have fun, number two, to not care if they laugh, and number three, to go back to rule number one.

DiResta can be seen as Brooklyn Johnny in “American Body Shop” airing Mondays at 12:00 am on Comedy Central or on “Hammered” on HGTV. To learn more about John DiRresta visit www.myspace.com/johndiresta or www.johndiresta.com