Bronx-born Paul Provenza is well-known as a comedian, author, actor and director who started his stand-up career in New York City while still in high school.
His latest project, the documentary Dying Laughing, explores the behind-the-scenes world of stand-up comedy and has received top reviews from sites like Rotten Tomatoes.
A stand-up comedian is his or her own writer, director and star performer. Unlike any other art form, there is no safety net. In its singular realization, comedy thrives on a stage--often in front of hostile audiences. For most people, baring your soul and being heckled would be a life-changing trauma. For stand-ups, it's just part of the routine. Directors Lloyd Stanton and Paul Toogood achieve a startling level of intimacy in a series of riveting interviews with Gary Shandling, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Billy Connolly, Amy Schumer and many other masters of the comedy universe; allowing in-depth access to the emotional and psychological highs and lows of answering the call to become a comic.
Paul talked with Jim Monaghan and Kim Mulligan about the new documentary, playing Romeo early in his career, his plans for St. Patrick's Day, New York-style pizza and more.