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Panucci Drumming New Comedy Beat

Ryan Panucci's proud of his band's fourth studio album, but lately a burgeoning comedy career drives his creativity.

by ApplauseBreakAdmin

BOCA RATON – Much like his band’s music, Ryan Panucci’s comedy continues to evolve.

Those two entertainment worlds came within a short walk of colliding one Saturday in early September.

Shortly after his set at Lilo’s Library in Lake Worth, Panucci made the block-or-so jaunt to Propaganda, where he jumped behind the drums as his band, The Zoo Peculiar, celebrated the release their fourth full-length album, “Nachtmusik.”

“That felt good,” Panucci said of the double bill. “That stroked the old ego.”

The Zoo Peculiar’s debut album, “Teat” featured the fun feel of demented circus music. “Nachtmusik” still revels in the weird, but Panucci describes the lastest offering as being heavier – more guitar forward.

When he started performing stand-up less than two years ago, Panucci’s style resembled the driving drums that drove the Zoo.

Panucci’s comedy is gaining nuance. He’s telling stories. It’s trending more Jason Isbell than Metallica.

“I really was into deadpan delivery and one liners – very dry,” Panucci said of his initial foray into stand-up. “Now I’m trying to get into a lot more just having a good time with the crowd getting them involved, longer jokes, more accessible.”

Seeing a Zoo Peculiar show is an experience unto itself. A Panucci stand-up show aims to bring the audience into Ryan’s personal experience.

“I want to feel like I’m joking around with my pals,” Panucci said. “That’s when we’re having a good time together, and that’s what I want the audience to feel. I want it to be natural.”

On Thursday night, in his first performance at the long-running Sadman Comedy Productions show at the Biergarten in Boca Raton, Panucci’s 10-minute set guided the audience through his experiences – particular his love of, and misadventures with, his Harley-Davidson.

“Yeah, that’s a real thing,” Panucci said. “And that’s another thing I’m trying to do is write about real things, because that keeps me in it. I’m writing about stuff that I’m actually going through and feeling instead of just trying to weave a story together.”


The Biergarten show continued what had already been a fabulous week.

“The crowd was good,” Panucci said. “I had a great time. They were into it.”

Along with is Harley material, Panucci also revisited some of the Hooters-centric jokes that marked his early sets. In recent months he’s revisited those jokes, refining them into a more cohesive bit.

He enjoys the challenge of adapting his old jokes to his recently revised comedic sensibilities.

“I like goofy stuff,” Panucci said. “The old misdirection. to me, is always a really funny thing because if you do it correctly they can’t see it coming. And if you don’t do it incorrectly they know what’s coming and it falls flat.”

A drummer at age 10 and a member of a punk rock band at 13, Panucci still enjoys pounding rhythms. But the high of playing music no longer holds the same spot in his life.

Maybe because it’s newer – or maybe because the responsibility to entertain falls solely on him – Panucci currently gets more of a thrill from stand-up.

“It is more fitting for my personality,” Panucci said. “I love music, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t stay at home and practice the drums. I write comedy as often as I can and I rework it. And that’s like an obsession to me.”

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