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Smashing The Apple

South Florida comics invade New York for a week of comedy that culminates tonight with a show headlined by Mark Normand.

by Chuck king
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NEW YORK – South Florida comics are pulling a reverse snowbird – at least for one week – and much of New York is laughing.

That’s the desired effect.

At a time when many New Yorkers descend upon the Sunshine State to escape northeastern weather, a mass of Palm Beach and Broward comics are proving to Big Apple residents that there’s plenty of funny to be found in Florida.

“I love seeing them come up here and seeing their talent from Florida be able to translate to New York,” said New York resident and fellow comic Zach McGovern – an adopted step-brother of the South Florida comedy scene.

What started as a one-show, major production for David Sadman and Nadeem Awad quickly blossomed into a mini tour of New York.

As part of his Sadman Comedy Productions venture, David Sadman booked a show headlined by Mark Normand at the Salty Dog in Brooklyn, blocks from the home where Sadman grew up.

When McGovern learned that Sadman and Awad were coming to New York, he helped them get time on some other shows earlier in the week, then aided in booking and additional show at the Barrow St. Ale House in Greenwich Village.

Everywhere the group went New York comics questioned the vibrancy of the South Florida comedy scene. With every performance, the South Floridians emphatically answered those questions.

“I think a lot of New York comics think that New York is the only place to do good comedy,” McGovern said. “I figured out a long time ago, during COVID, it’s not the only place to do comedy. South Florida has a great up-and-coming scene from West Palm to Miami.”

Originally comics like Jay Guy, Steve Lamm and Zach Bugarin were planning to make the trip to attend Wednesday’s Mark Normand show, but the new bookings provided opportunities for them to perform, too.

“I’m so happy to show up and be part of something that I wouldn’t generally get to be a part of because friends of mine have put themselves in a position to put shows together and book big guys,” said comic Steve Lamm, fresh off killer Monday night performance at the Grisly Pear in Greenwich Village. “That’s pretty cool.”

As the trip progressed, more and more South Florida comics emerged from the New York concrete to take part in the invasion.

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Tuesday’s Barrow St. show included the five original comics, McGovern, plus Charly Esturilho, Chris Roe and former South Florida comic Danny Braff. The group packed the intimate, newly re-opened Barrow St. room.

“We have one of the strongest scenes, comic-for-comic, in the country,” Awad said of South Florida. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Nights have been spent on or near a stage, including catching a show at the Comedy Cellar that included Mike Vecchione, Gary Gulman and Colin Quinn. During the day, the comics explored New York, including a trip to Central Park.

“I kind of feel like we’re a big corporation doing a bonding weekend with the crew,” Sadman said. “It’s fantastic. We’re having a great time. We’re all doing what we love.”

The entire week climaxes Wednesday night with the highly anticipated Normand show at the Salty Dog.

“The crescendo of the trip,” Sadman said. “I’m very much looking forward to it. That’s what prompted all this to begin with. It’s going to be the cherry on the sundae.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. event, which Sadman, are $25 via Eventbrite, $30 at the door. Awad and McGovern will co-feature.

Then Normand takes the stage.

“We get to merge South Florida comics with pretty much a guy on a climb,” Guy said. “He’s on a comedy climb. I’ve heard a lot of people say amazing things about him – that he’s the next big thing, the best writer. He’s going to be one of the greats.”

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