A keen, funny observation makes John Caparulo’s day. The same can be said for fans of the unpredictable comedian. “Every time I go to a restaurant I hear, ‘What would you like to drink?’ Then I say, ‘Can I have a Coke?’ The waitress says, ‘Hmm, is Pepsi OK?’ Then I say, ‘No, is Canadian money OK?’ ”
It’s a great, relatable bit .
“As soon as I thought of that joke I got giddy,” Caparulo said by phone from his Las Vegas home. “That bit is so simple but it’s based on something that really ticks me off. It’s crazy. It’s petty and ridiculous, but it sets me off. When I do that bit, the audience gets behind me like we’re at a political rally. But we’re all just ticked off about soda pop.”
Caparulo, 47, who will perform Friday and Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club, is adept at finding humor in the mundane. Caparulo also jokes about what it’s like to be a married, middle-aged father of a 7-year -old daughter.
“My daughter recently said that Pepsi and Coke taste the same,” Caparulo said. “I said, ‘No they don’t,’ and, ‘Are you trying to tick me off?’ But things are good with us. She loves playing video games and is great at Frogger. She’s right next to me, so I have to lie.”
If Caparulo’s daughter, Madden, is a decent video- game player, it would make sense because her gamer dad named her after his favorite pastime: “Madden Football.”
“She has a cool name,” Caparulo said. “She likes it. She’s named after a guy who changed the way football is telecast.”
Caparulo enjoys football, but you won’t catch him watching a minute of the World Series. “Baseball would be really interesting if it were football,” Caparulo said. “I threw out the first pitch in Washington (D.C.) and had great seats and I left after the third inning. I just can’t get into it. I can watch baseball documentaries but not baseball.”
Caparulo is happy with his standup career and doesn’t care about film or television . “I’m fine the way things are now,” Caparulo said. “Early in my career I got one of those (sitcom) deals. I did this bit about working at a golf course. I got a deal. But then some executive saw ‘School of Rock’ and thought it would be a good idea if kids were part of the show. How does that work with a foul-mouthed guy on a golf course? It didn’t.”
Nothing bothers Caparulo, even if a celebrated humorist rips him off. Caparulo claims that Bill Maher stole a joke from him.
“Bill Maher ripped off a bit I did about deer hunting,” Caparulo said. “It’s about how a friend said I should go deer hunting. It’ll change my life. It’s an amazing sport. I said, ‘For something to be called a sport, both teams should know that it’s a game.’ Maher ripped it off verbatim. One of his writers must have seen me at a club and gave him the joke. That drove me nuts since I was a lot younger when that happened.”
However, the well is deep for Caparulo, who isn’t bothered when his bits are appropriated.
“I just keep creating,” Caparulo said. “When I was younger, I felt so violated. When you come up with something good, it’s like a piece of gold. You develop it and you hone it and you can’t help but get mad when someone steals your material, but that’s the business.”
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