“It took me a while to adjust to Minnesota when my family moved here when I was 13,” said local stand-up comedian Joe Cocozzello, “but now I love it. Still, coming from New York, you can’t help but notice how different people are here.”

“Everyone knows that Minnesotans are passive aggressive — you could be in the same room as your worst enemy in the world and never know it. Back east people are aggressive aggressive. No one waits for someone to leave the room before talking about them. Sure, that leads to a lot of fights, but everyone always makes up and become friends again.”


“I’ve adapted pretty well to Minnesota life, though. I’m buying a pair of cross-country skis, and I’m getting into ice fishing. I’ll never park my Cadillac on the ice, though — I’m afraid it will break, and I don’t think my insurance covers underwater salvage.”

“Maybe I’m just not a fan of ice in general. A couple of years ago I slipped on some and did a Dick Van Dyke pratfall. One minute I was just walking on the sidewalk, something I’m normally very good at, and the next I was watching my feet in slow motion as they were flailing over my head. When I came to I discovered that my ankle could bend in an entirely new direction.”

“Now my ankle has so much metal in it, it looks like the aisle of a Home Depot. That makes it very sensitive. The other day at Target a guy clipped me with a shopping cart, and I mean just barely grazed me, and I went down like a soccer player faking an injury. The poor guy, he didn’t do anything wrong, and there I was trying to console him while I was the one writhing in pain next to a shelf full of toilet paper.”

“You gotta take that stuff with a grain of salt. That’s how you get good comedy material, by appreciating all the crazy stuff going on around you, even when you’re on the bad end of it. Look, we’re all hurtling around space on a little rock — if that’s not the right time to find something to laugh about, when is?”

“You want a clean joke for your magazine? Let me think…nope…nope…no definitely not that one. I don’t know, I work blue most of the time. I mean, I could do a clean act, but I can’t understand who would want to. To me comedy is about bringing up the issues that we can’t address in everyday company. As soon as it’s safe, there’s no point in joking about it.”

“What I love most about this job is touring, especially performing at comedy festivals. There’s nothing better than being one of 100 comedians to descend on a town — it feels like I get to be part of a plague. I love hanging out with everyone, and I’ll take any I chance I can to go somewhere warm in the winter. It’s good for my ankles.”

“The best comedy club in the Twin Cities? Royal Comedy Theatre in Hopkins, hands down, which happens to be where I perform the most. It’s small and intimate, the closest thing in town you can get to that classic, dingy, smoky comedy club atmosphere, but without the dinge and the smoke, of course. You really ought to come and see me perform there sometime.”

Go and see Joe perform there sometime. He’s also fully in favor of telling jokes wherever people would like, so long as he’s paid. Visit Joe’s website joecoco.wixsite.com/joecoco to learn more about his unique brand of comedy, or just Google his name. How many guys named Cocozzello in Minnesota can there possibly be?


By David Scheller