Kip Addotta is an American comedian notable for often being featured on The Tonight Show and the syndicated show Make Me Laugh, among many others. He was also featured on The Dr. Demento Show radio show for his songs, “Wet Dream” ” “Big Cock Roach” “Life in the Slaw Lane”, a series of fish and vegetable malapropisms that, together, form a storyline. In 1989 he released “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus.” In 1995 Kip Addotta released a DVD, “Live From Maximum Security!”
Kip Addotta was born in Rockford, Illinois to Frank and Josephine Addotta. He is the father of three children: Victor, Kathy and Frank.
ADDOTTA SHOOTS FROM THE HIP,
By Larry Kart – The Chicago Tribune
Today almost every young stand-up comic wants to be thought of as both funny and hip-if only because he knows that he is speaking to people who have come to believe that if something is both funny and hip, the act of laughing at it will make them hip, too.
But Kip Addotta, who is at Zanies through Sunday, doesn’t play that game. Instead, like Lenny Bruce, like the early Rodney Dangerfield, like Shecky Greene to some extent, like several generations of musicians and shingles-and-siding salesmen, Addotta seems to be a genuine hipster – a man whose vision of life was always askew, not a guy who has cooked up a set of attitudes that he thinks might be cute.
Actually, at 43, Addotta is almost a generation younger than any other hipster comic who comes to mind. But he has all the traits – the most crucial, for my taste, being the sense that everything he says arises from some reservoir of private experience, which he is willing to share with the audience but which he also is determined to husband and protect.
That is, while Addotta knows that he is up there to sell his jokes – just as those salesmen know that their job is to hustle siding, and the dance-band tenor saxophonist knows that before the night is over he’s going to have to play “Misty” – he sells those jokes in such a way that he, and we, know that he’s selling them.
Now there’s a hip way to do that, which was popularized by Steve Martin and is currently practiced each weeknight by David Letterman – an ironically coy and cool distancing of oneself from the very idea of joke-telling, not to mention the whole climate of show business.
But the hipster style, which Addotta embodies, is quite different. Hot rather than cool, it wholeheartedly embraces the greasy contradictions of the entertainer’s role – insisting that there is no way to forget that show business is still a business, no matter how much one might want to dance away from that uncomfortable fact.
So in the area of honesty, Addotta has a running head start. And his graceful, rather deliberately paced and slightly sing-song delivery adds to the air of conviction that helps him sell his stuff.
When, for example, Addotta says, “Never snicker at the judge,” one is fairly sure that he once did just that and lived to regret it. And even though it’s unlikely that the next two jokes in that particular string are based on personal experience (“Never go up to the queen of England and say, ‘How much?” and “Never pick a stranger’s scab”), somehow they too feel real.
Much of what Addota says can’t be printed here, so you’ll have to trust me that most of it is very funny and very different from what most of today’s young comics have to offer. Certainly his line about those self-righteous citizens “who have one ashtray in the house . . . and it’s shaped like a lung.”