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Joey Diaz dishes on Buffalo wings and pierogies

It doesn’t take much to get Joey “Coco” Diaz going.

During a recent phone interview, the R-rated comedic storyteller fondly recalled his Buffalo connections, from prison to pierogi. “I always thought Buffalo was a very cool city,” he said. “It’s my type of comedy town because it’s a blue collar town.”

Diaz hosts “The Church of What’s Happening Now” podcast, often appears on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast and is set to guest star on Comedy Central’s “This is Not Happening” and IFC’s “Maron.” He returns to Helium Comedy Club for shows April 21-23.

Question: When was the first time you tried comedy?

Answer: I got in trouble and locked up (in prison). One day a week, they had movie night (shown) on a projector, but the projector broke one night. I got on top of a table and started (messing) around, saying things to people. I would just goof around. It was something I had done as a kitchen manager as people were walking through line. It  became something that transferred to the stage.

There was a kid from Buffalo, who was a librarian (and) really smart, but he was in there for killing his wife and the mailman. One day he brought me a notebook and said, “This is for when you write jokes.” I said, “I don’t even write jokes.” He said, “So when you go up there, you just talk?” I go, “Yeah.” He said, “Listen, when you get out of here, you better do comedy or I’ll kill you.”

Q: Are you telling your stories on the podcast differently than when you tell your stories on stage?

A: When I go on the podcast, I never plan to tell a story. I go into something, and all of a sudden, you remember something and it becomes new to you. Sometimes I tell those stories on stage, and sometimes I don’t. There are stories I can tell on stage that can make you cry, because I always say that a good comic can make you laugh, but a great comic can make you cry. The podcasting and stage stuff is a little different.

Q: What are you looking forward to doing in Buffalo when you’re not on stage?

A: First things first: a little beef on weck. I don’t know the name of the place, but my buddy Steve picks me up and takes me to a place where they put horseradish on there like (crazy) and it’s all over but the shouting. Then we go to a different place – not the Anchor Bar because it’s all commercial now – to get some wings, and they’re huge. You’d get on a plane right now if you could see how huge the wings are. They’re sick.

Thirty-one years I’ve been going to Buffalo. I’ve even gone to a Polish wedding. I had 52 pierogies, those sauerkraut ones? I (was in the bathroom) until Wednesday. The sauerkraut ones are my favorite. And then they made me breakfast with the eggs and the sausage. Those Polish (people) have been fatting me up over the years.


Who: Joey Diaz

When: 8 p.m. April 21, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. April 22 and 23

Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.

Cost: $17-$33


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