Comedian records special in Burlington

Not only is this comedian hilarious, but he is philanthropic, generous, open-minded and holds close ties to Burlington.

Mike Finoia recorded his live album Nov. 12 at the Vermont Comedy Club.

Finoia quickly captured the minds of Vermonters by promoting the legalization of marijuana.

He took his audience through a journey of engaging topics such as the wonders of marijuana dispensaries, marriage and the woes of public restrooms. There was also an abundance of self-deprecating humor, and the crowd of white, middle-class, middle-aged liberals received his material very positively.

Finoia always wanted to be a writer, and used to believe that comedians were from another planet, he said. Although it was nerve-racking at first, he became accustomed to this new way of life over time.

“It’s always hard approaching something as an outsider, especially since there’s no formal training,” he said. “At my first show, I legitimately had an out of body experience.It was amazing. So I gave up my well-paying job and followed a path in comedy.”

Finoia gains inspiration for material from his life and cultural trends to make his show just as personal as it is relatable to his audience.

“I like to tmikefinoia2_colorake a look at the other side of the coin,” he said. “Perception is reality, which is why I love the people in Burlington. Everyone comes to the show with an open mind.”

Finoia’s live show proved this mentality to be true. He connected with his audience so casually that his performance almost seemed like a conversation.

Finoia was frequently asking the crowd questions, segwaying into different topics by using their responses. His quick wit, somewhat controversial topic selection and genuine honesty are what defined his show.

This performance was unique since it was the first album recorded live at the Vermont Comedy Club.

Although Finoia grew up in Connecticut and currently lives in New York, he chose to record this album in Burlington mainly because he fell in love with the city at a young age.

“I used to vacation to Lake Willoughby every summer, which became a home away from home,” he said. “I’m excited to record this album here for that very reason. I won’t ever leave Burlington.”

This album is also significant to Finoia because he utilized all local artists and companies to advertise and produce the show, he said.

The advertising poster was done by a local Burlington artist Bruno Tracy, and the recording and production was done by Tank Studios. Finoia said he plans to donate a portion of the ticket sales to the Waterwheel Foundation, which supports local Vermont charities.

Finoia embraces his thoughtfulness and his deep understanding of life. He lives by the words of his artistic role model, Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead, he said.

”I just want to move consciousness ahead and live a simple uncluttered life,” he said.

The live show will be available on his website.