Moody McCarthy has always loved listening to jokes.
When he was younger, he would watch “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” waiting for a comic to take to the stage.
“I grew up watching Johnny Carson and was most excited when a comedian came out,” he said. “But I didn’t get the nerve to try telling [jokes] myself until my mid-20s, after my side-gig playing guitar in a cover band dried up.”
Once he started performing, McCarthy did not want to stop. He plays a couple of shows per week and feels like the more he is onstage, the more relaxed he is the next time around.
“If I go too long (like half a week) without performing, it gets scary again,” McCarthy said. “But if you’re onstage constantly, it becomes less uncomfortable.”
Although he started his career in his home town of Syracuse, he moved to Astoria 15 years ago. According to his bio, he lives in the neighborhood with his wife and his “step-dog.”
Living in such a well-known region has helped him out with comedy bits, as there is less he has to explain to the
“I’m always surprised at how many people both in and out of NYC are familiar with it. That helps comedy-wise because
I don’t have to explain the place,” he said. “I do a joke about how safe it is (“If there’s any yelling at night that means
Greece scored”) that is based on a true story – the only time I’ve heard a lot of commotion is during the World Cup.”
Having worked as a comedian for 21 years, McCarthy feels his style has changed to become more conversational.
“I’ve become more biographical and less concerned with racing to the punch line. And my forehead is bigger,” he
said. “The best feeling is when a new joke works. It’s always fun to tell the first handful of times because it’s like I’m hearing it, too.”
One of the highlights of McCarthy’s career was when he performed on “The Late Show With David Letterman” in July 2012. Letterman is one of the comic’s inspirations.
“My favorite moment (don’t tell my wife) of my life was being on Letterman last year,” he said. “That was an unspoken goal since I started in 1992. He (along with Bill Murray) is the entertainer that’s defined what’s funny to me.”
To find out if McCarthy is performing near you, visit www.moodymccarthy.com. In the meantime though, here is one
of his favorite jokes.
“Me and my wife met online, but we didn’t know how our parents would react to that, so we told them we met at the
University of Phoenix.”