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Bobby Collins at The Levoy

by William Sokolic

Bobby Collins earns his pay making people laugh. He’s good at making people laugh. Come to the Levoy Theatre on Saturday, November 5 and see for yourself. He’s been doing it for so long, it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else as a profession.

But like any comic on the circuit, Collins, a native New Yorker, had his share of day jobs to pay the bills in those early years, while doing standup at night. A waiter? Of course. Short order cook? Yep. Substitute history teacher. Why not?

A veep at Calvin Klein. Yeah, that Calvin Klein. Big time exec in the fashion industry…

Let Bobby tell it.

“I was working at another clothing designer for a short time then sold jewelry and then hooked up with Calvin Klein,” Collins says. “I hated the garment center. I worked at Calvin about six months all while doing stand-up at night.

“The buyers were all writing orders at the hotels at night afraid to go out in the big city. I told them I was doing standup comedy at Catch a Rising Star comedy club. They filed in there and my orders were huge. After a few months I was promoted, with more money.”

Collins could have stayed with Calvin Klein. But you knew he wouldn’t, not with a dream burning inside.

Fast forward 30 years or so, Collins is still on the comedy circuit. In all that time, comedy has not really changed, he says.

“Funny is funny. But society has changed. Comics I see are a lot more concerned with their approach to subjects such as being woke, being cancelled, racism.

“I show both sides of a subject now, whether it be politics or abortion or gun control and hopefully I can educate a side to see there are alternative ways.”

Collins knew in third grade he wanted to be a comedian.

“We were writing a composition on what we would like to be growing up. I raised my hand and asked the teacher how you spell comedian.”

Growing up poor in Queens, he absorbed the comedians his parents watched on TV: Red Skelton, Lenny Bruce, Robert Klein, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, George Carlin. “They all had different styles, but they were funny, and their messages were different.”

New York helped shape Collins’ approach to comedy. “It allowed me to show that there were all different types of people; it allowed me to display attitudes and open up people’s minds that there is a difference and that’s a good thing.”

Through precise physical timing and audience insight, Collins has honed his talents while graduating from hole-in-the-wall clubs to sold-out theaters.

What you see is what you get—Collins is the same man on and off the stage.

Collins has had the opportunity to tour with Frank Sinatra, Cher, Julio Iglesias and Dolly Parton, to name a handful. Regarded as a “comic’s comic,” he’s worked alongside friends vike Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Drew Carey, as well as many others. Rosie O’Donnell specifically requested that Bobby take over as host for Stand-Up Spotlight. He’s done Letterman and The Tonight Show with both Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno. Collins continues to add new fans of all ages.

With such skillful dissection of everyday life, he weaves uproarious storytelling with effortless flair and charisma, night after night, according to his press kit. Collins has an ability to truthfully translate the human condition. Audiences across the country relate to his comedic characterizations as he exposes the humor of day-to-day situations as well as serving up rants on world events.

Bobby Collins reflects the hilarious truth—we’re all in this together.

Bobby Collins appears November 5 at the Levoy Theatre, 126 to 130 North High Street, Millville. Showtime 8 p.m. Tickets $35-45 plus fees.