Paul Venier started in a well-known band, 'Stark Naked' in the '70s and had an album on RCA that climbed to number 6. Pretty impressive for a boy in his teens from Long Island, New York. They were one of the very first show groups to come along, using fire and extensive lighting, way before anyone else did. Stark Naked was the forerunner of groups like Kiss and Alice Cooper. They toured the country to sold-out shows wherever they performed. Surprisingly enough, due to their sound, most disc jockeys and fans alike thought they were from England. Well, being young and naive to the music business, while they were touring their then manager was stealing all the money they were sending back home and by the time they had returned the manager and all of the money was gone.
A rude awakening for the young lads from Levittown, New York. Disheartened with the business, Paul quit the business for one year. This would be a major turning point for Paul. To hear him tell it, leaving show business for that period was the best thing that he had ever done. He had been performing since he was little and had always taken it for granted that that was what he did. Interestingly, the album has recently been re-released and can be found at Overstock.com. Just go into their search and put in Stark Naked. The cover is a picture of a face sculpture. Very Strange indeed! My favorite song on the CD is 'Wasted Time', a great ballad. I think you can listen to the songs before buying it also just to see if you like it or not. Nice Feature!
After being away from it for a year, he then realized how much he really loved and needed to perform and swore that he would never quit again no matter how difficult it became because that was what was in his heart to do and nothing would ever change that. The band that was slated to follow in the steps of Stark Naked and that was managed by the same management company, Salty Dog, was just breaking up and three of the members of Stark Naked and two of the members of Salty Dog decided to combine their talents and continue as one force. They kept the name Salty Dog and toured for a year straight, from Florida and the south to Detroit and Canada and everywhere in between before landing on the New Jersey Shore in the summer of 1976. That would be their new home!
They had so much fun at the Jersey Shore that they decided to rent a house there and no matter where they were touring they would always be sure to play exclusively on the Shore every summer. They performed at all the hot places there like The Stone Pony, The Osprey, Giulio's, The Fast Lane, and the original Rip Tide (5 beers for a dollar) along with their peers, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Salvation and everyone else that would come to town in the summer. The house was a famous restauranteur, Toots Shoor's house. It was a mansion in Elberon, New Jersey and perfect for the renown band. Salty Dog was gaining national prominence and was very close to record deals many times but the inner circle was crumbling and even though they did record many of their great songs, nothing was ever officially released to the public. Due to irreconcilable differences and other matters, Paul left Salty Dog in September of 1979 and proceeded on a solo career.
In June of 1980, Paul began performing at a well-known restaurant in Lavallette, NJ, Ye Olde School Inn. It was there that yet another turning point was occurring. Paul played there every weekend for three years and what started out as a nice quiet restaurant with friends and family to come and watch Paul perform songs and ad-lib with them, quickly turned into one of the hottest nightspots on the Jersey Shore. Paul would perform a 3-hour show starting at 10:00 every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday without a break and would play a baby grand piano that was surrounded by a horseshoe bar. People would start getting there at 8:00 just to be assured a seat and wait until the craziness would begin. That is where the comedy started to become a staple of Paul's show and his interaction with his audience would soon become so prominent in his performances. Everyone would sing along and laugh and just have a fantastic time when they would go and the crowds began to grow so rapidly that people would start to be turned away and lines would form outside to get in.
Around 1984 Rascal's Comedy Club opened in West Orange, NJ and the owner Mark Magnusson asked Paul if he would like to do his own one-man show there every Thursday night due to the prompting of regulars Bob Bucella & Ric Roe. Paul agreed and he appeared there every Thursday for seven months. They didn't have electronic pianos on the market then and so Paul used the old upright spinet piano on Rascals' stage. The piano had to be set on ashtrays for the pedals to work and was so out of tune all the time that Paul began doing more and more comedy to compensate for the sound. Now his show had become comedy with music mixed in. A complete turnaround in Paul's show and yet still another turning point. Club owners from other comedy clubs and agents began asking Paul to headline other clubs and Paul became a major act in comedy clubs throughout the country. Rascal's opened another comedy club on the Jersey Shore in Ocean Township, NJ and it became Paul's favorite club in the whole country, due to the setup. Paul has said that it is the very best setup of any club he has ever worked and that says a lot looking at his credentials. The club holds 250 people and no one has a bad seat and is very close to the stage, which is perfect for a crowd worker like Paul.
Paul is an act that you'll never forget if you have seen live and one that you'll absolutely love for years to come. He is currently working on getting more into acting again and recently finished a CD of his own serious music. The CD is titled 'Better Late Than Never'.
Thanks for showing interest in Paul. He really does appreciate his fans and friends very much and puts his whole heart and soul into making them happy. It is, after all, what he lives for!!
HAS PERFORMED WITH:
Don Rickles (on the Tonight Show), Howie Mandell, Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, Dom Irerra, Larry David, Jay Leno, Jackie Mason, Jethro Tull, Lou Reed, Cheap Trick, Leslie West, and many more...
REGULAR PERFORMER AT:
Borgata Hotel & Casino, Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City & Las Vegas, Caroline's, The Improv, Catch A Rising Star, and Rascal's
The Tonight Show
RASCAL'S COMEDY HOUR:
Was the Musical Director and a Comedian/Actor/Writer for seven years with such guests as Sam Kinison, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Eddie Murphy, Rosie O'Donnell, Bob Nelson, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Belzer, Gilbert Gottfried, Denis Leary, and many more upon request
Won 2012's "MOST HILARIOUS COMEDY VARIETY ACT" by LA Comedy Awards!
"When it comes to originality, performance impact, musicianship and non-stop comedy, Paul Venier is a powerful entertainer."
- Regis Philbin
"When I first met Paul he was a musician, and we did a little improvisation on stage together. I knew immediately after the skit that he was a natural comedian and a born entertainer."
- Don Rickles
"Paul Venier is one of the best entertainers alive"
- LA Comedy Awards
"Paul Venier, the aptly named 'Comedy Tornado', defies all forms of shorthand. In fact, his delivery, both on and offstage, is so rapid that Robin Williams in his coke-fueled heyday would be hard-pressed to keep up. Most impressive, perhaps, is the fact that he maintains this frenetic pace throughout Springsteen-like marathons. It is difficult to imagine anyone feeling stiffed after experiencing 'The Comedy Tornado'!"
- Michael Lee, Good Times Magazine
"This Man is a One-Man Comedy Tornado!"
- Norman LaFoe, Agent and President of Tru Circle Comedy
"Wow!! To say Paul Venier has an abundance of energy and talent would be a tremendous understatement. He does not let an ounce of talent go to waste."
- Ron Messina, HIP Magazine
"The Jersey Shore has produced many talented people, but one of the Shore's most colorful entertainers is Paul Venier."
- Asbury Park Press, NJ
"The show maintained a rapid-fire pace for a solid 2 hours. There was rarely a moment when the audience wasn't laughing!"
- Alan M. Huscher, The Collegian - La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA.
"When the show was over I had pains in my stomach. Never have I quite laughed like that before."- Tom Green, The Independent Paper
- Kean College, Union, NJ