From our sponsors at Helium:
Thursday, October 11, 2012
8 p.m. | $18-$23 | 21+
For tickets and more information, please visit www.heliumcomedy.com/portland or call 888-64-FUNNY.
Helium Comedy Club
1510 Southeast 9th Avenue Portland, OR 97214
(888) 643-8669 | More Info: www.heliumcomedy.com/portland/
Joey “Coco” Diaz was born in Cuba, and raised in North Bergen, New Jersey. He lost his parents at age 15, and was taken in by a series of North Bergen families, including two police officers named Robert Bender and Carmine Balzano, but frequent run-ins with the law, including his involvement in fights, kept him moving among a total of four families. Diaz says a total of 20 Italian and Irish families attempted to assist him, such as local funeral home owner Anthony Vanieri. Diaz explains that their sense of humor greatly influenced his own career, which had its earliest beginnings as a student in North Bergen High School.
Diaz left North Bergen for the University of Colorado at Boulder on June 1, 1985, but his academic life was interrupted when he was arrested for kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for which he served time in prison. His standup comedy career began in prison, where he gained popularity by improvising material in front of Thursday night Movie Night audiences after the projector malfunctioned. After he was released from prison, Diaz moved to Los Angeles, where he began performing in front of open mike audiences.
After his career spread to other venues, he accepted an offer from a CBS talent scout to work on a television pilot. Although the series was not purchased, the visibility it gave him helped his career, garnering him appearances in Law & Order and in films like Spider-Man and the 2004 film Taxi. His most visible role was in the 2005 film The Longest Yard and as a prison convict named Joey the Candy Bar Criminal, a part he played in four 2007 episodes of My Name is Earl, and which he obtained on the basis of his own past in prison. That same year he also appeared as “Joey Karate”, doing humorous promotions for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in California, clips of which can be found on YouTube. His subsequent roles include the 2009 TV movie The Dog Who Saved Christmas, and 2011 appearances in “Scarlet Ribbons”, an episode of The Mentalist and the film Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.
Diaz is also a frequent guest on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and currently co-hosts a weekly podcast with Felicia Michaels named Beauty and Da Beast. In 2010, Diaz made an appearance with Rogan on the radio program of Alex Jones. As of 2011, Diaz was working on a documentary chronicling his life in North Bergen, and how he was influenced by the various people who took care of him following his parents’ death, to whom the film is made in tribute.