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Big Laughs In Levittown

Governor’s role as local star factory

For more than 30 years, some of the most talented and most memorable comedians graced the stage right here on Long Island, at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown. “There is no comic that isn’t aware of this place or hasn’t worked here before,” said John

Trueson of Governor’s. “This is definitely in the top ten comedy venues in the country; everybody has been here,” like Jay Leno, Tracy Morgan, or Jerry Seinfeld (Massapequa), or the late Andy Kaufman (Great Neck), and the late Lenny Bruce (Mineola).

 

“People don’t realize just how many comics come from Long Island,” said Trueson.

 

Not only do the top acts take to the stage at Governor’s, but dozens have gotten their start and honed their craft like Bobby Collins (New Hyde Park), Wendy Liebman (Roslyn), Jackie Martling (East Norwich), Bob Nelson (Massapequa), Judd Apatow (Syosset), and

Carol Liefer (East Williston). 

 

Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown is the first of three full-time comedy stops, outside of New York City. In addition to Governor’s, there are two other Long Island club locations: McGuire’s in Bohemia, and The Brokerage in Bellmore. 

 

“People don’t realize we’re here and they’ll travel to Caroline’s or Gotham Comedy Club in the city, not realizing, in the comedy world, to the comics, this venue is as respected than any other,” said Trueson. 

 

Larry Samele, also of Governor’s said, “It’s exciting to provide a venue where people love to see these guys perform live; there is really no comparison.”

 

He said that Governor’s does attract comics to Long Island, that the venue is known for its great deal of history in the comedy world. 

 

“Often, if you are a comic and you are starting out...in the city, you are going to be starting out in a [closet sized] room, this big, performing for like four people,” explained Trueson. “Here, you are working in a big room for more than 200 people, which will make you better, faster.”

 

It’s happened before when well-known comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin James or Russell Peters have been passing through and given an impromptu performance for a crowd of Thursday night regulars.  

 

“We still have the classics, as well as those comics who are on their way up,” said Trueson.

 

The club also hosts fundraising events, bachelor/bachelorette parties, children’s comedy shows, cocktail hours, and a dinner menu. 

 

Open mic is held regularly, as well as variety shows and private events. 

 

Governor’s is open Thursday through Sunday with regular showtimes of 8 p.m. on Thursdays, 8 and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays. 

 

Upcoming headliner comics include: Nore Davis, Adam Ferrera, John Fisch, Vinny Guadagnino, Ryan Hamilton, and Rosie O’Donnell.

 

Governor’s Comedy Club is located at 90 Division Avenue, (located behind Tri-County Flea Market Shopping Plaza on Hempstead Turnpike) in Levittown. Visit www.govs.com or call 516-731-0254.

News

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com