From Hampton to prime time and back

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Jimmy Dunn returns to his roots

By Mike Bisceglia

Seacoast Scene, July 16-22, 2015

[The following article is courtesy of the Seacoast Scene]
Jimmy Dunn

HAMPTON - Jimmy Dunn is on a mission to make the world laugh one joke at a time, and . . . he's succeeding!

"It would have been great if The McCarthys had gone on for several seasons, but I had a chance to do what so many comedians can only dream of doing. And, hey, my time on the tube opened up so many doors for me, I know I'll be back sooner rather than later," said Dunn.

Jimmy Dunn grew up on Hampton Beach. Years ago, he could be found bussing tables, washing dishes, or working the slot car track at the Casino.

"I was even a valet at the Ashworth. I would do anything for a buck," recalled Dunn. "Then I had a chance to perform in front of 200 people at the Casino, and I was hooked. Shortly, I had my first paying gig at a dirty bar in Gloucester . . . well, not really. I worked for 16 weeks and was paid in fried clams and beer. I packed on the pounds, but I had fun, and I learned."

Jimmy watched and learned from every comedian he has come to know. Since then, Jimmy finds time each day to write jokes. He is constantly honing his craft in search of the ultimate joke.

"I love getting laughs," mused Dunn, "but I always try to tweak a joke for even more laughter. Getting a great audience laugh is almost as being recognized when I'm not performing. I love when people see me in a store or on the street. They might say, "Hey! You're that guy from that program on TV, right? Oh, man, you crack me up" We shake hands. They didn't know my name, but they made my day."

"I began to play comedy clubs in the region. This led to a five year gig on cruise ships, and that enabled me to play all over the world in cities I had only dreamed of seeing."

"One of the true highlights of my career," said Dunn, "was taking my Dad to Las Vegas. I made him stand in front of the electronic marquee and wait for my name to come around. I saw that proud smile light up his face. It was a true golden moment!"

One of the real perks of performing, according to Dunn, is becoming true friends with others who share the same passion for the laugh.

"I've been blessed to come to know so many wonderful comedians, and many of them can't wait to come here to perform. About two dozen of them stay at my house stay at my house, eat my food and drink my beer, but I still love them. The upcoming Hampton Beach Comedy Festival will be our sixth! Each year, we draw larger crowds than the year before. This year, we'll have Tony V, who was featured on Seinfeld; Kelly MacFarland, a contestant on Last Comic Standing; Matt D, who was featured on Conan; Dave Russo, who was on NESN's Dirty Water; and many, many more. People coming out to this event won't be disappointed."

Jimmy Dunn

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