TAMPA — Steven Lolli isn’t writing for the mainstream.
He is a comedian who is “writing for people who want to knock their bosses’ teeth out.”
Lolli will be performing his stand-up comedy at the Carrollwood Cultural Center around 10 p.m. Aug. 30. And depending on the crowd, he’ll either be mainstream or filthy. He can go both ways.
The main thing is, he said, he loves looking for stupidity, and nothing is free from abuse once he gets on a roll.
After all, like all comedians, he takes his fair share of abuse. Heckling comes with the territory.
But taking on stupidity is how Lolli, a Gaither High graduate, is making a living as a comic and a writer.
“I was boring at Gaither,” Lolli said. “I was so afraid I would bomb. I did it all for sex and it sometimes worked.”
Lolli made it out of Gaither alive and started acting, then decided to combine acting with comedy. He grew up on Woody Allen and Peter Sellers, but thought his own work was terrible.
“I was bored and just messing around with comedy,” Lolli said. “I didn’t know what I was doing. I envisioned myself as a cool black guy even though I was a non-cool Jewish guy.”
The road to being a stand-up comedian wasn’t going to be easy, but Lolli didn’t care. He wasn’t going to wear a suit and tie for the rest of his life, so he left Tampa for Los Angeles.
“Stand-up is like a rocket and I decided to see if it would take off,” Lolli said of his move. “It’s like a rocket that can shoot into the ground or make it all the way into outer space. You are playing with explosives.”
Lolli has no idea what he will bring to the Center. He loves to be dirty but measures the audience. His comic interests range from Peter Sellers to Eddie Murphy to just about everyone else, but he tends to go raw when he feels the audience is right.
“I like to make people uncomfortable,” Lolli said. “I am not out there to be lovable. If I can find anything stupid about you I will find the evidence. I can tell. It comes natural and I can find stupidity anywhere. That’s what I go with and it seems to work.”