What did you win?
The grand prize was $1,000, a free trip to Cancun and a spot at a comedy club in New York City.
What did you study in college?
I studied communications, with a minor in Italian, which I haven’t used a lot.
When did you start to realize that other people find you funny?
I went to a Nets game — formerly the New Jersey Nets, now the Brooklyn Nets — and the whole game I was making smart comments about the game. At one point, my friend Tim said, you sound like you’re doing standup comedy, you should write this down.
Was it challenging to get onstage at first?
I’ve always been very confident. I went to a comedy club in New Jersey, and it was well-received, and then from that point forward, I got more confident onstage, my style and stage presence started to develop. I realized I had a knack for that, from the standpoint of knowing how to be comfortable onstage and engage the audience.
What comedians did you like growing up, and whom do you like now?
I grew up with parents who were into comedy, more so in terms of television, and I grew up watching a lot of Monty Python, a lot of Seinfeld, Cosby. A lot of the greats were instilled in my brain early on. As I got to high school and got my own taste in comedy, I liked Chris Rock, Dane Cook, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K.
How do you develop your material?
My process is not like everybody else. Some comedians are so prolific, they’ll wake up and say, I’ll write for three hours. My process is, anything I see, hear, observe, I write it down immediately. Even if I don’t know whether it will turn into anything. Then I take that amorphous idea onstage, and figure out what the punch line is onstage.