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Florentine, a huge heavy metal fan, was inspired by other stand-up comics who pushed the envelope, like Sam Kinison and Andrew Dice Clay, and he wanted to bring his own rock star persona to the comedy scene when he began performing at local clubs.
After years of playing at open mic nights and smaller venues, Florentine eventually got noticed on the Howard Stern Show when they played clips of his Terrorizing Telemarketers CD, which contained live recordings of Florentine talking telemarketers in circles until they hung up in frustration.
It’s no secret that New Jersey has been home to some of the biggest names in comedy.
Though he knew his humor was a little crude and edgy for the time, he didn’t waver from it and it finally paid off.
We can’t believe that you were up the full time.” I said, “F*** that, that was a nightmare, man.” Of course I never got paid either, that slimy booker never gave me my money. LIM: Your Terrorizing Telemarketers CD helped get you on Howard Stern’s show. JF: I was doing comedy full-time for about seven years then, barely eking out a living.
I was home during the day and I would have a comedy show at night, so when the phone would ring I would try to stay on with these telemarketers as long as I could just to torture them because I had nothing else to do.
However, despite hailing from a state that has sprouted so many celebrities, Old Bridge’s own Jim Florentine faced an uphill battle to gain respect and be noticed in the larger comedic market of New York City and, ultimately, the country.
Florentine’s first foray into professional comedy didn’t come until his mid-20s, when he was a radio deejay in Hazlet while working other jobs in the area.