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Ridgewood Comic, 21, Runs The Show At Manhattan Club

Wes Hauptman, of Ridgewood, has never performed stand-up comedy in New Jersey. Photo Credit: Wes Hauptman
Wes Hauptman, of Ridgewood, will perform at Gotham Comedy Club for the third time next week. Photo Credit: Wes Hauptman
"I’m not going to let [hecklers] get in the way of my set." — Wes Hauptman Photo Credit: Wes Hauptman

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Ridgewood’s Wes Hauptman says his parents treat him like a god: they don’t believe in him.

The 21-year-old standup comic was only practicing a joke he’ll tell at Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan at an Oct. 26 Emerson College Alumni Showcase that he helped organize.

“Getting to perform at Gotham is very life-affirming,” said Hauptman, whose favorite show was Comedy Central’s “Live At Gotham,” before it went off the air in 2009.

Hauptman thought his first time performing standup with his sister’s comedy troupe at Emerson went okay, until the person running the show approached him afterward and signed him up for the next three.

He spent the following summer interning at Gotham Comedy Club as a television production major and has performed there twice already.

“I like wordplay a lot,” said Hauptman, who compared his style of comedy to that of the late Mitch Hedberg. “A lot of short one-liners, stuff like that.”

Hauptman had what he described as a scarring experience when he was finally put on stage at midnight on a Tuesday to perform for an audience of three drunk people.

“They laugh about as much as you’d expect three drunk people on a Tuesday night to laugh,” said Hauptman, who’s performed in Boston, New York and Los Angeles.

Hauptman responds to hecklers with grace and equanimity by agreeing with them, he said.

“One time someone yelled ‘you suck’ and I said ‘I know,’ and kept going,” he said. “It takes the wind out of what they’re saying.

“I’m not going to let them get in the way of my set.”

Hauptman said his parents and number one supporters will be cheering him on from the audience at his show next week, "where they always are" -- even if he tells jokes about them.

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