Humor for the holidays

Try this post-Thanksgiving night of comedy at the M.V. Film Center on Saturday.

From left: Marty Nadler, Gary Marino, and Charlie Nadler from a previous event. —Courtesy Charlie Nadler

We’re laughing more on the Island, thanks to a comedy producer from Cape Cod, Gary Marino. Dig it! — as Lenny Bruce would have started this thread — Marino has brought funny shows to us, the first airing at the comedy lounge over the Barn, Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs, with a run-up following the pandemic, when people were at least a little willing — with or without their masks — to venture into theaters again, and in this case the venturing occurred at the M.V. Film Center, at the Tisbury Marketplace. And here another purveyor of live comedy must be hailed, our own Richard Paradise, who got the projectors — or whatever they use these days — up and running with a few choice movies that provoked some of us into providing what the English call “bums in seats.” Then Paradise, grokking that not so many Islanders cared to venture into the not-so-fetid air of theaters for movies alone, went straight to live shows, preferably comedy shows, many of them produced by aforementioned Gary Marino.

I happen to have a personal stake in all of this, being related to two of the prime comics Marino and Paradise have presented to full houses, namely my comedian son Charlie Nadler, Island native, formerly of Hollywood and New York, now living with his wife Cary outside North Adams in the Berkshires, and my beloved ex-husband, Marty Nadler, at whom we’ll hurl laurels in a moment.

This coming show’s headliner is none other than Chris Zito, who’s shared his idée fixe (it means fixed idea or obsession) about family — well, who among us hasn’t an idée fixe about family, hence causing us to happily chortle about it? Zito for the past 30 years has cracked jokes about this subject with comedy fans and radio listeners all over the U.S. He’s a big deal on the Boston comedy scene, and as indicated, a favorite New England radio personality and an actor. Dig it! to again borrow from Lenny, he’s appeared in movies with Sigourney Weaver, Larry David, and Julia Stiles. His standup has been featured on Comedy Central, MTV, USA Network, A&E, and NESN. Zito expresses his love of family — hang on, is love of family synonymous with an idée fixe? — through an autobiographical romp of the trials and tribs and humor-howls of marriage and raising kids. He’s also the host of his own morning radio show, weekday mornings on Mix 93.1 in Springfield and 96.1 SRD in Worcester, and on the iHeart radio app. Finally, as if all the above were not enough for showcasing one’s family idée fixe, he’s also the protagonist of the podcast “Dad Like It’s Your Job.”

Oh man! I can’t wait for his live performance on Nov. 25!

Not that I’m not also looking forward to the second up at bat, who is none other than my own beloved ex-husband, Marty Nadler. You’ve heard of him, right? So Nadler is, according to Marino, Martha’s Vineyard’s favorite comic, having been a resident here for decades, and with a talent for getting right up in your face. Nadler was a writer and producer in Hollywood, where he supervised many of the classic TV shows we all loved and grew up with, including “The Odd Couple,” “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Chico and the Man,” and “Perfect Strangers.” (Along the line he married me, which simply means I can vouch for these various credits, among many others.) At a certain point we had to pick between the two coasts, because bicoastal living is a bore and a big, fat financial burden. We chose Martha’s Vineyard, and down the line Nadler acted and served as on-set writer in a bunch of big flicks, including “Pretty Woman” and “Valentine’s Day.” (Next time you run into him, ask him about his botched opportunity to kiss Julia Roberts.) Nadler’s greatest joy is performing standup comedy, which preceded all his body of work when he started out at the New York Improv with fellow unknowns such as Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, David Brenner, and Richard Lewis. Nadler frequently performs with son Charlie, who happened to be booked for this upcoming event. Booked on another stellar show? No, indeed, after Thanksgiving he and his wife Cary need to race back to their two cats, Matzah and Tank. Charlie reveals, “Sometimes cats take precedence over comedy.” Lenny would dig that too.

Which brings us to the ringleader of comedy on the Cape and Islands, and everywhere in-between. Gary Marino is the founder of the annual Cape Cod Festival, and performs on Martha’s Vineyard every summer. He’s a media personality, a live show producer, comedic performer, published author, and awardwinning filmmaker. He’s had the pleasure of regular stints on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Mark,” and on more than 300 radio stations across the country. He wrote the 2006 Subway Super Bowl ad, “The Love Birds,” and opened for acclaimed humorist Loretta LaRoche. When not performing solo standup, Marino can be found playing drums, singing, and performing standup with his comedy band World Gone Crazy.

As if we needed reminders of the mental state of this planet.

Come join these fun folks at the M.V. Film Center at 79 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven on Saturday, Nov. 25, 7:30 pm. For reservations, call 508-696-9369.