Local veterans enjoy a night of laughter at American Legion Post

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Shawn Nowlin shawn.nowlin@ourvalley.org

Photo by Shawn Nowlin
Ern Galano, left, and Mike Bova, right, brought their comedic talents to Salem last Thursday to raise money for the American Legion Post in Salem.

Last Thursday was the first time that Mike Bova and Ernesto Galano performed in Salem. The two comedians brought their unique flair to the American Legion on November 7 to raise money for the Post. Doors opened at 7 p.m. and for the next 90 minutes, both comics kept attendees laughing with their distinctive styles and unapologetic honesty.

Bova, a native of Watertown, New York, has been playing comedy clubs and venues since April 2012. He broached a variety of topics during his set: his family, relationships, and his career as a comedian.

“My material comes from everyday life. All of my family is in my act,” he said after the show. “I joke about my wife and kids, my mom and dad, my grandmother, mother-in-law and even my dogs. I often tell family and friends to watch what they say because anything they do can and will be used against them during my acts.”

Being on stage for Bova is like medicine to him. As he put it, “I think I have the best job in the world because I get to make people laugh and get paid for it.” Several of Bova’s jokes resonated with the audience. On the topic of Mike Tyson, he mentioned why the former Heavyweight Champion is his favorite boxer of all-time.

“I know that he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear a few times, but I’m sure he was thinking, ‘In my defense, I was hungry and they were looking tasty,’” he said. “Can you imagine Mike Tyson singing? I ask because there are certain songs that don’t really work, especially if you have a lisp. The song ‘Lights’ by Journey is a perfect example.”

Galano considers Redd Foxx, Henny Youngman and Eddie Murphy his biggest comedy influences. The New York native says that his comedy comes from personal experiences mixed with imaginative humor.

“I would describe my comedy style as ‘storytelling with misdirection,’” Galano said. “I got into comedy because a friend thought I was naturally funny. Years ago, I was given six minutes on stage and the applause afterward sucked me right in and I have never looked back.”

Charles Anderson, who purchased a ticket for him and his wife, noted his favorite part about Thursday night was seeing his fellow Veterans laughing and having a good time. Said Anderson, “Life is a collection of memories at the end of the day, and I’m happy that I got to make some tonight with several dear friends.”

The keys to being a good comedian, according to both Bova and Ernesto, are the ability to make a show memorable and impeccable timing.

The main objective of last Thursday was to put on a good show for every attendee. When asked if he felt that goal got accomplished, Galano said, “We planned a national tour earlier this year to raise money for American Legion’s and Veterans of

Foreign Wars. We want to make a difference to as many vets as we can. I feel like we did just that today. This was one of my favorite venues.”

Both comedians plan on returning to the Salem Legion for another show next year. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thebigandtallcomedytour.