Tom Cotter has no qualms with playing second fiddle to Jay Leno when he visits Jamestown to perform in the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy next month.
Cotter, a stand-up comedian best known for his second-place finish in the seventh season of NBC's "America's Got Talent" in 2012, will appear at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Friday, Aug. 8.
Though he had established a career for himself as an accomplished comedian long before his appearance on "America's Got Talent," Cotter earned much notoriety by advancing as far as he did on the program. As runner-up, he achieved more success than any other comedian to appear on the show, and has since performed in various clubs and colleges across the nation - while also making appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."
Comedian Tom Cotter, best known for his second-place finish in the seventh season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2012, will be performing at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Friday, Aug. 8, as part of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. The performance, which will also feature his wife, Kerri Louise, will begin at 8 p.m.
Although Cotter, who lives in Stony Point, has previously performed in and around the Western New York area, including Jamestown Community College, this is the first time that he has appeared on the bill for Lucy Fest - an attainment he said he is very much looking forward to.
"I do a lot of these comedy festivals, and this one is very special because the people who are running it really have their act together," Cotter said. "They've got Jay Leno coming, who was wonderful to meet when I did his show, and he's been an inspiration to me. So, between that and my love of Lucy and the fact that it's in my home state of New York, there's just a whole lot to be excited about for this festival."
Cotter is known for his rapid-fire style of comedy, which he said played to the strength of his performance on "America's Got Talent." It also didn't hurt that fellow comedians Howard Stern and Howie Mandel assumed their new positions as judges for the program that same year.
"I just got really lucky; it was just the right place and the right time for a comedian to come on that show and do well," he said. "And when you have that many eyeballs on you, that exposure kind of made me flavor of the month for quite awhile. I'm still getting residuals from that time in the spotlight. So my calendar is quite full, and I've been very blessed. I love what I do. I get paid to make people laugh; how great is that?"
Cotter will also be joined by his wife and fellow stand-up comedian, Kerri Louise, who was a finalist on the second season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" in 2004. As both Cotter and Louise have established their comedy careers independent from one another, he said it is a rare occasion for the two of them to share a stage together.
"She's got her own career, and I've got my own career, so we rarely get to be at the same place at the same time and working together," he said. "So because of that, and all those other factors being equal, this will probably be the highlight of my year without question."
The Aug. 8 performance featuring Cotter and Louise is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. Ticket prices range from $15.50 to $43.50. For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the Reg Lenna box office at 484-7070, visit www.reglenna.com, or visit www.lucycomedyfest.com.