Sat, Sept 18th @ 6:30pm - Vinnie Coppola, Pete Zedlacher and Ben Brainard
Vinnie Coppola’s love affair with the stage started in the fourth grade when he was cast in the school play as “The Ghost of Jacob Marley” in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This first “landmark event,” combined with his incompetence at sports, ultimately steered him towards the performing arts. During his sophomore year at Flagler College, Vinnie discovered a Thursday night open mic showcase at one of his regular hangouts. Six days later, he was performing stand-up comedy on that stage – and continued every week after that for close to a year. He quickly developed a reputation for being creative and highly experimental, and it didn’t take long before he was booking paid spots at local comedy clubs and being hired by area businesses to perform at their corporate events. His comedy is mostly observational but from a cynical, uniquely skewed, and charmingly naive perspective which can only be described as “Vinnie Coppola.” His persona on stage is his real secret weapon. Vinnie is extremely likable up there, and this allows him to connect with an audience instantly. In addition, his thirteen-plus years of experience “on the road” as a professional stand-up comedian have made him an incredibly versatile performer. Whether it’s a one-night stand in a bar, the “bluest” of comedy clubs, or the G-rated cleanest of corporate shows, Vinnie Coppola is consistently successful. Vinnie Coppola is one of the founding members of the Jacksonville, FL, Comedy Zone Comedy Workshop, and he helped develop the Make-Me-Laugh Monday comedy shows, both of which are still going strong to date. Vinnie has appeared on the Nashville Network, HBO’s Entourage, FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Comedy Central, The RFD Network’s Larry’s Country Diner, and Turner South’s Liars and Legends. He created, developed, and wrote the 7-part web series Code Name: 12, and he is a regular guest on several syndicated morning shows, including John Boy and Billy, Rick and Bubba, and Bob and Sheri.
Versatile comedian, actor and writer Pete Zedlacher is a 20+ year veteran of the comedy scene and one of the premiere headliners in the country. Zedlacher, who proudly hails from Wawa, a small mining town in Northern Ontario, draws heavily from his Canadian working-class roots. A graduate of the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, the intensive acting program helped him infuse a theatrical element into his stand-up. Now based in Calgary, Zedlacher has a Canadian Comedy Award, four Canadian Comedy Award-nominations and two Gemini nominations to his credit. Most recently, Pete won the international comedy competition and was crowned Sirius XM’s Top Comic.
Ben Brainard is a comedian with a natural ability to make any crowd laugh. Originally from Daytona Beach, and now living in Orlando, Ben has toured across the country. He’s also produced several shows for Army Reserve units. During quarantine, Ben found viral success producing “The Table,” a sketch comedy series about how the various states of the US are handling current events.Since a very young age, Ben has been “the funny kid,” or at least, “the kid that will cheer you up,” but, oddly enough, standup comedy was never really a part of his plan. Before his junior year of high school, Ben won an “Engineering Scholars Program” scholarship and literally did rocket science for a summer. As a senior in high school, Ben played 3 sports, took AP and honors classes, and won student body President as the presidencies for the FCA and The Academy of Drafting and Design. For a year and a half after high school, he majored in mechanical engineering and double minored in physics and CAD/CAM at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Then, one day, he got bored of calculus, dropped out of school, joined the US Army Reserve, moved to Orlando, and started doing standup comedy. Ben has always said “yes” to opportunities, and his “I’ll try anything once” attitude has ultimately led to some hilarious stories and an irrationally high 26 different jobs since he turned 16. Ben has done everything from work a drive-thru at Chick-fil-A to drive a bus for the YMCA after school program, and now he takes the stage to tell all about everything he’s done and seen and make you laugh along the way. Standing at only 5’5 and weighing in at 125lbs, Ben is not an intimidating presence, but don’t let his size fool you! He packs some serious punchlines! From jokes about his stature to hilarious stories about dating, jobs, general life mishaps and even his crazy family, Ben is sure to have you laughing until your sides hurt!