Paul Mecurio (born Paul Mercurio) is an American comedian and writer featured on Comedy Central Presents. A lawyer by education, Mecurio worked as an investment banker and mergers and acquisitions lawyer before he turned to stand-up comedy full time, in 1996.
Early life and career
In 1982, Mecurio graduated from the Providence College and, in 1989, graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He started his career on Wall Street, New York City as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and later as an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston.
In 1992, during his third year of work, Mecurio attended a private stand-up comedy show by Jay Leno who was soon replacing Johnny Carson as the host of The Tonight Show. Mecurio, a comedy fan who had written some jokes for himself, handed 15 pages of his own material to Leno in hope of selling some for him to use on television. Leno contacted him and asked for more; Mecurio was paid $50 for his first joke which Leno used on the show.
Mecurio became a self-described "addict" to performing stand-up comedy. After Mecurio's father died in 1993, he had a seven-month absence from work to support his mother in Providence; after returning to New York, he resigned to focus on comedy. In 1995 Mecurio joined a friend's firm, telling himself and his girlfriend that he would leave comedy, but after seven months relapsed and again began performing.
The Daily Show
In 1996, Mecurio was hired as a member of the writing team for The Daily Show on Comedy Central. In 2001, as a writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Mecurio won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement In Writing In A Variety, Music or Comedy Program. For his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2000, Mecurio was honored with a Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. In 2002, Mecurio received his second Emmy nomination for his work on The Daily Show. Mecurio has also been featured in The Daily Show segment, "Second Opinion," in which he skewered the medical profession playing an HMO representative with a less than sympathetic mindset. Paul also does the audience warm ups for the show's in studio taping.
Stand-up, television and film
Mecurio has performed at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and made numerous TV appearances, including The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, NBC's Late Friday, Comedy Central's Dr. Katz, and numerous appearances on VH1's popular clip shows. He has been a guest on Fox News Channel, and makes regular appearances on CNN, CNNfn, and MSNBC as a political satirist.
Mecurio was seen in a guest-starring role opposite John Cleese in the ABC sitcom Wednesday at 9:30, and shot a television pilot set in New York City for producer/directors Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. He can also be seen in the upcoming film drama, High Art, Low Life, written and directed by Peter Nourjian and recently shot the lead role in the independent film Faux Pix.
Mecurio has written, produced, and directed five short films, the latest of which, Gloves, an off-center dark comedy has been screened at several film festivals, including The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, the Toronto International Film Festival, The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, and the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. Mecurio also worked on the film American Buffalo, starring Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz based on the award-winning David Mamet play of the same name.
On May 21, 2004, Mecurio premiered his own "Comedy Central Presents" half-hour special. He was featured as a political satirist in the 2004 Presidential Election coverage by The Daily News, CNN, MSNBC, CNNfn, and ESPN2. Mecurio has also been working as the warm-up comic for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Meredith Vieira.
Mecurio shot the television pilot Sports Central, that he co-created, and executive produced and in which he starred.
In August 2002, Mecurio was involved in the infamous "Sex for Sam 3" contest on the Opie and Anthony radio program which resulted in the duo's firing and a $357,000 fine against Infinity Broadcasting.
Mecurio currently hosts Paul Mecurio: 2 Chairs and a Mic, on Adam Carolla digital network. Some of his recent guests include Sir Paul McCartney, wrestler and actor Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jay Leno, and Adam Savage & Jamie Hyneman, the hosts of Discovery Channel's MythBusters.
- "Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' has exploded beyond its humble late-night comedy roots". The Washington Post. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- Condran, Ed (June 19, 2003). "Dark, depressing – & funny". Asbury Park Press. p. D6. Retrieved May 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- McIntyre, Michael K. (October 15, 2014). "Comedian Paul Mecurio left a lucrative Wall Street job to tell jokes for a living, with no regrets (podcast)". Cleveland.com. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- "Woman sentenced in cathedral sex case". CNN. 2003-11-07. Archived from the original on May 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-08-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)