Mike Marino brings his home-grown comedy back to the Borgata May 20.
ATLANTIC CITY — After Osama bin Laden was killed three weeks ago, fans of Mike Marino asked the comic-actor if he bumped off the most wanted man in the world.
“That’s because I used to say that if we had an Italian President, he would send two Italian guys from Jersey and we would have gotten bin Laden in 24 hours,” Marino said.
Yes, Marino lives up to his nickname, “New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy.” He still utters his signature line, “Vinnie, get the bat.”
“That’s based on reality,” Marino tells Atlantic City Weekly by phone from his Scotch Plains, N.J., home. “When I got my first car, my father told me that I needed a Walking Tall stick — a baseball bat. I was told that I needed a bat for protection. I’ve had one in my car my whole life. I never use it but I use ‘Vinnie, get the bat,’ in my show and it has gone over so well that fans have mailed me 200 bats. I love that they sent them to me.”
Marino, who will perform Friday, May 20, at the Borgata’s Music Box, thought he might need the big stick last weekend in Atlantic City.
“I was hosting a pizza-eating contest in, well, not the best neighborhood in Atlantic City,” Marino says, referring to last Saturday’s Pizza Slaughterfest. “The guy who won the contest ate 30 slices of pizza. How do you eat more than five slices and not get sick? Fortunately, I didn’t need the bat.”
The Jersey City native doesn’t need protection in Atlantic City. He packs the Borgata a few times a year, and recently had his picture placed on the wall of the iconic sub shop, the White House.
“What a great cheesesteak they make there,” Marino says. “It’s an honor to be up there in the White House. But I just love Atlantic City. Being the Jersey guy there, I’ve been there all my life. I love the Boardwalk. I remember it as a kid — the bumper cars, shooting the clown in the face with water, the guy rolling you up the Boardwalk in a cart, ice cream with extra sprinkles and, of course, trying to pick up chicks. And we would come down to gamble and eat pizza on the beach.”
Marino may not be able hit the Boardwalk this time out since he’ll be in the marina district.
“I have a lot to focus on when I go back to the Borgata,” Marino says. “Normally when I come in I play seven show, but I’m just coming in for one show and I got to make this one as good as it gets.”
Marino comes through by delivering oldschool humor. His observations are relatable and at times unpredictable.
“Someone has to explain to me why they call the fee we play at the doctor a co-pay,” Marino says.
While the first Slaughterfest (May 15, 2010) exceeded the organizers' hopes in terms of size, scope and funds raised for the charity, they believe the second annual event — slated for 11am-8pm Saturday, May 14 — can top 20,000 attendees. Especially with The Roots' ?uestlove opening the day.