April 22, 2014 10:05 AM
This is what happens when Robyn takes the day off:
This morning, Boris, Rich Shultis, Nikolai and Meat Sandwich were discussing the world record that was just set for highest-pitched whistle. It seemed like an easy record to break, until we found out that none of us could really whistle very well at all. Here’s what happened:
By Timothy Malcolm
Published: 5:03 PM - 04/19/13
Last updated: 5:06 PM - 04/19/13
As part of the Serious Laughs festival, local and regional comedians are taking to the Kingston pubs, bars and restaurants for sets this and next weekend. Have dinner at Savona’s and get a show by seasoned pros. Grab a drink at the Rondout Music Lounge and get some chuckles on the side. One of those comedians is Rich Shultis, who was born and raised in Kingston and comes back for three festival shows.
The first is at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Frank Guido’s Little Italy. “Kingston’s a very fun place to do comedy in,” said Shultis.
“It’s not the same as performing in front of a thousand people". . .“The great thing about Kingston is, even if it’s a small town there’s a lot of diversity down there.” Of the three distinct Kingston neighborhoods, it was the Rondout that Shultis knew best growing up. He lived there with his eight brothers inside a two-bedroom apartment.
The Rondout was the roughest place to live in Kingston back in early 1970s, when Shultis observed a poorer neighborhood. “It wasn’t unsafe to walk the streets,” he said, “but you wouldn’t think about going out for a leisurely walk at 1 a.m.”
Today Shultis lives in Queens but visits Kingston at least once a week (you can often hear him on WPDH mornings with Coop and Robin). When he comes back he’ll hit the Steel House, Mariner’s Harbor and the Rondout Music Lounge. Sometimes he’ll poke his head into Snapper Magee’s, the old Blue Jay Way, where he tended bar for over a decade.
He’s happy to see a cleaner and cooler Kingston today. “The Rondout area is actually the place to be.” Then there’s Uptown. “It’s getting a nice, almost Greenwich Village vibe.” Shultis loves performing locally for the cozy feel, the homegrown audience, shouting out old haunts and bringing a humor that locals understand immediately. “I love the people in Kingston. I’ve been there for 50 years now and there’s a lot of great people in Kingston.”
Shultis will be back for two shows next weekend, taking on the Rondout Music Lounge at 8 p.m. April 27 before appearing at 9:30 p.m. at Mariner’s. Those are two of nine scheduled local comedy shows as part of Serious Laughs. Quite an accomplishment, said Shultis. “That’s stunning to me, too. You can actually have a comedy festival in Kingston, and you have enough local names to do it.”
Although Rich now makes New York City his home, he is originally from Kingston, NY (the first capital of New York) where he grew up as a small town kid with eight brothers and two step sisters.
Though getting started in the standup comedy world at a relatively advanced age, he quickly moved up through the ranks due to his vast life experience, hard work, professionalism and most importantly, his outrageously funny material.
Starting out at open mics in NYC and any other venue with a stage and a microphone (and some without either) that would allow him to perform, Rich quickly caught the eye of club managers, owners, booking agents and producers. In just a few short years he became a regular at many of the major NYC comedy clubs including New York, Broadway, Laugh Lounge and Gotham.
He has also performed at venues throughout the country sharing the same stage with the likes of Jim Gaffigan, Dean Edwards, Ted Alexandro, Tom Shilue, Rich Voss, Joe Matarese and Dave Attell, to name a few.
Rich has established himself as a reliable and professional comedian with the reputation of always bringing his “A” game. Whether hosting, performing a guess spot or featuring, he can always be counted on to do a great job, leaving the audience in stitches and wanting more.
Rich’s comedy covers a broad and diverse spectrum. Anything from real life experiences (and he has had them all) such as having a son at twenty one, broken relationships, being beat up by his retarded brothers and gay classmates, to current events, common human experiences and emotions, not to mention the absurd and bizarre ideas that pop into his warped mind, no subject or material is out of bounds or beyond his reach. Delivering his material with a combination of truth and artfulness.
Rich has won over a wide array of different audiences. Not only making them laugh but, leaving them shaking their heads “Yes”. He has performed the late spots at NYC comedy clubs to Church shows and everything in between, including bars, restaurants, banquets, proms, colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, bachelor and bachelorette parties, high schools and colleges. He has performed in front of audiences of all races, religions, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation with the same degree of success. Rich is truly a versatile and well rounded comedian.
As one of the co-founders of “The Mayhem and Madness Comedy Tour”, Rich has also produced and performed on numerous shows that raise money for worthy causes including Saint Jude’s Hospital, fire and police fund raisers and The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.