In this cold month of December, we here at Cambriville Connects were lucky enough to sit down with Jimmy Tingle in the warmth of 1369 Coffeehouse in Central Square and have a nice conversation about his successful career in comedy. Tingle is currently on the show circuit, where he recently helped to raise $500,000 for the Mount Auburn Hospital, and in a couple of weeks will be hosting his annual holiday show at the Regent Theatre on December 28, 8pm. (www.jimmytingle.com)
Tingle was raised in Cambridge, and owned/managed a comedy venue in Davis Square for years. He is Cambriville personally and professionally. In fact, in 2010 Jimmy Tingle was chosen to give the Commencement address at Harvard University. He’d just received his Masters Degree in Public Administration. Being that he was in the midst of many great academic minds, Tingle felt he should explain himself. “I’m a comedian by profession and have traveled all over the world performing stand-up comedy,” he said. “I don’t want to brag, but two years ago I performed in Europe. I’d just like to say ‘excellent country!’” Tingle went on to explain, “People asked me all year why would a comedian want to go to The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. I told them: ‘The same reason all of you wanted to go to Harvard… We got in!’”
We asked Mr. Tingle how growing up in Cambridge formed his political and comedic personalities. “My mother’s family was involved in Cambridge politics going way back as my uncle Joe DeGuglielmo was the first Italian American ever elected to Cambridge City Council. He was also a personal friend and supporter of JFK and the first elected official to publicly endorse Kennedy on his first run for Congress. Apparently politics was in my blood before I was even born.”
Tingle worked as a contributor and satirist for MSNBC and has appeared on The Tonight Show, CNN, “Larry King’s Weekend,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The American Comedy Awards,” as well as his own HBO half-hour comedy special. He has also been a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and appeared regularly on “Heat” with John Hockenberry.
Tingle grew up working class. That perspective – coupled with his Catholic background, particularly the social justice side of the faith – continues to be a major influence in Tingle’s life, politics and worldview. Tingle’s father owned and drove a taxicab in his hometown. “As kids,” Tingle says, “the cab was our family car and we went everywhere in it. One time my father took us hunting in the cab. We looked pretty funny pulling up to the forest in a big yellow cab. Bears were looking out of the forest completely dumfounded: ‘Somebody call a cab?’”
Tingle has produced several comedic and theatrical productions including Jimmy Tingle’s Uncommon Sense at the storied Hasty Pudding Theater at Harvard, which became the longest running one person show in that theater’s history. He also wrote, produced and starred in his first documentary film“Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” which aired on over 60 PBS affiliates. Other film credits include small roles in Larry David’s “Clear History,” Chris Rock’s “Head of State,” “Next Stop, Wonderland” and “Boondock Saints.” He played himself in the International Emmy Award-winning documentary on arts censorship “Dammed in the USA”.
Theatrical credits include writing and starring and producing four one-person shows, all of which were directed by Larry Arrick: Jimmy Tingle’s Uncommon Sense; The Promised Land; JimmyTingle’s American Dream and Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History. (The latter two shows are available DVD.)
Don’t miss out on Jimmy’s next show, right up Mass Ave in Arlington.
Jimmy Tingle’s “Making Comic Sense of 2013: The Year in 90 Minutes”
An Evening of Comedy, Commentary, and Conversation with Comedian Jimmy Tingle
From the new pope to the Tea party, from the NSA to the NRA, Tingle’s hilarious take on 2013 will make you laugh, make you think and make you grateful you made it through. Tingle’s year-end performances are a tradition for Bostonians who enjoy some “comic sense” with their news and politics. “Making Comic Sense of 2013” will lift your spirits, raise your awareness and sharpen your sense of humor for 2014 and beyond.
December 28th, 8:00
THE REGENT THEATRE
FREE PARKING ACROSS STREET FROM THEATRE
$25 in advance
$30 day of show
$35 includes a post-show meet & greet with Jimmy at the Tango Argentinian Restaurant, including complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.
Tickets available online at www.jimmytingle.com
In person sales available at the Regent Theatre Box Office
7 Medford Street Arlington, MA
For more information visit www.jimmytingle.com
Somerville-based 3 Graces Productions is managing this event for Mr. Tingle.
This article is based off of in-person conversations with Jimmy Tingle and his official biography.