Comedian Scott Bruce to perform at Capitol Theatre
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Scott Bruce is in the business of making people laugh, and business is booming.
He will be headlining at Comedy at the Capitol 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at The Capitol Theatre, 159 S. Main St. Along with doing stand-up, Bruce owns a chain of small comedy clubs called Wise Crackers.
“I’ve been a stand-up comedian for 38 years,” said Bruce, 64, during a telephone interview from his home in Pocono Mountains, Pa. “I opened up a little comedy club up here, and that turned into another comedy club and another one. I provide the comedians for all the resorts in the Poconos. I know all the comedians because when you’ve been around this long you know who’s good and who’s not good.”
Even before telling jokes for a living and running his own clubs, Bruce was business-minded.
“As a young man I started my own business, a janitorial supply and industrial chemicals company,” he said. “I started that when I was 21 and ran it until I was 28. I started the business with my dad, I grew the business big enough, we got to where we got, and I sold my shares to him and decided to become a comedian. So I went and became a comedian. I was very lucky because I started at the beginning of the ’80s. The ’80s was the decade of the stand-up comedy boom. I had an advantage over people starting today, it was easier to find work.”
Bruce also shared the stage with many well-known comedians.
“I’ve performed alongside Robin Williams, Tim Allen, Ray Romano, Chris Rock. If there’s a comedian that’s performed for the last 15 years or more I’ve probably performed with them,” he said. “Drew Carey and Bernie Mac. We’ve all worked together because we’ve all done the New York clubs. Catch a Rising Star, the Comedy Cellar, Dangerfields ... we’d all run into each other. Brett Butler from ‘Grace Under Fire’ was a good friend of mine. Jay Leno’s an East Coast guy; once he went to LA, I only ran into him twice. I knew a lot of these people before they got their big starts. I introduced Jon Stewart for the first time when he went onstage at Dangerfield’s. Around his time, those were the comedians I knew.”
Bruce has many accolades to his name, including being an Emmy winner.
“I won an Emmy for a PBS show called ‘The Pennsylvania Game,’” he said. “I was the host of the show. I was the host from the early mid-’90s to the end of it. It was a Pennsylvania-based historical game show. It was kind of like ‘Jeopardy!’ but in Pennsylvania. It was a fairly hip and intellectual game show.”
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Bruce takes a lot of pride being a Pennsylvanian.
“I’ve published a number of books, mostly about Pennsylvania, not comedy,” he said. “I wrote ‘It Happened in Pennsylvania,’ and then ‘It Happened in Philadelphia.’ Each chapter in the book was a different event that occurred in the state of Pennsylvania. One of the early chapters was called ‘For Whom the Bell Cracked.’ I’m extremely proud of my state. I’ve written books and performed in every town. I’m the Rand McNally of every town in Pennsylvania.”
Bruce loves performing in Chambersburg and the small towns of Pennsylvania.
“I’ve been in Chambersburg before,” he said. “I’ve been there many times over the years. Lovely area by the way. Small towns and out of the way places are almost 100 times better to perform in, because the people there are appreciative that you came to their small town. New York is jaded, LA is jaded. Their political correctness is so bizarre. In a small town, they’re just nice to talk to.”