When Mark Riccadonna played football while attending Brookfield High School “the band was the backbone,” he said.
“I still think about it all the time,” said Riccadonnaa, stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer and director. “You’d hear the band playing and you’d know it’s football time. I wasn’t in the band, but the band was so important to me.”
That made it a no-brainer when he was asked to headline a comedy show to raise money for the Brookfield Band Boosters. The show is set for 8 p.m. Aug. 12 at Yankee Lake Ballroom. Don Jamieson of “That Metal Show” on VH1 Classic, HBO’s “Inside the NFL” and MTV2’s “Crank Yankers” will open.
It will be Riccadonna’s first show in his hometown since 2019, and his first at the ballroom, where he has attended football banquets, Truck Night activities and other events.
“It’s a big room, but I really feel like Brookfield will come through,” said the resident of Ambler, Pa., outside of Philadelphia.
At the show, expect to hear a lot about his family, especially his sons, 9-year-old Axel and 7-year-old Duke, he said.
“It’s just a golden period with stuff they say,” Riccadonna said. “The kids are really, really funny.”
The COVID-19 pandemic gave him a lot of time with his boys, both to collect material and to just be dad.
“It taught a lesson about the work-family balance, because I realized how important it is,” Riccadonna said. “I don’t have to say yes to everything, because sometimes it’s more important to be with my family. I hate when I miss getting up with my kids and getting them ready for school. I know I miss them on the weekends, because that’s when I have to go and work and it’s usually out of town.”
He likes when he can get a writing job because he can do that from home, giving him the time to pick the boys up from school and help them with their homework.
However, now that things have opened up after the pandemic and comedy clubs are hiring comics, the strike by writers and actors has put many other projects on hold, including a TV series called “Un$uited” about a wanna-be professional poker player; a National Lampoon project he described as “Caddyshack” at the beach; a series based on the movie “Beer League”; and a comedy-horror film he co-wrote called “The Devil’s Tree.”
“All this stuff that I’m trying to develop is all put on hold,” said Riccadonna, who recently shot an Amazon comedy special called “The Bee’s Hive” and his own one-hour special for the website Drybar. “I have a new agent, so I’ve been getting a lot of auditions lately and that’s all on hold.”
“The acting work and writing work that I supplement my money with, I don’t depend on it, but it’s all on standup now, which is good and bad because I love doing standup and I love traveling. I just don’t like traveling as much because of family. That makes me go out on the road more.”
Luckily, his boys are good with his absences.
“I go on an airplane and they’re so excited for me,” he said.
Duke and Axel also give Riccadonna a different perspective on success.
“To them, they think that I’m famous because I’m on YouTube,” he said. “They’ve seen me in movie theaters on screen. That didn’t impress them.”
Tickets to the Aug. 12 show are on sale for $20 each at the Yankee Lake Party Center, 1800 Route 7 NE; and Kellie’s Place, 6969 Warren Sharon Road; or from Kelly Jacobson, 330-646-7040; or Amy Smith, 330-502-0220. Tickets will be sold for $25 at the door.