A Conversation with John Caparulo from “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show”
BY KEVIN CARR
A few years back, Hollywood star Vince Vaughn decided to do a good thing for a group of friends he had met while hanging out in the comedy clubs of Los Angeles. He spearheaded a cross-country comedy show featuring four up-and-coming comics. The show, dubbed “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show,” hit 30 cities in 30 days, selling out across the country.
One of the comics featured in the show was Ohio-born John Caparulo, who was born in East Liverpool, Ohio (which can be found in the no-mans-land where Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia meet). Of course, few people outside of Ohio (and frankly, few people inside Ohio) know where East Liverpool is, so Caparulo generally calls himself a Cleveland boy.
“I’ve always been identified more with Cleveland because I’m a Browns fan and an Indians fan, and I went to Kent State,” Caparulo explained to me during an appearance in Columbus to promote the documentary of the tour. “I didn’t want to identify with Pittsburgh.
Vaughn’s father is from Zanesville, Ohio, so he always called out to Caparulo when he saw him at the clubs. When it came time to choose the four comics for the tour, Vaughn came to Caparulo. “He wanted somebody with a Midwestern sensibility,” Caparulo said. “And I fit the bill.”
Doing 30 shows over 30 days had its fair share of challenges, especially with the cast and crew having to live in such close quarters on a tour bus. “It’s a million dollar bus, but it’s still a bus,” Caparulo said. “It’s tough, but it’s high class problems.”
Still, living with the three other comics and Vaughn in the cast bus didn’t compare to the challenges the 15-member crew faced on the bus Caparulo referred to as Chino. “That was that they were on was literally like a rolling prison,” he said. “I live by myself for a reason. I need my space at the end of the day, and there was no space.”
However, even with such close quarters and cameras following them around 24 hours each day, Caparulo didn’t change his habits. “We never really censored ourselves,” he explains. “As comics, we’re just so used to being overly honest with too much information at times. I don’t think we care too much about being politically correct. As long as it’s honest, we don’t care.”
Still, Caparulo and the other comics on the tour saw the experience as one of the greatest times of their lives. Caparulo recalls goofing around with another comic in the hotel room before a show, and a thought that came in his head: “When my dad was my age, he had a wife, two kids, a house, insurance… And I’m wrestling with my buddy in a hotel room. How cool is this?”
Caparulo stars in “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days and 30 Nights – From Hollywood to the Heartland” with Ahmed Ahmed, Bret Ernst and Sebastian Maniscalco, currently playing nationwide.