Tom Cotter is a very funny guy. Audiences first realized that when he came in as the top human finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” right behind a dog act. But instead of his career going to the dogs, Tom’s star has skyrocketed. Now you can see Tom Cotter at Harrah’s Resort on May 29. He recently took time out of his busy schedule to chat with me.
We talked about “America’s Got Talent.” Tom Cotter did something very different on the show leading up to the finals. He asked Judge Howie Mandel to pick a subject off the board behind him and he would wax poetic on that topic. It played very well. Judge Howard Stern also asked to pick a topic, just to be sure Tom was on the level. He was.
In the past, comics haven’t done well on “America’s Got Talent.” Tom thinks it has to do with the judges. He performed on Howard Stern’s first season. Before that, it was Piers Morgan. That was “one-third of the judges throwing you under the bus.” However, with Howie, Howard and Sharon Osbourne, wife of Prince of Darkness Ozzie Osbourne, comics do much better these days.
Tom jokes about everything and anything, and particularly about his Irish/Scottish background. I asked him if he ever gets complaints about the ethnic humor. “Not really.” If he gets complaints, it’s more on the marriage material he does.
Speaking of marriage, Tom is married to fellow comic Kerri Louise. They had a show together in 2006, “Two Funny: Cotter and Louise.” It was cancelled after six episodes. Tom adds. . . “mercifully.”
This will be Tom’s first time at a Caesars Entertainment property in Atlantic City although he’s played other venues like the Borgata and the Comedy Stop at the Trop. I asked Tom what the Harrah’s audience can expect from his show. Will it be the same material that’s out there on the web?
Tom explained. “You’re constantly evolving your material, tweaking and adjusting. You’re adding new bits. Old bits are never the same. And then you’re constantly coming up with new stuff.”
I asked Tom if he finally felt like a success after all these years. He won his first comedy contest in 1994. That’s 20 years ago now. He thought for a moment before replying.
“I feel like I got very lucky. Lots of comedians like me run below the radar. With “America’s Got Talent,” I stepped in leprechaun poop. It’s a primetime ratings juggernaut. The total amount of eyeballs on you completely blows me away. I felt really blessed to have that opportunity at this point in my career. Before the show, my retirement plan involved a metal detector. It’s much more comfortable now. So if that’s success, yeah, I do feel successful.”
Our time together was growing short. I wondered out loud how long Tom would be cracking people up or if he had a career switch planned for the future. Tom picked up on that one right away. “I will tell jokes until the day I die. The average age at the Friars Club is deceased. The big guys in this industry, guys like Milton Berle, George Burns, Nipsey Russell, David Brenner. . . they work until their last dying breath.”
Luckily, you won’t have to wait that long. You can see Tom Cotter in concert on Thursday, May 29, at Harrah’s Resort, right here in Atlantic City. There’s one show at 8 p.m. and tickets are $29.99 (plus applicable taxes and fees). Get yours at Ticketmaster online.
Harrah’s Resort is located at 777 Harrah’s Boulevard in the Marina section of Atlantic City. You can get information for all things Harrah’s by calling 609-441-5000.
Enjoy the show!