LISA DEFELICE
FREELANCE WRITER
Dave Russo - Northshore's Resident "Entertainer"
He’s one of Boston’s funniest stand-up comedians and local television personalities and he’s
making quite a name for himself in the world of entertainment.  But did you know, superstar
Dave Russo is a legendary break-dancer and state champion wrestler?  Born in Everett and
raised in Malden, MA, Dave Russo quickly became known in his community for his great talent,
not only as a star athlete, but as an old-school breaker.  As a freshman in high school, Dave was
regularly competing and showing off his break dancing skills while crowds cheered and
watched him rock the dance floor doing flares,  backspins into windmills, and finally showing off
one of his most unique hidden talents, the dangerous and difficult head spin, which earned him
recognition as “one of the greats, by far.”  

When it came to sports, Dave was a natural.  He began playing ice hockey at age 5, started  
baseball when he was 7, and signed up for Pop Warner at age 9.  “Growing up in my
neighborhood, we played sports,” said Dave, “that’s what we did all day long, compete!”  
Although Dave loved playing traditional sports, especially football, his 4’11, 79-pound frame was
making it difficult for him to be considered for a varsity spot.  That’s when, as a sophomore in
high school, one of Dave’s teachers, John Lopresti, urged him to try out for the wrestling team,
which turned out to be a very rewarding decision for Dave.  In fact, he went on to become his
high school’s first-ever, state wrestling champion, earning the coach voted outstanding wrestler
award and the gold medal in the Baystate games open division.

So how does someone with such unique performance talents and athletic ability end up
becoming a full time comedian and media personality?  When I asked Dave, he laughed and
answered, “As a freshman in high school, I wore a singlet to wrestle in front of people and you
ask me how I got into comedy?”  Dave attributes his propensity for humor to the fact that when
he was growing up, his family regularly watched comedy, especially
Late Night with Johnny
Carson
.”  He went on to explain, while attending Wilkes University in PA., where he earned a
division 1 wrestling and academic scholarship, an opportunity to recognize one of his other
talents surfaced, “I had to take a college public speaking class and give a three minute speech
about my life and I remember taking a comedic approach to introducing myself and being
extremely comfortable with that.”    

In August of 1997, Dave brought his wrestling coach with him to videotape his first open
mic performance at the Comedy Palace in Worcester, MA.  “I still have that paycheck,” he
bragged.  Only three years later, in April of 2000, through lots of hard work, writing, and
re-writing, Dave Russo won the
Best New Comic award at the inaugural Boston International
Comedy Festival.  He then went on to perform at the very prestigious 25th anniversary San
Francisco International Comedy Festival and after a month long competition, was 2nd runner
up.  For the next three years, as Dave was gaining national recognition and notoriety as a
comic, he continued to develop his comedic skills, performing on the college circuit at over
200 colleges nationwide.

In 2004, Dave began performing at the Comedy Stop in Atlantic City and the iconic Tropicana in
Las Vegas.  It was in October of 2004, while performing at the Tropicana, the very same night the
Boston Red Sox won the World Series, that Mr. Las Vegas himself, the legendary Wayne Newton
watched Dave’s performance and personally invited him to audition for a brand new show, “The
Entertainer.”  Over 10,000 contestants, nationwide, auditioned for a chance to be one of  ten
entertainers to compete for the headlining million-dollar contract in Las Vegas and Dave ended
up being one of those ten people.  For weeks, he performed alongside some of the most talented
comics, illusionists, and singers in the country and consistently won the hearts of voters,
specifically Wayne Newton who commended Dave, “You’re pure class man.  You’re not willing to
let anybody mess with who you are and what you are… impressive!”  After ten weeks on the  
series, Dave Russo earned a contract to perform at the Hilton in Las Vegas where he quickly
became a regular and a favorite on the Las Vegas strip.

A few years later, Dave returned to Boston, an established and successful comedian.  He then
met with the president of Dirty Water TV, Billy Fairweather, and pitched him an idea for a show.  
As a result, in 2010, Dave began hosting the Dirty Water Comedy Tour, a weekly half-hour
television show on NESN that spotlights the best of entertainment nightlife in Greater Boston
and beyond. “When it comes to NESN,” Dave says, “I’ve been very fortunate to host my
own comedy series and report on and get heavily involved in many local charities such as Theo
Epstein’s Hot Stove Cool Music Concert, Rock and Jock Celebrity Softball with Milan Lucic of
the Boston Bruins, Micky Ward Charities, and New England Patriot, Matt Light’s, Annual
Celebrity Shoot-Out.  I’ve even played baseball at Fenway Park as part of the inaugural Fenway
for the Fallen charity event.”  

Since 2010, Dave has become quite the media personality.  He is now a permanent co-host
and reporter for Dirty Water TV, a regular contributor on WEEI’s Planet Mikey Show, and has
made numerous appearances on NESN’s
Charlie Moore Outdoors, and the Phantom Gourmet.  
He's a multi-talented and genuinely funny person.  I can easily see why Dave is loved by so
many of his fans and colleagues.  His positive attitude is infectious and his personality is
delightful.  Whether he’s performing as a stand-up comedian, hosting a local charity event, or
competing against some of the most talented individuals on the planet, Dave Russo is a true
professional.  

From the city streets of Malden, MA to the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, Dave Russo
continues to be one of the busiest and most sought after comics.  His charm and wit are
captivating and his spot on impersonation of Robert DeNiro is a must see.  As for his career in
the entertainment industry, it looks like blue skies ahead for Dave Russo, Northshore’s resident
“Entertainer.”

Dirty Water TV airs on NESN Saturday and Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m.
www.daverusso.net
Facebook.com/daverussocomic

Copyright 2015
Lisa DeFelice