By C. Ron Allen
Nationally-known comedian Tom Cotter was in town recently to raise money for the Delray Beach Library’s 100 birthday celebration.
The Stony Point, NY., resident, who was runner-up on the most recent “America’s Got Talent,” brought his high energy, rapid-fire style of comedy to the annual “Laugh with the Library, Chapter 7” event Feb. 1.
“I’m honored to be a part of this benefit,” Cotter said in an interview before the show at the Marriott. “It’s sold out and were going to raise a lot of money for a good cause. “
He spared no one throughout his 75-minute performance. He cracked on seniors, bad drivers and couples. His humor occasionally took a few dark, but funny turns, like when he talked about relationships with pets – dogs and cats.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Cotter, a journeyman comedian who auditioned for the seventh season of “AGT” after learning that one of the show’s judges, Piers Morgan, was leaving the panel and would be replaced by shock jock Howard Stern.
“Everyone for the previous six years, had been saying, ‘Cotter you’ve got to go out’ because of my style of comedy is kind of rapid-fire,” said Cotter, who has performed stand-up for about 25 years. “When I saw Pierce critiqued other comics, he was very harsh. He would say things like, ‘I didn’t laugh,’ ‘You’re not original,’ and ‘You weren’t funny.’ I didn’t want to be in front of 19 million people having some British dude telling me I wasn’t funny. So, I always shied away from it.”
With comedians Howie Mandel and Stern on the panel and renaissance woman Sharon Osbourne, Cotter said if ever he was going to do it, now was the year.
“I never thought he would be my number one fan,” he said of Stern.
And the rest is history, as they say. Cotter became the first comedian to ever reach the finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Given his slew of comedy gigs, TV appearances and network meetings after “America’s Got Talent,” catching up with Cotter these days is no small feat.
“I’ve been trying to cash in while I can, while I’m flavor of the month,” he said.