Roasts at Rivara’s: College’s Comedy Club Goes on Tour

Brian Sandler, Staff Writer

With the seemingly never-ending blizzards raging on in northern New Jersey these past few months, it can be hard to stay upbeat. Snow to be shoveled out of enormous driveways, road closures extending for miles and continuous class cancellations make one worry that the school year might be extended into September.

Thanks to hilarious heroics undertaken by the school’s own, Alex Delesky, this perpetual winter just might be bearable, perhaps even comical. Delesky, who has operated his own comedy club at the college since September, has recently taken his act into Bergen County. Every Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m., Delesky and the rest of his ragtag comedy clan perform at Rivara’s Bar in Fair Lawn, and the laughs are never in short supply.

“I wanted a change of venue since I only had open mic nights at William Paterson,” Delesky said. “It’s important for new comics to see different environments because they all have different people, which means different jokes to be made.”

According to Delesky, the club is an ideal launch point for a budding comedy career.

“Well, the reason I started the club initially was so there was a place to consistently perform comedy,” Delesky said. “I don’t really mind if I’m doing stand-up as a career or not, but in case I do, it’s definitely shooting me in the right direction.”

As Rivara’s isn’t home to only young adults like William Paterson University is, Delesky mentions how important it is for a comic, whether budding or seasoned, to be able to perform in front of a wide variety of people. Therefore, he believes it’s the perfect place for a comic adaptation.

“The audience is always mixed and different depending on where you end up going as a comedian,” Delesky said. “At school, the audience is always young. At open mics, it’s really a combination of both. That’s why it’s important to try and write jokes that could make everyone laugh. Or at least jokes that can make people think differently than they usually do.”

While Delesky’s troupe almost always brings in the hyuks, even he’s aware that not every joke will be comedy gold.

“Usually, the club does well at Rivara’s when it comes to making people laugh,” Delesky said. “We almost always do, but of course, everyone’s going to bomb at some point. It’s an inevitable part of comedy. This is especially true at an early level.”

While Delesky is unsure of how his funny-man career will proceed, he plans to at least acknowledge the impact that Rivara’s had on him, even if he doesn’t revere it.

“I really don’t think that far ahead, when it comes to comedy,” Delesky said. “If I were still working in comedy in the future, I’d mostly attribute my success to the hard work I’ve put in. Rivara’s is great and I’m really grateful that they have open mics, but it’s not really a make or break thing for me.”

Whether Delesky becomes the next Bill Burr or suddenly becomes an accountant in Nebraska, he certainly plans on enjoying Rivara’s perks in the short-term. As the William Paterson Comedy Club continues to cause laughing-induced busted guts, they continue to search for an audience. If anyone on campus has interest in joining in the charade, Rivara’s is located at 6-18 Maple Avenue, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and their business number is (201)-797-4878.