Stand-up Mike Lemme Brings His Act Home to Mass.

October 16, 2015


Age: 25

Hometown: Chicopee

Think of: A millennial version of Conan O’Brien or Mike Birbiglia.

What caught our eye: Lemme has been featured on PBS, written for Second City, warmed up audiences for ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and interned on the production staff for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and “Conan” on TBS.

The host of “Live in the Village,” a monthly variety show featuring a rotating cast of New York performers, Lemme is starting his own Cambridge version of the show, “An Evening With Mike Lemme and Friends” at Gallery 263 starting this month.

Light bulb moment: “When I was 10 or 12, my older brother used to watch reruns of ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ on Comedy Central after school. I was too young to get a lot of the topical humor, but I was interested in what made my family laugh,” he said. “I did stand-up for the first time at my eighth-grade talent show. I was ‘the quiet kid,’ but being onstage felt great. As a kid, I wanted attention, but I didn’t know how to make small talk about video games or sports. It was easier to talk onstage.”

Biggest thrill: “Doing my first full hour set at the Frigid Festival in New York in February. Just knowing I could do an hour of material was awesome.”

Biggest surprise: Landing internships at NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on NBC and TBS’s “Conan” as a Stonehill College student. “Growing up, you don’t think you can go out there and find work telling jokes — it doesn’t seem like a real thing. You think [that’s] so far away from you. So just to pass Conan in a hall, and have him say, ‘How are you?’ and say, ‘I’m good, how about you?’ That would be the highlight of my day,” he said with a laugh.

Inspired by: Chris Rock, Christopher Titus, Mike Birbiglia, Conan O’Brien, John Moses.

Aspires to: Become a full-time comic, and to compete in the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Every summer since 1947, thousands of performers — from comedians to dancers to circus acts — have taken to hundreds of stages all over Scotland’s capital. In 2015 there were 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival in history, according to its website. “It’s the largest arts festival in the world, so you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd,” he said. “It offers such a huge amount of stage time — one hour, every day for a whole month — which would give me the chance to hone this material and see how it works internationally. Plus, I still haven’t been out of the country.”

For good luck: “I just take a few minutes to listen to music.”

What people should know: “When I’m onstage, I’m having fun, and I want them to, too.”

Coming soon: “An Evening With Mike Lemme and Friends,” a variety show with comedy and music, on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridge.