Out comedian and bodybuilder Peter Bisuito is taking his sense of humor to the Internet with his new web series, “Exposing Peter.”
Yes, you read that right: comedian, bodybuilder and now writer and star of his own web series.
When does he sleep?
“You have to sleep in order to grow, so, absolutely,” Bisuito said. “I’m just trying to live life to the fullest. Comedy is a new endeavor for me. Although I’ve been performing for 25 years, I just decided to make comedy my full-time career less than three years ago. It was always a part-time thing that I did on the side. Two or three years ago I said, ‘What the heck am I doing? This is isn’t what I want to do in life.’”
Factoring into that decision was comedian Kathleen Madigan.
“She has a huge following. She makes me laugh from the time she takes the stage to the time she leaves. So I quit my job, quit my business, gave up my income entirely and I started pursuing comedy full-time. That’s not an easy thing to do when you are in your 40s,” Bisuito said. “But I took the leap of faith and I am working as much and as hard as I can. I’m working all over the country. I’m working on cruise ships. I’m getting a fan base.”
The Buffalo-based performer is indeed doing that, having appeared at events like Urban Bear in New York City and opening shows for drag stars like Bianca Del Rio. He also headlines his own theater shows around the country.
“Thanks God for Facebook,” he said. “I have sold hundreds and hundreds of tickets through Facebook alone. I’m getting savvy with social-media outlets. I have over 25,000 fans and followers so far. Comics who aren’t using the Internet and all this technology out there are crazy.”
And while Bisuito has been getting a lot of attention from gay audiences and international gay publications, he said his comedy appeals to audiences outside of the LGBT and bear communities.
“Me being gay, I try to target the gay community,” he said. “Especially being a bodybuilder, I try to use sex appeal. I’m not the first person to use sex appeal to advance their career and I’m not going to be the last. But I do all kinds of audiences. I just did a huge show in Buffalo, a fundraiser for the ASPCA, and the theater sat 700 people and 90 percent of the audience was straight. I did a show last month for the Kiwanis Club, which was mostly elderly people. So I do everything.”
He added that audiences have more of a problem wrapping their heads around the fact that he’s a bodybuilder than they do accepting his sexuality.
“When they ask what I do for a living and I say I’m a professional comedian, they say, ‘I’ve never seen a comedian like you before,’” he said. “There aren’t too many comedians who body-build. It’s hard for people to take me serious because they aren’t used to seeing a muscular guy tell jokes, but people have really taken to me. I think it’s just a matter of time before I become a household name.”
It probably doesn’t hurt that Bisuito likes to put a lot of showmanship into his performances, which often include flashy and dramatic entrances and staging.
Bisuito said he likes to incorporate his theater background into his shows.
“I was in musical theater for many, many years,” he said. “I had a typical dancer body: 6-feet tall, 145 pounds. So I try to incorporate some kind of showmanship in my shows. I love showmanship. I want to bring out my theater roots and combine it with my comedy.”
Bisuito said launching his own web series seemed like the next logical step after being a professional performer for 25 years and a full-time comedian for a relatively short period of time.
“I have a very extensive background in theater and acting,” he said. “I’ve produced and directed. I’ve also owned my own video-production company for 12 years. I’m also a comedian. So I thought, Let me pool all of my talents together and come up with a really fun web series that everyone can enjoy. So I’m kind of a one-man band. I didn’t consult with anybody. It’s something I concocted in my head based on my 25 years of everything it takes to produce a web series.”
Bisuito said “Exposing Peter” is based on his experiences, that it won’t be formulaic or follow a specific plot.
“It’s going to be everything,” he said. “I didn’t really want a cast of characters because it limits you to those characters and because it’s a low-budget show, you just never know if people are going to be moving from Buffalo or if there is going to be a personality conflict. You just never know what is going to happen with a set of characters. So I thought, Why not just make it about everything? One episode will be a reality show. The next show might be a cooking segment. The next might be a workout segment. So it’s just whatever comes into my mind, I write a story around it.”
Bisuito added he hopes his comedy and web series will help dispel the misconception that Buffalo isn’t a hotbed for culture and entertainment.
“Buffalo has massive talent in this city,” he said. “A lot of famous people come from Buffalo. We have a lot of professional theaters. But through the power of the Internet, it really doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t mean that people from Australia can’t watch the show.”
For more information or Peter Bisuito and “Exposing Peter,” visit www.mybigfunnypeter.com.