Though he’s been a stand-up comedian for most of the last 12 years, Melis also held down a full-time job as CFO of a local institution of higher learning until last year when he created a life where he could be with his newborn son and work with both his passions: numbers and comedy. In doing so, he started The Melis Group and works as a financial consultant.
“I’d go straight from the office to the comedy clubs, still in my business suit,” Melis recalls. “I am great with numbers. Finance and business has always come easy to me but it’s not what I love.”
“Carrying the one,” Melis quipped about math, “doesn’t make people laugh. Ever since I was a boy I loved to make people laugh. I find the instant feedback you get from the audience to be very exciting. It’s like no other job out there. You tell them your story and the audience tells you instantly if you are funny or if that joke needs a little work or if you need to go home and hide under the bed because you were so bad. You don’t have to wait days to read a review or in the case of financial matters, months for an underwriter to tell you whether or not you were successful.”
Melis is also a new dad. Last year his wife, Michele, gave birth to their son, Grayson. He tells his fans, “If you didn’t figure it out from that little baby I’m always carrying around, then you may have come to this conclusion from the puke on my shirt, or the poop in my hair.”
His comedic style is really not a stretch from the real Jim Melis. “I take the stage and just be myself,” he said. His delivery is very mellow and relaxed. Most people find it refreshing to hear someone who can be very funny with clean jokes. Those buying tickets to a Jim Melis show will hear his commentary on dating, marriage, divorce, pregnancy, fatherhood, sleep deprivation, food, his parents (he calls his father the “Greek Archie Bunker”) and a host of other subjects. He said, “I talk about everything in my life, good or bad, as well as cheese, my wife and other things I like to touch.”
Melis got his start in 1999 and still works the New York area comedy club circuit where high-caliber comedians go from one club to another. He has performed at top-quality comedy clubs such as the Broadway Comedy Club, the New York Comedy Club, the Eastville Comedy Club, the Gotham Comedy Club as well as the Comic Strip, where Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler were discovered and the Duplex where Joan Rivers and Woody Allen were discovered.
Inspired by Grayson, Jim and Michele recently started the Making a Difference One Laugh at a Time Foundation. This 501 (c)(3) charitable organization brings awareness and funding to charities and projects that provide relief to the poor, distressed, ill or underprivileged. This is done through laughter, by producing comedy shows with amazing top professional comedians such as Wanda Sykes who will appear in August.
Melis plans to organize monthly events and as the foundation grows in popularity; the shows will be scheduled with more frequency. As an interesting twist, Melis is inviting his fans to suggest worthwhile charities to be the beneficiaries of an evening of comedy. His first show, with five fellow comedians, will be held on Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. at the Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St., New York, N.Y. benefiting K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations). For tickets, call 212-367-9000 or go online at www.gothamcomedyclub.com
For more information on Jim Melis, please visit http://www.JimMelis.com or http://www.facebook.com/