Published Monday, June 16, 2008 | noon
Updated Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 | 10:15 a.m.
Comedian Billy Gardell will headline at the Riviera Comedy Club next week.
Shows are 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. June 23-29. Tickets are $24.99 plus taxes. Inquire about the dinner and show combos. For information call 794-9433 or go to the Riviera's Web site.
A product of a broken home, Gardell struggled through his awkward teens as an overweight misfit. Living in Central Florida, he took part-time jobs to help his mother support his younger brother and sister, while simultaneously writing, directing and starring in a high school production titled "Winter Park Live." He portrayed a show-stopping Ralph Kramden, which prompted one reviewer, a Jackie Gleason family member, to write, Jackie would`ve been very proud.
Eventually Gardell discovered the comedy club boon and Florida audiences declared him an instant hit with his bold honesty and overwhelming stage persona. By 1989 and still not old enough to legally drink alcohol, Gardell was the most requested act amongst the regular patrons at Bonkers Comedy Club in Orlando.