Fredonia comedians on the rise

MEGHAN GUATTERY
Staff Writer

Fredonia may want to consider adding a new department to the campus: comedy.

Comedian and Fredonia alumnus Pete Correale appeared on Conan on Oct. 1. He performed his stand up comedy act, joking about his daughter growing up and dating, his wife and golf being so dull that it’s even more boring than taking a nap.

“I’ve always wanted to do [Conan], so I sent in a tape and pretty much right away, they’re like, ‘Yeah, we love it. We’ll give you a date,’” said Correale in an interview with the Dunkirk Observer.

Correale graduated from Fredonia in 1992 with a degree in communication. After graduating from Fredonia, however, Correale did not exactly follow the typical career path of a communication major.

“When I graduated, I thought I had the acting bug, and I went back to New York [City] and I was going to try and act,” he explained in his interview with the Dunkirk Observer.

And so he did.

After some time working with an improvisational group, Correale discovered his passion for comedy and directed his attention to stand up.

Since his time in New York City, Correale has worked as a comedy writer for MTV and Comedy Central. He also spent four years co-hosting a show on Sirius Radio.

Correale currently lives in Fredonia with his wife and daughter and produces his podcast, The Pete and Sebastian Show. And although his on-campus presence ended 13 years ago, a new stand up comedian is on the rise, following in his footsteps.

You may have seen sophomore communication major Alexandra Braggins co-anchoring for WNYF’s “Fred Before Bed,” or maybe you have been interviewed by her for “What’s Wrong With Raunchy.” No matter how you know her or where you met her, you’ve probably heard her tell a joke or two.

“During my sophomore year of high school I was really quiet in school,” said Braggins. “I had this one English class and my teacher would make me get up and tell a story to the class every single day. Everyone was in stitches and thought I was really funny. She recommended that I do the improv troupe at school. She introduced me to the teacher and immediately I was sold — mostly because he was hot.”

Back at her home in Rochester, NY, Braggins’ focus was on school talent shows and Boulder Coffee open mic nights. Since coming to Fredonia, she has moved her comedic talent to the television screen.

“We were both trying to start shows up at the same time and Alex said that her show was only going to be about 15 minutes originally,” said Brendan Hoare, a junior public relations major. “I was in the process of finding other anchors to do the show with and I approached her to be an anchor for ‘Fred Before Bed’ and to make ‘Raunchy’ a segment on the show.”

“Fred Before Bed” airs at 10 p.m. and is hosted by Hoare, his co-hosts Scott Bennett, Braggins, Aiden Licker, Lauren Turner and interviewer Justin Knoll.

“Alex is great to work with,” said Hoare. “Having her as a comedic presence at the table every week brings so many dynamics to the table. What she brings to the table, no one else has.”

While she is only a sophomore, Braggins has big plans for her future.

“There are two paths in front of me,” said Braggins. “Ultimately, I would love to be a TV comedian. I want to be like Chelsea Handler and have a show like that. I like working off of other people, so I think that would be sweet. If Tina Fey had a talk show, that’s how I’d want mine to be.

“If that doesn’t work out I would love to get into some kind of business management. I love the industry so even if I were a studio manager, I would love it.”

For now, Braggins is hoping to travel to Nashville this summer to intern with CMT and MTV.

“One of my favorite quotes is ‘Do it with passion or not at all,’” said Braggins. “I think if you find something you’re that passionate about, you need to do it. I love making people laugh. If I could spend every single day of my life making someone laugh, that’s what I’d want to do.”

Seeing a fellow Fredonian, such as Correale, finding success as a comedian has inspired Braggins.

“Pete is a very talented comedian and I think the fact that talent like that comes from fredonia makes me believe that what I want to do is possible,” said Braggins. “It gives me hope.”

Correale has some advice for aspiring comedians like Braggins.

“It has to be something that you just can’t imagine not doing in your life,” he said in his interview with the Dunkirk Observer. “It’s a really tough business and you’ve got to be really good, and the only way you get really good is by being so dedicated to it.”

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