Ashtabula native releases new comedy special

Comedian Tammy Pescatelli released her “Way After School Special” on March 17. Pescatelli was born in Ashtabula and went to Perry High School, where her new special was filmed.

A northeast Ohio comic returned home to film a comedy special, which was released on Tuesday.

Tammy Pescatelli’s “Way After School Special” was filmed at Perry High School, her alma mater, with students interested in production and film-making, Pescatelli said.

It was part of an effort to give back to her home.

Pescatelli was born in Ashtabula, and attended Perry High School.

“I’m connected to the area for life, and I decided to go to my old high school to film my special because in 10th grade, when I told my guidance counselor I wanted to be an actress, she said ‘you’re from Perry. No one from Perry has ever been on TV. If you want to be on TV, you’ll have to rob a bank,’” Pescatelli said.

Pescatelli got her start in comedy at an open mic night at a comedy club where she was working at the time. She was offered a radio morning show after her performance and eventually became the comedy club’s emcee.

“It was not an easy road, but I was blessed with a lot of opportunities,” Pescatelli said.

Getting on stage in front of the crowd at Perry High School was more nerve-wracking than the times Pescatelli performed on “The Tonight Show,” she said.

“It’s not necessarily a comedy audience you know? They were great. I couldn’t have had more help or more love,” Pescatelli said.

Pescatelli sponsored a scholarship after the filming of the special. One of the students who helped with the special won the scholarship. Pescatelli was glad to have given the students that opportunity and said that if she had had a similar chance, she would have had a clearer set of goals.

“Sometimes you just need to see it done,” Pescatelli said.

Pescatelli often finds herself trying to entertain three generations at a time at her shows.

“Even before all this, there was a lot of fear, so let’s try to figure out why we feel like we’re so far apart and figure out that we’re really not,” Pescatelli said.

The “Way After School Special” was the second featuring Pescatelli in less than a week. She was also featured in ‘“More Funny Women of a Certain Age,” which was released on Showtime on March 14.

Pescatelli won Comedy Central’s Standup Showdown in 2010 and competed in two seasons of “Last Comic Standing.” She also produced and starred in a reality series in 2011, “Stand Up Mother,” which documented her life.

The “Way After School Special” is available from purchase on various platforms.

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