“A Master of rapid fire one liners” claimed Las Vegas Today . The South Florida Sun-Sentinel touted: “Merola is a real pro when it comes to working an audience.”
Who is this funny man who has played some of the finest venues in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Aspen, Cape Cod and Fort Lauderdale? Who is the entertainer who has opened for the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Spyra Gyra, Paula Pondstone and a host of others?
Whether he is entertaining for a corporate meeting, convention, or at a top comedy spot or nightclub, Gene Merola knows how to totally immerse an audience in a wild and fun-filled romp of laughter, song and an event that is sure to be memorable.
A nightclub made for Gene Merola: The Bojangles Days
Wherever Gene would entertain, crowds would follow; and it wasn’t too long before club owners realized that Gene Merola brought in good business. He consistently broke records in Aspen and Fort Lauderdale. His success was amazing and the fact that he was able to bring in repeat business made him a valuable commodity.
Several club owners came together and approached Gene about building a nightclub designed just for him. The result was Bojangles, a nightclub built in Fort Lauderdale that was year-round home for Gene Merola for almost 6 years. Bojangles was an immediate success. As a reviewer for the Sun-Sentinel put it: “ “Playing solo sets for as long as two hours at a clip, Merola charms his fans, heckles his hecklers and leaves the listener exhausted from a barrage of laughter and song.”
On any given night, Bojangles was packed. Even standing room was at a premium. The crowds kept coming until his final day.
Las Vegas, Atlantic City and the High Seas
After a very long and successful run, Gene Merola was ready to try different avenues for his brand of comedy. He decided it was better to leave Bojangles while the crowds were still asking for more.
After six years as a South Florida entertainment icon, could Gene Merola’s success move to bigger venues in markets such as Atlantic City, Las Vegas and the large cruise ship showrooms? The answer was a resounding “yes” with Gene having successful runs at The Claridge in Atlantic City as well as Bally’s and the Tropicana in Las Vegas. He has entertained thousands aboard Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
He has also proven to be a strong opening act for some of the top headliners. In addition to those mentioned previously, Gene has also opened for the Commodores. Ben Vereen, Melissa Manchester, Hall and Oates, Dave Mason, Sha Na Na, Carrot Top and Larry the Cable Guy.
Sporting and Charity Events, Country Clubs and Corporate Meetings
Gene is an avid sports fanatic so it is no wonder that he has entertained at so many sporting events. He has served as a roast master and emcee for a private New York Yankees event. He has done similar work for the Baltimore Orioles, the St. Louis Cardinals and the NFL Alumni Association.
Gene Merola has also entertained at numerous Golf charity events. However, his charitable work goes far beyond the clubhouse. Gene has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for so many worthy causes. He has been a longtime supporter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters where he has been honored for his significant contribution and support of the organization. Similarly, he has been involved in charitable events for Kids in Distress, A Starting Place and the Fort Lauderdale Junior League.
Corporate Meetings and Conventions
Companies and convention planners have learned that there is no better way to spice up a corporate meeting or convention than by having Gene as the featured entertainment. When a South Florida radio station was planning a function for staff, clients and loyal listeners; they called on the talents of Gene Merola to keep the show lively and fun. The Promotions Manager sent the following comments after the event: “When we asked you to perform for one straight hour, we realized that we were asking a lot, however you were able to keep the audience laughing the entire hour. Everyone here on staff was very impressed and the audience’s laughter certainly proved that they had a great time.”
The laughter continues....
Today, Gene Merola continues to work non-stop. His act has never been better and his quick wit has continued to sharpen over time. He is still a mainstay aboard some of the largest cruise ships and his comedy continues to be a major hit with audiences at conventions, corporate meetings, nightclubs, country clubs, condos and special events.
His passion to entertain and please is obvious with every performance. Gene is the consummate entertainer blending comedy, song and audience participation into an evening of complete enjoyment.
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