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Friday, August 30, 2013
A Western Virginia native turned stand-up comic will make his late-night TV debut Sept. 9 on the TBS show “Conan.” The show airs at 11 p.m.
Tony Deyo graduated from Parry McCluer High School in the early 1990s, and his parents, Rob and Mary Deyo, still live in Buena Vista. Tony Deyo patterns his act after the clean comedy of Brian Regan.
Deyo started his career track as a musician. In 1993 he was part of the world championship-winning Cadets of Bergen County Drum & Bugle Corps and later performed as a percussionist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Company of North Carolina, the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra and others.
He was teaching middle school band in Austin, Texas, when he first tried his hand at stand-up.
“I saw that the local comedy club was teaching a stand-up class,” he wrote in an email. “It was something that I was always interested in, and kind of knew that if I didn’t try it then, I probably never would. The class got me on stage, which is always the biggest hurdle to becoming a comic. From there, it kind of slowly went from being a hobby, to something I started getting paid a little bit for, to a career.”
His upcoming appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show could be his big break. “The first thing it does is separate you from the pack. If I had to guess, I’d say that less than 1 percent of working comedians will ever do a late-night appearance. This doesn’t mean that a lot more don’t deserve it, but the stars really have to align for it to happen. Also, deserved or not, it makes you an automatic headliner. Any time a club can advertise you as ‘you may have seen him on …,’ it’s a way easier sell to an audience than ‘trust us, he’s really good.’ ”
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