Comedian Basile Will Shoot Netflix Special in the Valley

WARREN, Ohio – Basile didn’t spend much time pondering where to shoot his upcoming comedy special.

He figured the Mahoning Valley would be perfect.

Basile’s March 2 performance at the Robins Theatre will be captured by a film crew for Netflix. A premiere date has not yet been set.

Although he grew up in New Jersey, the son of Greek immigrants, Basile considers the Youngstown-Warren area to be his home turf. His brand of comedy connects with the population – which includes a large Greek community.

“I really have a love for the area, and that’s why I want to tape the special there,” he said in a phone interview from his North Carolina home. “I could have done it in Cleveland or North Carolina or Miami. But I wanted to do it in Youngstown. This is where people are real. The heartland.”

It was a rare moment of sincerity for the comedian – but it naturally served to set up a one-liner: “I tried to visit the steel museum the last time I was there, but they were on strike.”

Basile said his Robins shows will feature a lot of new material, “but I’ve still got to talk about the solid things that go down in the Youngstown area.”

The comedian has a deep fan base in the Mahoning Valley and has played sold-out shows in just about every venue here.

His local appearances have usually been promoted by Dave Robich, who has operated The Funny Farm comedy club for decades.

But taping his special at the Robins Theatre made sense.

“I played a show at the Holiday Inn in Boardman last year, and it was jam packed,” he recalled. “They had to put people in chairs against the walls.”

Space shouldn’t be a problem in the 1,250-seat Robins Theatre. The theater is also very ornate, which can only add to the visual aspect of the streaming special. “The Robins will look great,” Basile said.

Ken Haidaris, who is in charge of booking at the Robins, said he is “a huge fan” of Basile. He approached the comedian to shoot his special at the theater. It will be the first time a show at the downtown Warren theater will be taped for a televised special.

Basile also has his hand in ventures beyond comedy.

He has a line of Greek-style seasonings that come in five flavors: steak, pork, chicken, fish and salad. They are available in many stores and from online retailers such as Amazon.

“They’re low in sodium and have no MSG,” he said.

Soon he will also offer Loukoupuffs, his own take on loukoumades, a Greek donut.

Basile has also written a screenplay that is in the preproduction phase with Pollack Films. Titled “Hidden Bias,” it is a World War II drama based on the life of his grandfather.

“I’ve been working on this since 2018,” he said.  “We will announce it soon.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.