Weekend Entertainment | Hinchcliffe and Halloween

Laugh if you want.

But Youngstown will be a serious comedy contender this weekend, with back-to-back shows by Joe Gatto and Tony Hinchcliffe tonight and Friday, respectively, at Powers Auditorium.

Gatto is best known for the cringe comedy of the hit TV shows “Impractical Jokers” and “The Misery Index.”

Hinchcliffe’s Friday show will be a homecoming event for him – he grew up on the North Side of Youngstown and is a graduate of Ursuline High School.

He and his mother lived in a home at the corner of Florencedale and Thornton in those days. Hinchcliffe, 39, will never forget his time in that crime-ridden and rough part of the city, or the work ethic he learned in the city.

“Youngstown made me who I am – hungry, strong and a fighter – and I know that there is no safety net,” he said in a 2016 interview with a local newspaper reporter. “When I first came to L.A., moving back home was not an option. Being from a place so scary and dark really helped me go all out with everything.”

At Ursuline High, Hinchcliffe’s teachers could sense he wasn’t typical. 

“A lot of my teachers said they couldn’t imagine me ever working a normal job,” he said. “They said they didn’t know how I would ever fit into society because all I do is try to make people laugh. I found an outlet for that.”

Hinchliffe, who now lives in Texas, uses his sharp humor to skewer people.

In addition to being a standup comedian, he is also a comedy writer (he has contributed to many Comedy Central roasts) and the host of the “Kill Tony” podcast. He frequently tours with Joe Rogan and appears on his No. 1 podcast.

He played Youngstown earlier in his career, appearing at Funny Farm comedy club before he hit it big. But Friday’s show will be a landmark one for him.

Tickets for both Gatto and Hinchcliffe are available at the DeYor box office or by calling 330 259 9651.

This is also Halloween weekend, and family events and bar crawls abound.

Warren’s annual Halloween parade will start at 3 p.m. Sunday at Courthouse Square and traverse eastbound on Market Street for several blocks. Bring the kids and a bag to collect the candy that will be thrown from floats and marchers.

At Stambaugh Auditorium, the spooky silent film “Pandora’s Box,” with live accompaniment on the pipe organ, will start at 2:30 p.m. Get tickets at experienceyourarts.org.

Frightful Fun Fest will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday at Quaker Steak & Lube in downtown Sharon, Pa.

On local stages, the thematically perfect play “Misery” opens Friday at Youngstown Playhouse, while Millennial Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd” continues at the Hopewell Theatre.

For a complete look at everything going on in the Mahoning Valley, check out The List.

Pictured at top: Youngstown native Tony Hinchcliffe will return to his hometown Friday for a show at Powers Auditorium.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.