Rich Howells

NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight: Comedian Dan Hoppel

NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight: Comedian Dan Hoppel
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Every week of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, our free open mic and talent competition at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, we feature a quick Q&A with the latest audience vote winner, which was comedian Dan Hoppel on March 31.

The weekly winner receives $50 in cash and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun.

After 12 weeks, the 12 winners will face off against each other in front of a panel of local celebrities who will determine the winner of the grand prize – a vacation package that includes $500 cash, three days and two nights in Cleveland, Ohio to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Brewing Company, tickets to a Cleveland Indians baseball game, and a free recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton when they return home.

We asked the 32-year-old Dunmore native about winning the second round with his hilarious and relatable jokes, and he had a few more quips for us.

NEPA SCENE: What brought you here to the event?

DAN HOPPEL: I’m a huge fan of NEPA Scene and what they’re trying to do for the local arts community, so whenever they host an open mic, I (and many other comics) like to come out to contribute as well as be entertained by the breadth and depth of talent in our area.

NS: How long have you been performing comedy?

DH: I started doing stand-up one year ago this month.

NS: What interested you in stand-up in the first place? How did you get started?

DH: I’ve been a fan of stand-up comedy since I was 12; it seems to be one of the most all-encompassing forms of entertainment I’ve ever seen. I had wanted to try it for years; one day I just said, “It’s time to go for it.” Plus, I hate myself, and I feel like others should too.

NS: Is comedy something that you’re pursuing as a career, or is it just for fun?

DH: It would be my greatest dream to make a living as a comic.

NS: What was your immediate reaction or feeling when you won?

DH: Two thoughts raced through my mind in rapid succession: first, I can’t believe it, I’m so honored. Second, did I remember record “The Flash?”

NS: Why do you think you won the audience vote?

DH: I made a group of girls feel bad for me and told them they could blow me in the parking lot if it’d make them feel better. I guess voting for me was a compromise.

NS: How will you spend your $50 prize?

DH: On a date that most likely will not end with sex.

NS: Where can people see one of your performances next?

DH: I’ll be at What’s Brewin’ in Old Forge this Friday, the Main Bean in Luzerne every Sunday, and on April 17, I’ll be emceeing at Laugh Out Lepka’s at Tequila in Scranton. Also, we’ll be restarting our late-night Saturday show at Donahue’s Hourglass Lounge in Wilkes-Barre soon. Or I will perform in your living room for eight bucks and a Cherry Coke.

NS: Where can people find you online?

DH: You can look me up on Facebook under Dan Hoppel, on Twitter @bigmantheory, or on the web at

To see photos of all the performers from last week’s event, including Hoppel, click here. For more information on NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, which is always free and open to anyone, click here.

Photo by Alex Seeley Photography