Actress Valerie Tosi Knows How To Cope With A Joke – And The Salisbury Beach Broadway Loop

“I really wanted something tangible after doing stand-up for X years,” says Tosi, whose family pronounces her last name “Tossy”, as in “impertinence”. “It’s something I can hold in my hands.”

Although rooted on both coasts, she recorded the album last summer in Bloomington, Indiana at Comedy Attic. She has a quick response whenever asked why she hasn’t recorded it in Boston, which is often the case.

“I didn’t want my own family to ruin it!” she said laughing.

In fact, she gets much of her material from her parents, who are wilder than their nerdy clarinet-playing firstborn ever was. (She calls herself a “Geriatric Millennial.”) Phil and Mel Tosi, who both met when they worked at GE in Lynn, love a good bar and a good Margarita.

Recently, they moved to Florida, staying in Airbnbs while they browsed the real estate market, their daughter reports. Phil, who enjoyed tending his garden in Salisbury, took it upon himself to fill birdbaths and prune bushes on other people’s property when he realized they were out of town .

“I’m like, ‘You don’t own a house, but you own an extension ladder? Valerie jokes.

Unlike her parents, who have big Boston accents, she gave up on hers years ago. But she relapses quickly whenever she tells a joke about her mother.

“The first time people hear me doing my mom’s accent, they’re just overjoyed for some reason,” Tosi says, speaking on the phone from LA. She worked for years at the Hungry Traveler, an old-fashioned family restaurant on the road to Salisbury Beach. His mother too.

“How sad?” she jokes in her act.

Still, she loves her unequivocally scruffy hometown.

“Look, man, nobody here is putting on airs,” she said. To the standard Salisbury question: which ‘beach pizza’ is better, Tripoli or Cristy’s? – she doesn’t hesitate.

“We all know Cristy’s is the best. Corner slice, additional cheese. We all know the drill.

With her best friend, Darielle Rose, behind the camera, she shot a series of photographs to promote the album in and around Joe’s Playland, the seasoned arcade that anchors the Broadway Loop to the water’s edge.

“I’ve been yelled at several times for climbing on children’s rides,” Tosi laughs.

The cover for Valerie Tosi’s debut album, “Beach Trash”, will be released on January 21st.BLONDE MEDICINE

Her memories of Lynn, where the family lived until the age of 10, are less expensive. Recalled that the city is experiencing a bit of a renaissance after decades of decadence, she admits she struggles to understand it.

“Is beyond me. I say to myself: “Are you sure? I know the pandemic has really made us all rethink some things, but this…? ‘ “

The family home adjoined one of the town’s cemeteries, so young Valerie spent a lot of time building forts on the mounds of cool earth there. For her, a bunch of discarded flowers was the “treasure heap”.

Maybe that’s where her dark sense of humor comes from, she suggests.

“Looking back, it’s out of order,” she laughs again.

Growing up near a graveyard is one of the many quirks she has in common with Dana Gould, the stand-up comic and longtime “Simpsons” writer who is another Massachusetts native. They met the day Tosi was kicked out of Comicon for using someone else’s badge, quickly bonding with Boston sports clichés and their respective family dramas. Gould helped her find her place in the comedy circuit.

“I just love it,” says Tosi. “He is the best.”

Even in LA, fellow Bostonians gravitate towards each other “like cockroaches,” she says. She recently did a set at Comedy Cottage at Tom Bergin’s, the old LA pub where the horseshoe bar inspired “Cheers”.

When she pulled up a few days ago, the manager told her with a heavy Boston accent that she was funny, and he paid for her first drink.

“My God, I love the people of Boston,” she said.


At Ruby Room Comedy, Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester, NH, February 23. At Hideout Comedy, White Bull Tavern, 1 Union St., Boston, February 25-26. Details on

James Sullivan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @sullivanjames.

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