Vic DiBitetto was something of a late bloomer. The Brooklyn native began his comedy career in 1981, grinding it out in the comedy clubs over the next several decades with moderate success. But in February 2013, he released a video on YouTube called “Bread and Milk” that changed everything. It was a humorous rant, poking fun at the general sense of panic that seems to take over whenever a major storm is predicted. And for whatever reason, it struck a chord on social media and went viral with over 17 million views.
Suddenly, DiBitetto was a legitimate star in the world of comedy at the graying age of 52. Since then he has remained white hot — his videos regularly rack up millions of views, and his stand-up shows seem to sell out effortlessly.
DiBitetto comes to the Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City for a pair of shows 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, and 9 p.m. Saturday, April 24. We had a chance to catch up with him recently. Here’s what was on his mind.
Atlantic City Weekly: After being in comedy for 40 years, did you ever expect things to blow up the way they did after “Bread and Milk” was released?
Vic DiBitetto: I have been doing these videos since 2009 and have done over 8,000 of them. I saw that I was getting a following on social media, so I kept at it. “Bread and Milk” was the first one that went viral. Back then I always had two jobs — I drove a school bus, a dump truck, a garbage truck. I needed to do that to take care of my family. But once the social media gave me this following, I was doing great, selling out theaters and casinos all over the place. Then the pandemic came.
But I’m fortunate. I have a loyal fanbase and a phenomenal manager who has just been awesome at handling my career. I never thought I would be where I am today. I’m selling out the Hard Rock during a pandemic – it’s crazy.
ACW: Have you been able to monetize the videos you release online?
VD: Oh absolutely! That’s what got me through the pandemic. I monetize on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. And I post every day, and it’s different content. I don’t mean to brag, but nobody has the different types of content that I do.
ACW: What has the last year been like for you?
VD: My mother used to say “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” So, when I got nothing to do that’s when the wheels start turning. I try to turn negatives into positives. I put out tons of videos. And I lost over 25 pounds during the quarantine. The only bad thing was quarantining with my wife. That was the hardest part, but it gave me more material.
ACW: Have you performed live at all, or has it been all videos for you since COVID began?
VD: When the pandemic began I was doing the outdoor shows, but when it started getting cold that was the end of that. Who the hell is going to sit outside in the middle of February? So I tried the virtual shows, but no way – I need a live audience. I don’t ever want to do those again.
But things are starting to pick up. I just came back from Florida where I was working with Andrew Dice Clay, which was surreal because I started with him 40 years ago in Brooklyn. And it was phenomenal! My calendar is filling up. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’m a pretty lucky guy.
What’s the worst … according to Vic DiBitetto
We asked Vic DiBitetto about some of the things he hates in life. Here’s his list.
ACW: What’s the worst ice cream flavor?
VD: Chocolate chip mint. Anything with mint in it I can’t stand. It tastes like toothpaste.
ACW: What is the worst car you ever owned?
VD: A Honda Civic — back in 1979. It went from 0 to 60 in three minutes. And it had a stick shift that broke off. Thank God I had a broom in the car – I made my own stick shift out of it. Never again will I buy a Honda Civic.
ACW: What’s the worst Sylvester Stallone movie?
VD: Oh, I love Sylvester Stallone… but the worst movie has to be the one with Dolly Parton – “Rhinestone!”
ACW: What’s the worst song to play at a funeral?
VD: Maybe “Another One Bites the Dust?” Wait, no … that would be appropriate. The worst song to play has to be “Happy Days are Here Again.”
ACW: What’s the worst animal to be trapped in an elevator with?
VD: I love animals, but there are so many bad ones to be trapped in an elevator with. Maybe a grizzly bear with rabies?