Performer | Director | Coach

Paul is a seasoned performer, writer and improviser in New York City. He has had the opportunity to perform throughout the US and in the UK. Paul also has directed numerous short plays and sketches and is an Improv coach as well. Winner of Best Actor at the NYTV Festival for the pilot of "The Chris and Paul Show" and Best Newcomer at The Montreal Sketch Festival. Nominated for Best Newcomer at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and proud alumnus of Second City NYC. 

Reviews

The Chris & Paul Show


Review by Barrie Morgan New York based duo Chris O'Neill and Paul Valenti arrived at the Fringe to little fanfare. However, if they maintain the quality and professionalism of their show throughout their run they're bound to leave in a blaze of accolades. Fundamentally a sketch show with its origins in vaudeville, the pairing offer up a unique show of interesting and surprising skits that are both intelligent and hilarious. The show starts slowly but the audience instantly warm to the two Americans. Their comedic dynamic is spot on, and it shows. The element of surprise, along with the top-class comedic acting on display, ensures each sketch evokes the desired emotions throughout. Even the audience participation was endearing as it welcomed rather than alienated. The hour itself flew by and left the modest crowd instantly wanting more. A brilliantly thought out and expertly performed little gem. A must-see and one of the greatest sketch shows I've ever seen.





The Chris & Paul Show


Review by Barrie Morgan New York based duo Chris O'Neill and Paul Valenti arrived at the Fringe to little fanfare. However, if they maintain the quality and professionalism of their show throughout their run they're bound to leave in a blaze of accolades. Fundamentally a sketch show with its origins in vaudeville, the pairing offer up a unique show of interesting and surprising skits that are both intelligent and hilarious. The show starts slowly but the audience instantly warm to the two Americans. Their comedic dynamic is spot on, and it shows. The element of surprise, along with the top-class comedic acting on display, ensures each sketch evokes the desired emotions throughout. Even the audience participation was endearing as it welcomed rather than alienated. The hour itself flew by and left the modest crowd instantly wanting more. A brilliantly thought out and expertly performed little gem. A must-see and one of the greatest sketch shows I've ever seen.





The Chris & Paul Show


Review by Steve Bennett A good ‘best newcomer’ shortlist makes you go ‘Who?’ A poor one makes you go, ‘Why?’ This year the first criterion was definitely fulfilled with The Chris & Paul Show, as a genuine new discovery was thrust unexpectedly into the Edinburgh Comedy Awards limelight. Yesterday’s surprise announcement clearly caught the industry on the hop, as the audience for the first show after the nomination was announced was half-human, half-notebook as critics, myself included, rushed to play catch-up. And after watching gifted New Yorkers Chris O'Neill and Paul Valenti, who describe themselves as modern vaudevillians, the ‘why’ question is firmly answered, too. They are sharp physical performers – reminiscent of the best silent comedy stars – with a keen sense of melodrama, surprise and the absurd, often all at once. It takes a while for their charm to work its magic, though. They open with an interminably slow scene full of excruciating pauses that prepares you only for an hour of discomfort. Thankfully, that was a one-off – and although they are not afraid of quieter moments, the pair are judicious in their use. They largely treat each other like squabbling siblings, always spoiling for a fight but so ineffectual when it comes to trading blows. In the first scene where this happens, you think you have them sussed – but then get treated to an out-of-nowhere punchline. It’s not the only time that such a surprise happens either. One particular scene – to call them sketches would seem to demean their unquestionable artistry – builds up the tension so beautifully, then punctures it so hilariously with just two short words, it’s one of the best single moments of the Fringe. Wringing moments for drama is the pair’s forte. A scene may be ridiculous – an Easter Bunny distributing chocolate eggs, for example – but they can spin in into menace on a sixpence. Very Donnie Darko. A similar switcheroo happens when Valenti starts a talking to an unseen class of infants, in a Joyce Grenfell-y kind of way, only for a tragic back story to emerge during a jaunty kids’ song. Their performance skills are beyond doubt, just one look at the scene where O'Neilli inflated like a giant balloon man is proof of that, and their comic timing for individual gags impeccable. The pacing of the show is less perfect, as the vast majority of scenes take a fair time to set up so if the payoff needs to be worth the wait and occasionally, such as in the otherwise silly bumblebee sketch, it doesn’t always happen. But these two are certainly slick, talented and with undoubted funny bones, like their compatriots The Pajama Men, but different. You might not have heard of them 24 hours ago – despite their 11 years working together – but you will surely hear more.





The Chris & Paul Show


Review by Jon Stapley Sketch comedy duo Chris O’Niell and Paul Valenti started last night with a bit of a mountain to climb. A slightly disgruntled audience were shepherded into the Fancy Room at the Caves for a ten-minutes-late start. The air was a little tense and there was a sense that the pair would have to work hard to win over this particular crowd. Fortunately, moments after they shyly stepped out from behind their backdrop, it became clear that Chris and Paul’s unique brand of irreverent sketches and physical humour was a winner. The result was a very different, very funny hour of comedy that quickly won the audience’s affections and left everyone with big grins on their faces. Chris and Paul take a novel approach to sketch comedy and are generally rewarded for it. Their humour is relatively light on dialogue, relying on facial expressions and the boys’ impressive physical comedy chops. Indeed some of the most memorable scenes are accomplished without saying a word, for example a mimed friendly drive undertaken by two friends that abruptly morphs into something quite different and a sequence involving an inflatable version of Chris and a confused but compliant audience member. This kind of impromptu participation is a large part of the show. Chris and Paul repeatedly called on people from the front few rows to assist with their antics. The participation was always in good spirit and no-one was picked on or taken too far out of their comfort zone. That said, there was a visible flinch among a large contingent of the audience whenever the front lights came up. If you don’t want to run the risk of being hauled up on stage I’d suggest taking a seat further back. Chris and Paul’s humour does rely heavily on long, awkward pauses and sometimes, especially in the show’s later stages, it was hard not to feel a little impatient for them to just get on with it. They also sometimes had difficulty ending a scene, with a few weak or predictable punch lines that did a bit of a disservice to the hilarity that had gone before. However, the physical talent and originality on display here more than made up for it. Chris and Paul put on a relentlessly unique sketch show and did it very well indeed. A highly entertaining and highly recommended hour of comedy.





Performance Schedule

 

Live Shows

Tours

Festivals

Upcoming Events

 

The CHRIS and PAUL Show FUN TOUR

Click here for dates 

 

 


 

Classes & Workshops

 

Physical Comedy

Environment Work

Silent Comedy & Timing

Networking

Workshops:

Improv For Everyone

Where Is The Where

 


Improv for Everyone I If you are new or want to tune your tools, our introduction to improv concentrates on connections and how to stay grounded. We’ll focus on character creation, object/environment work, and most importantly, working as an ensemble. We believe improvisation can be used in everyday life; whether you are performing on the stage, priming for an audition, or connecting with co-workers.
sheencenter.org/shows/improv/all/

Improv for Everyone II
Improv for Everyone II are for people who have taken improvisation classes in the past. You will learn to create grounded scenes by pulling from the height of your intelligence. Along the way you will learn how to develop characters and even impressions/impersonations. You will expand your mental and physical abilities that will enhance your everyday interactions.
sheencenter.org/shows/improv-2/2019-02-27/

Improv for Everyone: Where is the Where?
"Where is the Where" An 8 week course that helps the improviser explore objects and places around them. Created a world where you can draw in the audience. An environment can help ground an improviser and help figure out who they are. At the same time connecting to your fellow players. Where you are always has an effect on you. Expand your physical presence and ability's. Contact To RSVP





 
 

Contact 

203-912-1684

Classes & Workshops

 

Physical Comedy

Environment Work

Silent Comedy & Timing

Networking

Classes:

Improv For Everyone

 

Workshops:

Improv For Everyone

Where Is The Where?

 

The Chris & Paul Show


Review by Jon Stapley Sketch comedy duo Chris O’Niell and Paul Valenti started last night with a bit of a mountain to climb. A slightly disgruntled audience were shepherded into the Fancy Room at the Caves for a ten-minutes-late start. The air was a little tense and there was a sense that the pair would have to work hard to win over this particular crowd. Fortunately, moments after they shyly stepped out from behind their backdrop, it became clear that Chris and Paul’s unique brand of irreverent sketches and physical humour was a winner. The result was a very different, very funny hour of comedy that quickly won the audience’s affections and left everyone with big grins on their faces. Chris and Paul take a novel approach to sketch comedy and are generally rewarded for it. Their humour is relatively light on dialogue, relying on facial expressions and the boys’ impressive physical comedy chops. Indeed some of the most memorable scenes are accomplished without saying a word, for example a mimed friendly drive undertaken by two friends that abruptly morphs into something quite different and a sequence involving an inflatable version of Chris and a confused but compliant audience member. This kind of impromptu participation is a large part of the show. Chris and Paul repeatedly called on people from the front few rows to assist with their antics. The participation was always in good spirit and no-one was picked on or taken too far out of their comfort zone. That said, there was a visible flinch among a large contingent of the audience whenever the front lights came up. If you don’t want to run the risk of being hauled up on stage I’d suggest taking a seat further back. Chris and Paul’s humour does rely heavily on long, awkward pauses and sometimes, especially in the show’s later stages, it was hard not to feel a little impatient for them to just get on with it. They also sometimes had difficulty ending a scene, with a few weak or predictable punch lines that did a bit of a disservice to the hilarity that had gone before. However, the physical talent and originality on display here more than made up for it. Chris and Paul put on a relentlessly unique sketch show and did it very well indeed. A highly entertaining and highly recommended hour of comedy.





Directing

 Help tell the story you visualize. Give an outside eye can help tighten, tweaking parts that need polishing. Identify and enhance levels of performance. 

 Creating purposeful movement in every scene. 

  

Creating the pace of the scene.

Coaching

Concentrating on your strengths and abilities. Help you get comfortable and find your comedic voice.  

 

Discover your timing.

 

Finding what works for you.

Optimizing your stage presence.