By ED CONDRAN Correspondent Most New Jersey residents will never forget where they were when Hurricane Sandy rocked the Garden State with unprecedented force last month. Newark native and Roosevelt resident Steve Trevelise was exactly where he wanted to be when Sandy ravaged his beloved home state. The evening host (7 to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday) of New Jersey 101.5 FM (WKXW) was on the air reporting about the effects of “the Frankenstorm” and taking calls from fellow Garden Staters dealing with the effects of the historic system.
“I felt like Walter Cronkite,” says Trevelise. “Most outlets were focusing on what was happening in New York. But people tuned in to our station because we are New Jersey. I had the privilege of letting people know what was happening and it was wonderful interacting with those that were calling in.” The animated Trevelise clearly enjoyed visiting with an eclectic group of listeners from throughout the state during an extraordinary night. Then again, he has a blast holding court during ordinary evenings as well.
“This is the best radio job I ever had,” says Trevelise. “It’s a dream job since what I do is akin to what I did while growing up in Union City on the stoop. I shoot the breeze. I sit out there and talk with whomever wants to talk with me. Anyone can come out and listen.” The topics Trevelise brings to the table range from best candy bar jingles to what New Jersey resident would you most like to meet. “People in New Jersey love Bruce Springsteen,” Trevelise says. “That’s no surprise. But then you had to tune in to hear who else they want to meet. I try to have some fun, talk about music, do some comedy.”
“I’ve known Trev for almost 30 years and the thing about him is that he has this tremendous work ethic,” New Jersey 101.5 brand director Eric Johnson says. “Steve oozes Jersey culture. He’s a (New York) Giants fan. The people love him. He’s doubled the ratings at night at the station. He’s been great.”
Comedy has been a big part of Trevelise’s life. He’s been a stand-up comic for the last generation and he is the owner and general manager of Sarcasm Comedy Club, which on Saturday features its comedy competition with headliner Billy Terrell at two shows. “It’s a wonderful thing to own a club and also to be able to get out there and perform,” says Trevelise. “It’s a great time. We’ll have celebrity judges come out. We’ll have icons like Robert Klein and Uncle Floyd play the club. And we’re going to present the unpredictable Gilbert Gottfried at Pitman’s Broadway Theater in February.”
Sarcasm also hosts a comedy class. Alums such as former Philadelphia Eagle Garry Cobb, wrestling legend King Kong Bundy and Eric Potts have cut their comedic teeth there. The latter has earned the MC gig at Sarcasm and will introduce Gottfried when he returns to South Jersey in February.
“I think we have a little something for everyone,” says Trevelise. “If you want to learn how to become a comic, come on out. If you want to just laugh and forget about everything, come on out.”
Trevelise, who owns a shore house in Sea Isle City, is a dynamo. Aside from working the night shift at New Jersey 101.5 and toiling at his club in Cherry Hill, he does the weekend overnight shifts and weekday updates at WIP. “It helps when you love what you do,” he says. “I enjoy what I do at WIP. I’m used to doing what I do there. It’s great there. It’s great to be at New Jersey 101.5 and I love what I do at Sarcasm.
“The wonderful thing is that I get to do what I love and how many people get to say that? I believe that I’m in a unique situation. I’m incredibly fortunate.” Steve Trevelise’s Sarcasm Comedy Club features its comedy competition with Billy Terrell headlining at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the venue at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 2349 W. Marlton Pike/Route 70 East in Cherry Hill. Tickets: $20. Information: 856-382-6253.