Joe Raiola | Print |  E-mail

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Since joining the Theatre Within Workshop in New York as a young comedian in 1979, Joe Raiola has had a flourishing career as a solo performer, comedy writer, producer, director and speaker on first amendment issues.

He has appeared at countless regional theaters, nightclubs, colleges, public libraries and professional conferences in his critically acclaimed solo shows Almost Obscene and The Joy Of Censorship. After decades of touring he remains a favorite on the lecture circuit and has performed in over 40 states.


In 1981, Joe created the Annual John Lennon Tribute with Theatre Within Workshop Founder, Alec Rubin. He has produced and appeared in the show every year since its inception. In 2004, he was invited by Yoko Ono to contribute to her book, Memories Of John Lennon.

Following the death of Mr. Rubin in 2005, Joe established Theatre Within as a not-for-profit Performing Arts Presenter committed to producing charity benefits. In 2007, he helped bring World Hunger Year together with Yoko Ono resulting in the “Imagine There’s No Hunger Global Initiative” which raised millions of dollars to fight hunger and poverty around the world.

As a comedy writer, Joe remains on staff at MAD Magazine, where he has been one of the creative innovators behind MAD’s unprecedented longevity (and stupidity!) since 1984. He is currently MAD’s “Senior Editor,” a title he insists “means nothing since I work at the only place in America where if you mature, you get fired.”

Joe’s latest project, An Evening of Music, Humor & Wisdom, debuted at the Byrdcliffe Theater as part of the Woodstock Fringe in August 2009.

A graduate of Adelphi University, where he developed a love for radio at WBAU-FM, Joe can frequently be heard Sunday mornings on WDST, 100.1 FM in Woodstock, NY, as co-host of the Woodstock Roundtable.