Laughing away sorrow Benefit recalled Gloucester City fire victims.

Posted: July 26, 2002

RUNNEMEDE — They had learned the hard lessons of funerals and public grief.

Last night, they laughed.

In a darkened, smoky corner of the Holiday Inn in Runnemede, 150 people shook off the tragedy of a deadly house fire in Gloucester City at a comedy benefit born of a sense of helplessness.

On July 4, Albert Trevelise laid his head down and wept as the terrible news blared out of the television: three firefighters dead, three little girls gone.

“He was crying at the dinner table, saying, ‘I feel so helpless,’ ” said Steve Trevelise, who sat that day with his 80-year-old father, a retired Union City firefighter.

The younger Trevelise had grown up playing outside the Union City firehouse. He did his best to comfort his father, a man who, he said, never felt right about the medals he earned for fighting a long-ago blaze that claimed his two best friends.

And like so many who never knew Jimmy Sylvester, John West, Tommy Stewart, or the little Slack sisters, Alexandra, Claudia and Coletta, Steve Trevelise was moved to help.

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10 Questions with … Steve Trevelise


In my 30 years of radio, I’ve held every job from playing the hits on WPST Trenton, to rock on WYSP Philadelphia, then News Director doing updates on The Howard Stern Show, followed by Program Director and announcer for Shadow Traffic in Philadelphia, Sports talk host on 94 WIP in Philadelphia, and now adding Jersey talk on New Jersey 101.5. In my spare time I perform standup comedy all over New Jersey.

1. Why did you go into radio? How did you get your start?

I grew up listening to Imus in the Morning and loved the idea of playing music and telling jokes for a living.

2. You do sports talk and you’ve hosted music station morning shows, but now you’re doing general-interest talk on New Jersey 101.5. What has the experience been like so far, and what are the differences, if any, in how you approach hosting on 101.5 as opposed to, say, WIP or any of the morning shows or rock shows you did?

New Jersey 101.5 moves at a faster pace than Sports talk. The topics completely change every day, whereas in sports, the problems of the team stay pretty much the same. I could talk about whether Cole Hamels will be traded for weeks. The challenge is in the twist you put on it. My experience with music radio has been all about the music, and your job is to get the listener there as quickly as possible in an entertaining but not really controversial way.

3. You’ve maintained a comedy career for years, performing and running comedy clubs. How much has the experience doing standup affected how you do your radio shows, or vice versa? Are they totally different disciplines or do you find that performing on stage gives you perspective for when you’re behind the mic?

Comedy has taught me to find the funny in the topic and exploit that. Since my stage humor is basically topical monologue, there’s a real synergy between the two. You have to be careful, though, not to let the comedy compromise your credibility.

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Roosevelt Neighbors Combine for Comedy against Domestic Violence on March 19

Come out on Saturday, March 19 from 7 to 10 PM to the Hightstown Fire Hall when Roosevelt resident and New Jersey 101.5 radio personality Steve Trevelise, along with comedians Jimmy Graham and Chris Johnston, perform a very special comedy show to help Ellen Rothfuss, another Roosevelt resident, reach her goal of raising $10,000 as a runner in the Boston Marathon for the charity Casa Myrna Vasquez, one of New England’s leading organizations working against domestic and dating violence.

There will also be prizes to bid on from great places like the Hightstown Diner, Perennial Home, Origins, Princeton Pacers Running, Eva Nails Studio, The Paper Source, West Elm and Carter and Cavero Olive Oil Company.  Auction items include gift certificates, hair products, jewelry, home goods, beauty products and one-of-a-kind craft items.

Roosevelt resident Tim Curry, a fireman in the Roosevelt and Hightstown Fire Companies, has generously donated his annual opportunity to use the Hightstown hall for the show.

Trevelise, who owned and operated Sarcasm Comedy Club at Tavern On The Lake, has been performing for the last sixteen years.  The many people he has opened for include Pat Cooper, Robert Klein, Gilbert Gottfried and the late Richard Jeni.

Jimmy Graham headlines comedy clubs and casinos from Atlantic City to Las Vegas, stars in his own internet sitcom “Graham’s Crackers”, and is known for his takes on family and being both a dad and granddad.

Chris Johnston has toured with “Howard Stern – Killers of Comedy” and “Best Damn Comedy show” tours. A New Jersey native, Johnston provides a charismatic commentary with stories and opinions on the struggles of everyday life.

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Charity Driven

610 WIP’s Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano are hosting a fundraiser tonight for longtime WIP caller Linda Christie, better known on air as Linda from Mayfair, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. WIP’s Steve Trevelise, whose wife, Deneen, is a breast-cancer survivor, and on whose show Linda broke the news, is doing a comedy set, as is Joe Conklin. The party runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Chickie’s & Pete’s (11000 Roosevelt Blvd.) and costs $25 at the door.


Tackling Breast Cancer One Dress at a Time

Did you notice a man wearing a dress walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge recently?

After losing a bet to 94WIP Sportsradio host Glen Macnow, WIP’s Steve Trevelise spent a couple hours walking around the Independence Mall area and then across the bridge to support a good cause – the Eagles Tackle Breast Cancer campaign. Trevelise had bet that the Giants would beat your Birds who crushed the Giants 36-21.

For the last nine years, the Philadelphia Eagles and Jefferson have partnered in the fight against breast cancer.

“The Eagles were the first team in the NFL to reach out and address breast cancer awareness and the fundraising issue. They are real leaders in that regard,” says Steve Smith, vice president for Development at the Jefferson Foundation.

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