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What a 'Guy'!
"You know that guy," he says of the obvious, the one chosen last for the volleyball team -- as the net; the one fixed up with the sister's cousin from Moldavia, if he swears he's had all his shots; the one who buys a cell phone so he'll be able to talk to his brother in prison.
"There's the 'other guy' quality in every person; everyone has insecurities, everybody gets in that situation."
But, for now, Trachtman's "the guy" -- the one making comedic headlines in clubs all over New York, such as Caroline's and the Gotham Comedy Club. And this guy, the one whose "Safecracker" CD opened up a new world for him, recently appeared at Helium Comedy Club in Center City.
Laugh and the world laughs with you; better yet, at you if you need to make a living in comedy. Trachtman's track record proves he's had that effect on people since he was a little guy.
"I was always a funny kid; I did it to be popular," he recalls. "My parents laughed at me; my grandparents laughed at me."
But no one could laugh off his ambitions. After getting his GED, Trachtman graduated to the comedy scene, studying at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, of which he is a proud alum, and H.B. Studios.
But the student has become the teacher. Once he took lessons from Steven Rosenfield; now he's on the faculty of Rosenfield's Comedy Institute.
It all taught him a lesson. "Everybody has a story to tell, and humor in their life," says the comic.
But timing is ... everything. "It's like dancing; you can show people the steps, but not everyone can be graceful enough to do it right."
Step one: Know your audience.
"I was performing at the Comedy Cabaret in Doylestown," he recalls, "and I saw this girl in the audience."
His pick-up line didn't pick up any steam. On finding out she worked at Caroline's, one of the nation's premiere punchline palaces, Trachtman snidely inquired, "What, are you the hostess? A waitress?"
No, she punched back: "I book the room's talent."
"I was so embarrassed," says Trachtman of the one-liner that could have sunk a liner. "She hated me all that year."
Obviously, bygones are bygones, because by the time they played the wedding march some time later at their wedding, she had forgiven him.
Even if his humor can be unforgiving, as in this attributed tidbit: "My mom was obsessed with keeping a clean house. I would get up at 3 in the morning [to go to the bathroom], and when I came back my bed was made and there was a chocolate on the pillow."
He certainly doesn't lose sleep over popularity; Trachtman knows he's got it. The applause and acclaim attest to the fact he doesn't phone it in; no, he uses satellite: Trachtman did specials for both Sirius and XM satellite radio.
He's also appeared in Comedy Central's "Heroes of Jewish Comedy."
"Jews are not the most macho people, but we're brilliant, inventive," he notes.
And cutting. Know why Jews "invented" circumcision?
"We figured if it can't be big, let it be cute."
Cute ... in a sarcastic way. "I was doing a TV show and tour in Holland, hanging out with Dutch comedians. One of them says to me, 'You have to go to Germany with us.'
"I said, 'Oh, no, fool me once ... I'm not falling for that again.' "
Fall-over funny is what he can be before an audience and class; Trachtman has also taught comedy at Mercer County Community College.
A class act, he's no longer just the "other guy."
No, he says, "not since I married my wife, the most beautiful woman in the world."