Summary ProfileVittorio got introduced to stand-up comedy when he was 9 years old. With two older brothers that had recordings of the great comedy masters, he can remember waiting for everyone to leave the house so that he could sneak into his brothers’ rooms to listen to Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby. He didn't understand half the jokes but remembered them parrot-fashion and used to drive his parents crazy reciting them at the drop of a hat. It was only when he was finishing his National Diploma in Drama at Technikon Pretoria in 1999 that a friend mentioned that he could get a 5-minute spot on stage at what was then Johannesburg's only comedy club, The Funny Farm at The Randburg Waterfront. So it was that in August of 1999 on a Friday night, he took to the stage and was inducted into the house of Old Man Comedy. 6 months later in February 2000, Vittorio was introduced to Joe Parker at Hurricanes Action Bar in The Fourways Mall and from there began his fledgling career in stand-up comedy. It's been a wild ride thus far. Over the last 10 years Vittorio has had the opportunity to tour South Africa performing on stages from Witbank, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Vereeniging, Bloemfontein and Kimberley to Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Cape Town. He has also taken up the mantle of emcee at various comedy shows around Johannesburg since 2004. One of Vittorio’s all-time favourite sets has to be when he performed in his home town of Welkom and his parents got to see him on stage for the first time. Afterwards, his father remarked, "I had no idea I had such a crazy son." Vittorio has also been a part of the Improv Express since 2003 and The Starship Improvise since 2006, performing improvised comedy similar to "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" In August and September of 2004, he took part in the Comedy All-Stars Comedy Competition held at the Armchair Theatre in Cape Town. He was the only Johannesburg-based comedian to compete and in the end, placed second. Vittorio became the resident MC for The Comedy Twist presented by Acappella Productions and held at Tanz Café in Bryanston on the first and last Wednesday night of each month. His residency ran from March 2007 to 01 November 2008 On the 27th of August 2008, Vittorio was awarded two Comedy Industry Awards. The Trusty Steed Award for most reliable comedian and The Scribe Award for highest turnover of new material. These awards were presented by Acappella Productions and are voted on by members of the comedy industry. Vittorio has also worked in the animations industry with Ron Major and Major Productions using patented software, Chatscreen. This software allows the voice artist to give a voice and personality to a live-action animated character that can be developed for any occasion. This style of animation is very unique as it allows the voice artist to interact with passers-by in real time. On the television side, Vittorio has made appearances on "Comedy Showcase" (2001) and the first season of "Laugh Out Loud" (2005) where he was part of the team that pranked Jeremy Mansfield. He also got to do some more serious acting work appearing as a shady gun dealer on the show "One Way" (2006). There's also a clip of him on the Joe Parker Comedy Express II DVD. Vittorio has also appeared on the silver screen having had a role in the 2009 hit film about aliens in South Africa, District 9; playing the role of Michael Bloemstein; an MNU Alien Civil Affairs Representative. Most recently, in May 2009, Vittorio became the head writer for and one of the performers in SABC 3’s political satire show, The Last Say On Sunday hosted by Darren Maule. Now nothing is sacred. “In the end it's all about the laughter. If the audience isn't there, I'm just a nutter talking to myself on an empty stage. I get a kick out of the fact that I get to call this my job.” – Vittorio Leonardi.
Rave ReviewsVittorio was amazing. The audience loved him, and he had our client rolling on the floor with laughter. In the end, this is why we hired a comedian for the job. I'm sure the day wouldnt have been such a huge success without him. Kind Regards, Marianne Wessels