In the Buddhist tradition, all those who have not yet attained enlightenment are considered ignorant. “That’s a good starting point for comedy,” says Joe Raiola, “especially for a no-nothing like me.”
Joe describes his latest solo show, Still Ignorant After All These Years, as “a spiritual journey to Nowheresville.” Influenced as much by George Carlin as Carl Jung and Alan Watts, Still Ignorant offers a satiric and skeptical take on religion and spirituality, while providing no sound answer to any meaningful question.
Fittingly, or perhaps oddly, the show had its premiere at a monastery, the renowned Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, NY. Like most comedians, Joe always wanted to play the Catskills and, as he puts it, “The monastery was as close as I could get to Grossinger’s.”
Still Ignorant After All These Years was actually inspired by Joe’s frequent talks with Konrad “Ryushin" Marchaj, former Abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery. Ryushin was a frequent guest on The Woodstock Roundtable radio show, which Joe co-hosted for over a decade on Woodstock Radio WDST.