Andy Ofiesh anticipates the first question about why he prefers to tell his jokes in the buff.
"Why, oh why, Andy, are you doing naked comedy?" Ofiesh asked rhetorically at the start of last month’s Naked Comedy Showcase in Cambridge. "I said I’m living a dream – and it’s the one where you’re naked, standing in front of a bunch of strangers, doing comedy."
This Waltham software writer and stand-up comic has fulfilled that dream on several occasions during the past three years, from private house parties to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and ImprovBoston in between.
Ofiesh began a regular residency at ImprovBoston last month, holding court in nothing but shoes the first Wednesday of each month through February.
He delivers some of the same jokes clothed each Saturday at the Comedy Studio, but also gets laughs from Cambridge’s detailed legal explanations for nude performance.
Some comics tell jokes without referencing the fact that they’re naked, while others address their nudity directly. One woman last month presented a silent clown skit, while Chris Walsh closed out the show with his parody of Puppetry of the Penis.
Spectators who appreciated the comedy seemed to outnumber those who may have simply wanted to see naked people.
Ofiesh advises the comics – who tonight should include both men and women and both stand-up and sketch acts – not to worry about their self-image, but to embrace it.
"When you have this vulnerability established by being naked in front of an audience, I say take that and run with it," he said.
Even if that vulnerability, in sub-freezing temperatures, leads to, ahem, shrinkage.
"Let it go," Ofiesh said. "I don’t like the dry skin on my elbows, either. I don’t worry about that."
The Naked Comedy Showcase now performs monthly shows in New York City at The PIT and in Boston at ImprovBoston.