Denis Leary, Wayne Newton and Dave Chapelle have all watched former Methuenite Dave Russo perform.

This weekend you could be adding yourself to that list.

Russo, currently the host of NESN's "Dirty Water TV," headlines the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce/Lots of Laughs Comedy Lounge Friday and Saturday at the China Blossom, with fellow comedians Sal Votano and Dan Gill.

What will come out of Russo's mouth this weekend? Likely no one knows, even Russo.

"You really work off the vibe and energy of the crowd," said Russo, known for his improv skills and quick wit.

A Vegas headliner who has played renowned clubs in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, Russo is the winner of the Boston International Comedy Festival's "Best New Comic" award.

"I love doing live performances," Russo said. "It's always more fun than TV."

Russo went on to earn a spot in E! Entertainment Network's series "The Entertainer," starring Wayne Newton. Russo finished second in the reality series searching for the next top comic.

While he didn't take top honors with the show, his skills brought him to the attention of renown Worcester comic Denis Leary, who invited Russo to co-headline his Comics Come Home benefit, this past November at the Agganis Arena.

"It was all that clean living as an entertainer," joked Russo, who replaced Lenny Clarke in the show.

When he isn't doing stand-up, Russo continues to work on his television career, with Dirty Water TV and other projects.

• • •

Follow Rosemary Ford on Twitter under the screen name PopFiend. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to

If you go:

What: Comedy Nights at China Blossom

When: Friday and Saturday, March 23 to 24, at 8 p.m.

Where: China Blossom, 946 Osgood St., North Andover.

How much: Tickets for show, $20; Tickets for show and dinner, $40. Call 978-686-0900 or email:

For more: Check out

This Week's Circulars