Since joining the Theatre Within Workshop in the late 1970s, Joe Raiola has had a flourishing career as a comedian, comedy writer, producer, director, workshop leader and speaker on first amendment issues.
After over two decades, he continues to tour the country in his acclaimed solo show, The Joy Of Censorship, which he has performed at countless colleges, regional theaters, public libraries and professional conferences in 44 states.
Joe’s also toured extensively in Almost Obscene, his comic meditation on God, country and religion which generated rave reviews from coast to coast.
Under Joe’s visionary leadership, Theatre Within’s Annual John Lennon Tribute evolved from a small neighborhood gathering to a major New York City cultural event attracting top artists and fans from around the world. It is the only Lennon Tribute concert in the U.S. officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono.
In 2006, Joe established Theatre Within as a non-profit dedicated to furthering the performing arts as a positive social force. He was later instrumental in bringing Yoko Ono and WhyHunger together, resulting in the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” global initiative.
Since then, he has produced and/or performed in many benefit shows for local and international charities, including Clearwater, The Food Bank of NYC and The Henry Miller and Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Libraries. Joe recently appeared in Standup For Charlie Hebdo, a benefit for the families of the victims of the attack on the French humor magazine.
Meanwhile, since 1984 Joe has been one of the unique satiric voices at MAD Magazine. He is now MAD Senior Editor, a title he insists “means nothing since I work at the only place in America where if you’re mature, you get fired.”
Through all his success, Joe has remained true to his Theatre Within Workshop roots. He studied over 25 years with Workshop founder Alec Rubin and has grown into an accomplished teacher of the transformative and illuminative creative process that Alec developed.
Since 2000, Joe has been heard most Sunday mornings on WDST, 100.1 FM and streaming online at WDST.com, on the Woodstock Roundtable radio program.