NY comedian pokes fun at Cuomo being 'an insecure dad' with viral lip-syncing videos
Like many other New Yorkers, Maria DeCotis watches Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings.
And, like many other New Yorkers, she's started to find herself enjoying the personal opinions and goofy tidbits Cuomo occasionally shares about his family life.
So of course DeCotis, a 28-year-old comedian living in Brooklyn, remembers Cuomo's April 19 briefing vividly. It's the first time he mentions "the boyfriend."
"My family's Italian and I know how Italian dads are ... this (was) so familiar to me," DeCotis said. "I really wanted to do something with it because I was like, 'Is no one reacting to this?! This is so crazy that he's saying this right now.'"
She took it upon herself to recreate Cuomo's digression, complete with fictional re-enactments of Cuomo and cutaways to his daughter, who is in her 20s, and her boyfriend.
She plays all three characters, lip-syncing the entire thing to audio from Cuomo's press conference, and people absolutely love it — the video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on Twitter and another 74,000 times on YouTube.
"I didn't want to write something else because it was so perfect as is," DeCotis said. "I decided to try to match what he was saying with some visuals that were telling a different story ... and people seemed to like it."
The medium itself is certainly within her wheelhouse: DeCotis's social media feeds are full of self-shot, self-edited and self-produced videos in which she is the sole actress, too.
But in creating something about a politician, she's inadvertently entered into the realm of political commentary — which she said she's not really trying to do.
"It's more of me poking fun at Cuomo being an insecure dad, you know? I'm not really commenting on his politics," DeCotis said. "I think, especially, people really enjoy mine and Cuomo's collaboration. It is a collaboration. I'm literally just stealing his stand-up material."
And speaking of collaboration — yes, she said, Cuomo's seen her videos. She said she heard from his staff after the videos started to pick up steam on social media.
Cuomo's senior advisor Rich Azzopardi confirmed that, yes, Cuomo's a fan.
"These days people need joy wherever they can find it," Azzopardi said. "Never in a million years did I think that 'Cuomo' would be a medium, but we’re huge fans of hers and her impression is a set of cuff links and a bomber jacket away from being perfect."
Since the first video about the boyfriend, DeCotis has recreated several other hilarious scenes ripped from Cuomo's briefings.
Cuomo and the boyfriend; Cuomo arguing with a stranger about not wearing a mask; Cuomo and all three of his daughters, Cuomo and his brother Chris Cuomo — it's a long list.
When Cuomo someday stops doing a daily briefing, DeCotis said she'll be a little bit disappointed. But getting to attend one of Cuomo's family pasta dinners would certainly make things better.
"I'm hoping when this is all over that i can have dinner with Cuomo," DeCotis said, barely able to keep a grin from spreading across her face.
"I doubt it, but we'll see. And I hope that I can just go back to doing stand-up and hopefully booking some paying jobs, and I'll still make stuff for the internet for people if they want it."
Georgie Silvarole is a backpack reporter for the USA TODAY Network's New York State Team. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @gsilvarole.
New York State Editor Joseph Spector contributed to this story.