Rockland’s Tom Cotter: Runner-Up on America’s Got Talent

BY DIANA BIERMAN

Photo credit: tomcotter.com

In the entire history of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, there’s never been a comedian to make it as far as Stony Point resident Tom Cotter did.

Cotter had America on their toes—on their toes hysterically laughing—during the entire seventh season of America’s Got Talent. And on September 12, he snagged second place after competing against six other finalists, including the Olate Dogs, a dog trick act trained by a father and son duo, who took home the $1 million grand prize.

“Imagine winning the silver medal in the Olympics. Pretty good, right?” Cotter told the Rockland County Times upon his second place victory. “Now imagine losing the gold to a Labradoodle.”

But let’s not kid ourselves—Cotter definitely has a rare breed of talent. He beat out 53 of the 54 other acts—singers, jugglers, painters, dancers and more—that the competition began with.

And not only did he win the heart of millions of viewers, the judges were also big fans. In fact, during the season finale, judge Howard Stern told Cotter, “With you, more than anyone on this stage, and this is the absolute God’s honest truth, you always leave me wanting more.”

Sharon Osbourne followed up Stern her with her own inspiring comment: “There’s a whole lot further that you’re gonna be going.”

Although this was Cotter’s first experience on live television, he’s no stranger to show biz. In fact, Cotter’s been making others laugh for more than 25 years—in basements, comedy clubs and has even made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Last Comic Standing.

“I’m usually away, on the road, two weekends out of every month, so over time, I’ve missed a lot of Little League games, school plays and tooth fairy visits,” Cotter explained. “This is a show that my kids have been watching for a few years. They helped me practice, advised me on wardrobe choices and critiqued the other acts. It was a thrill ride that the entire team signed on for, and we really enjoyed the ride.” That includes his wife, Kerri Louise, who also happens to be a comedian.

Cotter said he’s enjoyed the support of the local Stony Point community, especially his neighbors, many of whom scrapped together funds and found the time to attend the America’s Got Talent broadcasts live.

Stay tuned! This week, Cotter is off to Las Vegas to begin the America’s Got Talent live show at the Palazzo Theatre on September 26, where he will perform with other top acts from this season.

Tickets can be purchased at any Venetian/Palazzo box office, online at www.venetian.com and www.palazzo.com or by calling 702-414-9000.