Flagler County, FL – In between morning interviews with Flagler Broadcasting on air talent and a radio station in Los Angeles, John Di Domenico slips effortlessly between characters, making those in the room do a double take.
From Austin Powers and Dr. Phil to past presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, WNZF NewsRadio morning show cohost Dave O’Dell roars with laughter with each one. He can’t help it. Di Domenico sounds just like the people he’s impersonating, and of course, that’s the whole idea.
In town for a two-night show this weekend, it’s all things Trump for the international entertainer, and one has to ask, how in the world did Flagler Beach manage to nab a performer who lists gigs for the likes of the European Union Parliament, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Handler, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, Fox News, and the Today Show in Australia and the UK?
Lucky for us, Flagler County can chalk it up to lifelong friendships and a long-term plan to bring big names like Di Domenico to the area by a couple of local residents.
Investing in the Community
Since purchasing The Anchor Restaurant in Flagler Beach last September, Kevin and Sheryl Knopf have taken the location from a hometown seafood restaurant on A1A to entertainment venue, starting with a performance by 80’s teen pop icon Tiffany for their New Year’s Eve 2020 dinner and show to ring in the new year.
Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of talent coming through the doors of their intimate venue thanks to relationships in the community with locals like the Flagler Beach Foodie Groupies, Flagler Broadcasting and comedian Cristy B. in addition to their own roster of friends.
“We’ve continued to foster and build relationships, and we’ve gotten a lot of support,” explained Kevin Knopf.
For Knopf though, this show is extra special.
Dating back to his college days, it’s the relationships created as young men in the Pi Lamda Phi fraternity while at East Stroudsburg University in the Poconos of Pennsylvania that have drawn Di Domenico and several other fraternity brothers to Flagler Beach for the weekend and the high profile shows hosted at The Anchor.
What started with the motto “Not just four years, but a lifetime”, has become a code the brothers live by.
“When you join a fraternity you just wind up making those connections and going through a lot of interesting times together,” said Knopf.
That bond was strong enough for Kevin to invite John to his venue and get the friends together.
“(Kevin) said, ‘hey, it would be great if you could come down here and perform’ and I was like ‘that would be fantastic’ so I could have the opportunity to see him, meet his wife, and he brought in some of our other fraternity brothers too,” said Di Domenico appreciatively.
“We keep these relationships going and they become more valuable as we get older.”
A Man of Many Faces
Out of character on Friday morning, Di Domenico is candid about his younger days and the development of his knack for entertainment.
He’s been taking his show on the road for audiences since the age of five, starting with adults in the neighborhood. As a comedian, writer, and corporate entertainer, he began the Trump impersonations before The Apprentice television show really took hold, allowing him to fine-tune his skills and establish himself in the entertainment industry.
Since Trump became leader of the free world as the 45th President of the United States, Di Domenico’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing, and the entertainer is enjoying every minute of the rollercoaster ride.
“I’ve literally performed all over the world. I did standup comedy at one point but the last five years because of Trump, have been amazing,” he said. “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. When he announced, everybody wanted to have a Trump. I was the guy who’d been doing him for well over a decade, and it’s been amazing, non-stop. As a performer I’m lucky to have a gig where I’m in demand.”
Coming off a Las Vegas show last weekend headlining with Jeremy Piven and Darrell Hammond, he’s ready to bring his brand of Trump humor to Flagler Beach Friday and Saturday night.
With a $4,000 Trump wig and an arsenal of bipartisan humor, Di Domenico isn’t pulling any punches or giving any clues to his political leanings during the interactive show, but says this weekend’s performances will be something everyone can enjoy.
“I’m going to be roasting a couple of people, there will be some improv, some scripted stuff, we’re going to do a Q&A so people can ask me things as Trump, so this way it’s fun, it’s interactive and in the moment. It’s Flagler specific.”
Knopf is thrilled to be hosting his friends from across the county in the area, and helping put a little entertainment back into the lives of his neighbors.
“This is purely fun, getting people together to laugh, sing and enjoy one another’s company because we haven’t been able to do that for so long,” said Knopf.
Friday night is sold out and a few tickets are available for Saturday night. For more information, visit https://anchor.yapsody.com/event/index/658551/trump-comedy-the-anchor.
The Anchor Restaurant: 500 S. Oceanshore Blvd. (A1A) Flagler Beach, FL 32136