A.C. comedian writes her jokes in ocean condos

{child_byline}SHANNON JOYCE

For The Press

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A stand-up comedian from Atlantic City comes up with her material at Ocean Club Condominiums, which she considers her “happy place.”

Michelle Tomko, 47, has lived at Ocean for the past five years. The building overlooks the ocean on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

“We’re literally on the beach,” said Tomko’s girlfriend, Jean Burbee, 45, adding that she and Tomko often feel like they are on vacation at home. They have been together six years, and Ocean is the first place they lived together.

“It’s a good tip if you’re going to move in with somebody,” Tomko said. “Have a nice ocean view.”

For the past four years, Tomko has been the recipient of the Atlantic City Weekly Nightlife Award for “Best Comedian.” She has performed all over the East Coast, especially in Atlantic City.

“Make sure I only have one chin,” Tomko teased as she posed for photos.

“That’s the instant facelift, you just pull your skin up,” she said as she smiled.

Tomko said she enjoys the building’s aquatic room, where there is a pool and hot tub. Sometimes the room is luckily unoccupied except for the lifeguard, which allows her to take peaceful laps in the pool or relax in the jacuzzi.

Ocean also offers a tennis court, where Tomko can enjoy the sport she has been playing since she was 6. Tomko said when she was in college, she and her brother taught tennis every summer, which helped pay for school.

Inside, the community room has artwork displayed along the walls. Tomko often sits at one of the tables to do her work. Sometimes she has to research someone to “gently roast” during one of her performances. Tomko added being a comedian is 90% arranging work and 10% performing.

One regular event is an open-mic night, which Tomko hosts every other week at Bourre, a restaurant part of The Orange Loop strip in the city.

Tomko has performed comedy shows in Ocean’s event room that hosts entertainment for the building. She said one time, she got her friend Butch Bradley, a famous stand-up comic, to do a show at the building.

These many spots at Ocean make up Michelle Tomko’s “happy place.”

“The best part about this is I’m in a community, and we (the residents) all share it, and that’s why I can afford to have a place like this,” Tomko said.

“I love it here. It makes me very happy.”

{child_related_content}{child_related_content_item}{child_related_content_style}Bio Box{/child_related_content_style}{child_related_content_title}WELCOME TO ‘MY HAPPY PLACE’{/child_related_content_title}{child_related_content_content}

‘My Happy Place’ is a Press series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home. Look for it online and on our Money page on Mondays. Look for a gallery of photos and a video with this story at PressofAC.com

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