Like most aspiring comedians, Matt O'Nesti has his sights set on one day appearing on Comedy Central.
He doesn't think his age - 15 - or the fact that he's in a wheelchair will keep him from getting there.
The freshman at Boardman High School already has won a local open mic competition against older, more experienced performers, and he won the top prize last month at the first Mahoning Valley High School Class Clown Comedy Contest, sponsored by the Youngstown Comedy Syndicate.
Warren Comedy Club owner Eric Thompson was one of the judges at the Class Clown competition, and he was surprised by O'Nesti's set.
''My expectations were extremely low because these kids were all in high school,'' Thompson said. ''What perspective can they have except for school jokes. But his act was fresh, it was unique, well-timed and it was well-written. You can see the potential he has just from the short time he was on stage there.''
Thompson was so impressed that he offered O'Nesti a chance to perform at the Warren Comedy Club on Saturday with Katrina Brown and Mark Colella.
WHO: Katrina Brown, Mark Colella and Matt O'Nesti
WHEN: 9 p.m.
Saturday. Doors open at 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Warren Comedy Club at
Sunrise Inn, 510 E. Market St., Warren
HOW MUCH: $15.
''All of us as comedians coming up were given a break by someone, and I really want to do that with our club as well,'' he said.
O'Nesti said he's wanted to do comedy for as long as he can remember but only started writing material seriously last summer.
''It's one of those things, if you're funny at school, everyone tells you you should be a comedian and you start to think about and then start writing and looking for stuff to perform,'' he said.
O'Nesti, the son of Gary and Roseann O'Nesti, is in a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy. He touches on the disability in his act but it's not the focal point of his material.
''It's cool. It's going to be on everyone's mind,'' O'Nesti said. ''It's easier when you point it out.''
He listed George Carlin, Louis CK and Kyle Cease as some of his favorite comedians. And with those influences, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the teen comedian's act can include some adult humor.
''I kind of let the chips fall,'' O'Nesti said. ''I have said some pretty risky stuff, not throwing out F-bombs and swearing so much, but I don't think anything is not fair game. It depends on the crowd response. You never know until you try ... I kind of like to shock and awe a little bit, see how people react.''