Local comedian has become a hit on social media and local stand up scene
Tuinei is a name that is synonymous with football greats. The late Mark Tuinei played many years in the National Football League and won multiple Super Bowl’s as a member of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line. His brother, Tom Tuinei, played defensive tackle at the University of Hawaii where he was an all-conference selection before embarking on his own journey of professional football for many years.
Tumua Tuinei is the son of Tom and he played four seasons as a linebacker for the University of Hawaii. “Football is a big part of my life,” Tuinei said. “But I never got the height, I waiting..” And that’s where the football legacy ends for the youngest Tuinei, who traded his helmet and shoulder pads for a stage and a microphone.
Several years ago, one class at the University of Hawaii would change Tumua’s life forever. “I took a stand up comedy class,” he said. “For the final we had to do 10 minutes of live stand up in front of the class.” Tuinei has spent the last two years opening for other local comedians, performing 20-minute sets around Honolulu, but most recently has become a staple in the local comedy scene. The former Warrior differs than most comedians; he doesn’t swear, he keeps his comedy clean and it’s fun for all ages to enjoy his shows.
“Andy Bumatai is a big role model of mine,” Tuinei said. “Augie T is another one and he told me, if you want to make it big in Hawaii keep it clean.”
Although football will always be apart of him, Tuinei said there are similarities between the game he loves and his newfound passion for stand-up. His videos on social media have been a hit, and his following has grown to nearly 50,000 followers on his platform.
The comedian caught up with HI Now Hosts Kanoe Gibson and Kainoa Carlson to take them through some football drills ahead of Sunday’s big game between the Buccaneers and the Chiefs.