Samoa
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Life after college football — Tumua Tuinei lights up the comedy stage

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — If you’re in Hawaii in November you won’t want to miss former Punahou and U-H football great Tumua Tuinei, the hottest thing in stand up comedy to hit the islands since Frank De Lima. Tuinei — comes from a Samoan-Hawaii family of football legends and although poised to follow in the family tradition his future took another track after taking a stand-up comedy course at UH, where he graduated with a degree in communicology and a minor in theater.

Along with performing at open mics across the island, Tuinei got his career on a fast-track by posting clips and skits on Instagram, especially after COVID-19 shut down venues. “I started making more videos on Instagram and saw my social media grow,” he told Honolulu Magazine recently.

And now after selling out all over the islands as well as on a mainland tour, on Nov. 12 and 13, the 26-year-old will play his biggest gigs to date, at Blaisdell Arena. Although Tuinei didn’t wind up with a career on the football field like others in his clan, he believes he’s not too far removed. “Comedy is a sport because I sweat a lot on stage,” he quipped to reporter Emily Smith.

[photo: Facebook]