Panhandling in front of New York gentlemen’s club Sapphire 39 paid off more than usual for an NYC homeless man named Julio who supposedly raked in thousands when he was offered the opportunity to perform at the Herald Square jiggle joint one Monday night. On June 26, Julio had his official “stage debut” at Sapphire.

According to Page Six, the gossip section of the New York Post, “‘Mondays Only’ nights at the strip club are typically reserved for popular ’90s musical acts, such as Kid N’ Play, 702 and Flava Flav — who have all recently performed there. But this week, the owners allowed Julio to bring the vaudeville comedy act that he usually does on the street outside to the actual stage.”

The owner Richie Romero told Page Six that he’s known Julio for over 15 years.

“You know your night is great if Julio is there, because he has his ears to the street,” says Romero. “He knows what venues, what nights and he entertains guests. Everyone knows him and gives him money to help him out.”

And then, one day, the staff at Sapphire, including the club’s executive VIP host, Anthony Ramoutar, got the idea to bring Julio’s act indoors.

“We created it, did a photo shoot, got gear, got him clothes and did a one-on-one interview with him,” says Romero.

Julio brought a Target basket to collect his tips in, and told clubgoers, with his usual humor, “put your money in the basket bitches!” as two of Sapphire’s strippers escorted him onstage.

The club’s creative and programming director, Jonas Young-Borra, recalls that: “He tells jokes and he did a one-handed push-up contest. His famous joke is ‘Who wants to go home with a homeless guy? We’ve gotta go to your place though.’”

Julio’s comedy act was a big hit and warming to the heart, according to the club’s management.

“He was one of our biggest draws on a Monday. We had more turn-out from New York hospitality people, and regulars, than we’ve seen in a long time. There wasn’t one person in the club who didn’t [tip him],” Romero adds.

Fortunately for Julio, comedian and actor Kevin Hart visited the club during his comedy act, which made such an impression on him that he gave Julio $500.

As promised, Young-Borra interviewed Julio, and he learned that Julios is a former marine and a native New Yorker, who “got into some sideways business, as a lot of us do, out of necessity — and now he’s one of many who need work.”

“It’s a very unique and special story about a homeless New Yorker, someone who served our country, a nightlife character and aspiring entertainer, who finally gets his chance,” Young-Borra adds.

For now, Julio is a ‘house entertainer’ and has no immediate plans to perform at any other clubs.

“He’s the pulse of New York. Even in hard times, he’s still there entertaining people and exposing the fact that we should be more accepting,” Romero concludes.

Read the original story and see photos and videos of Julio’s performances here.

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