From New York to Phoenix, comic Chris Distefano brings the laughs
From New York to Phoenix, comic Chris Distefano brings the laughs.
By Carson Mlnarik
Chris Distefano isn’t here to make you think. He isn’t here to fight, nor does he want to drone on about politics in front of you. Simple enough, Distefano goes onstage every night to make people laugh.
Audiences are sure to crack up when he takes the stage at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy in Phoenix for six shows at the end of October.
“It’s October so the weather can’t be too bad, right?” Distefano says via phone, “Not too sweltering.”
While you might recognize him from MTV’s Girl Code and MTV2’s Guy Code, it’s stand-up comedy that got Distefano started and it’s stand-up comedy that his heart beats for.
Born in New York, Distefano was working as a physical therapist at a school and doing stand-up on the side when an audition got him on the show and he was able to pursue comedy full time.
“Stand-up is the backbone to everything,” Distefano says, comparing his rinse, rather, repeat attitude towards basketball as a teenager to his passion for being up on stage now. “It’s everything you look forward to.”
Though he cites comedians from all across the board, such as Dave Attell, Henry Youngman, Kevin Hart, and Jim Carrey as inspiration, it’s been the stand-up scene in New York City that really seasoned Distefano.
He’s done his time as both an audience member and performer at New York’s legendary Comedy Cellar, where sitting next to a famous comedian is commonplace and the discussion at the table is always comedy.
“I’ve absorbed so much doing stand-up and even just sitting next to these guys,” he says.
His talent and passion for making people laugh has taken Distefano touring all over the country. While it’s something that comes with the territory, he tries to look at it in a positive light. “You’re getting paid to travel, so I try to see all the landmarks and experience the city.”
While he tries to bring his family on tour with him as much as he can, even when they’re not physically present, they’re not too far off. Every situation Distefano talks about on stage is based on something that has happened to him, his anxieties, or his family.
And, as a new father, he spends a lot of time just observing his family.
He describes his writing as largely autobiographical, making the audience feel less like they’re watching a show and more like they’re listening to their friend from Brooklyn tell a crazy story.
“I talk about things that really happen to me. That’s how I can make sure I’m the only one who sounds like me,” Distefano says.
And what’s that sound the audience can take away? Ask Distefano and he might just say their own laughter. “I’m aware the crowd came out for a good time,” Distefano says, “I’m their entertainer for the night, that’s the way I look at it.”
In a world where people are struggling with money and personal problems, he also doesn’t take for granted the audience coming out to his show. “I just want people to forget about their lives for an hour and if they have the greatest lives in the world, I want them to just laugh for an hour,” Distefano says.
And what’s next for the comedian?
He says he is working on a pilot for a TV station and constantly adding shows on his website chrisdcomedy.com. He’s also working on a one-hour special to be released in 2017.
Can’t wait that long?
You can catch Distefano’s brand of stand-up when he brings his show to Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy from Thur., Oct. 20, through Sun., Oct. 23.
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
Thurs., Oct. 20, through Sun., Oct. 23, times vary
5350 E. High Street, Suite 105, Phoenix,
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