Beth Stelling grew up in Ohio before moving to Chicago to study with the Steppenwolf Theatre, after which she began pursuing her career in stand-up comedy. She was named best stand-up in Chicago the year before she got New Faces at Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival, then moved to Los Angeles. She has released two comedy albums, “Sweet Beth” and “Simply the Beth,” performed on Conan and Jimmy Kimmel Live, and recorded half-hour specials for both Comedy Central and Netflix. More recently, Stelling also has found success behind the camera as a writer on series such as I Love You America with Sarah Silverman on Hulu, Crashing on HBO, and provided on-set punch-ups for the 2019 movie, Good Boys. That year, she also launched a podcast with her mother for Earwolf’s Stitcher Premium series called “We Called Your Mom.” Beth’s first hour stand-up special, produced by Team Coco, was filmed March 7, 2020, in Minneapolis — Beth Stelling: Girl Daddy premiered in August 2020 on HBO Max. I sat down with Stelling over Zoom to talk about all of that, as well as where the comedy industry may go from here in treating women and women of color better whenever we re-emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. So let’s get to it!
Joe List began his stand-up career in Boston in 2000 after graduating from high school, rising up the ranks in Boston’s heralded comedy scene before moving to New York City. He has toured with the likes of Louis CK and Nick DiPaolo, and since 2013 has co-hosted the popular podcast Tuesdays With Stories with comedian Mark Normand. List’s singular credits include performing on The Late Show with David Letterman, half-hours on Netflix and Comedy Central, and reaching the finals of the final season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. List has recorded two previous comedy albums, and his first solo hour special, “I Hate Myself,” premiered in August 2020 on Comedy Central’s YouTube Channel. It had earned more than a half a million views in its first week, which is when I sat down with him over Zoom to talk about his life and career. So let’s get to it!
The world knows Stephen Glover as Steve-O, a daredevil famous for his stunts with the Jackass crew on MTV, a spin-off series Wildboyz, and four Jackass movies. It’s landed him on Dancing with the Stars and a Comedy Central Roast. When I met Steve-O in 2010, he was newly clean and sober and pursuing a second life as a stand-up comedian. We reconnected in the summer of 2020 over Zoom in two separate conversations. We talked about getting mentored in comedy by Dane Cook, how he joined the ranks of touring stand-up comedians almost immediately because of his celebrity, and had to figure out how to give everything he had to make it work. We also discuss the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College (he studied there, while I didn’t get accepted), his relationship with his father, and his new comedy special, Gnarly, which is available now through his website at steveo.com. So let’s get to it!
Sebastian Maniscalco met Pat McGann in the early 2010s, when Mansicalco was headlining Zanies in Chicago and McGann was the house MC. They eventually became friends and working partners, with McGann warming up the audience for Maniscalco’s Showtime special which taped in Chicago, and then traveling with Sebastian on the road for the past several years as his opener or feature act. All while Maniscalco’s star rose to include arenas such as Madison Square Garden and roles in major motion pictures. In July 2020, Sebastian paid it forward for McGann, executive producing and introducing McGann for his first solo hour: Sebastian Maniscalco Presents Pat McGann: When’s Mom Gonna Be Home? It’s available for rent or purchase online now. Sebastian and Pat sat down with me on Zoom to talk about the working relationships between headliners and features, and how their own career paths came together. So let’s get to it!