About a year ago I went to my first comedy show and I met Steve Simeone; I was invited by my comedian friend Yoshi Obayashi to see him MC a show for headliner Judah Friedlander and Steve Simeone was one of the features. Yoshi introduced me to Steve and he told me all about how he had a podcast with Pro Wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper. After asking a billion questions about Hot Rod, it was his time to preform on stage.
His set was tremendous, his energy was mesmerizing, and without giving away too much about his act, because really you should go see it for yourself, Steve wraps you in a warm blanket of nostalgic feelings that harkens his audience back to the days of Saturday morning cartoons and everyone’s favorite junk food cereals. He peppers in references to Jimmy “Superly” Snuka and classic John Hughes movies with a wink and a nod to the audience that’s on the up and up without alienating the people who don’t get them. Simply put, Steve Simeone is the Ecto Cooler of comedy.
On July 11th and the 12th, Comedian Steve Simeone will be performing two very special shows in San Diego at The Comedy Store in La Jolla. I was curious as to what went on in Steve’s mind during the planning of his album; how does he go about picking the right material that he wants to have showcased? What technical hurdles does he have to jump in terms of capturing the right sound and feel of a live crowd? Does he feel nervous, or overwhelmed?
“I’m a little bit overwhelmed.” Steve said, “I want to try my best and record the album as clean as possible. I just prefer to work clean if possible. I work out most of my material at the comedy store, later in the night, so sometimes that’s difficult to do.”
Steve went on to tell me about the two comedians he chose as his opener, and what went into the process of picking the right acts to warm up the crowd and get them ready for Steve’s album taping: “I spent the last few days locking down the right comics to perform in front of me this weekend; fortunately, I have the best friends in the world and Stephen Rannazzisi from the hit show The League, is helping me out.” Steve states, “I just hope he isn’t so funny that I can’t follow him! Hopefully, he takes it easy on me. Because of shooting schedule he can only do Friday, so Saturday the talented Kyle Ray is helping me out.”
Recently he came by Sideshow Network Studios where I work as an Associate Producer to do a Podcast called The 31 With Brandt Tobler (check that out too, by the way) where we reconnected briefly after the recording was over and we talked about our mutual love for cheesy UFO conspiracy shows and he mentioned he was doing another show that very weekend close to where I live, so I planned accordingly.
Most of his act was brand new material, and since he was the headliner so his set time was longer and he went deeper into the relationship he had with his two brothers; the oldest you can ultimately equate to being Chet from Weird Science, and his younger brother who can simply be described as an evil genius who’s wise beyond his years.
“I grew up with brothers,” Steve explains, “so there was lots of screaming, laughing, fighting and hugs, haha. There are so many stories that I want to turn into Stand Up Comedy, that I really don’t have to “write” material, I just have to remember it!”
The best thing about Steve Simeone’s comedy is that it reminds you about the magic of being a kid and what it felt like to view the world with a sense of wonderment instead of cynicism. Steve takes you back to the days before you had to pay bills and back to the golden era where parties involved pizza, tokens, and your favorite soft drinks in pitchers. In a time where a lot of comedians like to slam the audience with their negative experiences and opinions, Steve is all about letting the Good Times roll (Good Times with Steve Simeone is the name of his podcast, go subscribe!).
“I think being negative is an easy way to do comedy, but it’s a difficult way to go through life. I used to be the most negative guy at The Comedy Store, and honestly, I had to find a better way to live.” Steve said when I asked him about being a positive comedian in a negative comedians world, “I was in a really dark place. So I started to focus on all of the wonderful things I wanted to celebrate, instead of the terrible things I wanted to complain about.”
If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing Steve Simeone preform, or even if you already have, I highly suggest you check him out on July 11th or 12th. Take a date, take a family member from out of town, and take old friends you haven’t seen in years because you’re all guaranteed to have a great time.
For more info on Steve Simeone visit his website at www.awesomesteve.com
Follow Steve on Twitter: @SteveSimeone
Subscribe to his podcast, Good Times w/ Steve Simeone, on iTunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1kzYOuW
Buy tickets to his album taping at http://lajolla.thecomedystore.com/show.cfm?id=325944