Steve Treviño’s one of America’s fastest rising comedians, with his videos achieving over one hundred and fifty million views on youtube, and you can see his specials on Netflix, Showtime and Amazon Prime. He’s also the host of the hit podcast Steve Treviño and Captain Evil which he produces along with his wife, and his brand new special, My Life In Quarantine, is now available to rent through his website stevetrevino.com until Veterans Day, November 11th, and a portion of proceeds are being donated to veterans. Here he talks about that special, what it was like to perform it in front of a socially distanced audience, what he loves about stand up, and just why he refers to his wife as Captain Evil.
Comedy To Watch: How would you sell your new comedy special, My Life In Quarantine, to anyone who wasn’t aware of your work?
Steve: This is my fourth comedy special, and with each one I’ve gotten more personal. My Netflix special, Relatable, was about being a Texan living in California and being a new husband. My last special, ‘Til Death, which is currently on Amazon Video, was all about being a new dad and navigating parenthood with my wife. I was already working on filming a new special of material I’d been taking out on the road when Covid happened. Then all my touring came to a halt. I couldn’t believe I was considered non-essential, that comedy was non-essential. I was home battling depression and knew lots of other people were too. At first I wasn’t sure if people would want to hear jokes about the pandemic, but I realized it was something we were all going through. My comedy is often described as relatable because I talk about what’s happening in my life, so I wanted to find the humor in this whole thing. I needed to. I felt called to bring laughter at a time when everyone needs it. Which is also why a portion of proceeds from the special is going to veteran organizations that really need it. I really pour my heart and soul into my comedy, and in My Life in Quarantine I tackle some really serious subjects that are very personal. I don’t think a lot of comics are doing that right now. In short, if you’re married, then my comedy is for you.
CTW: And what was it like performing to a socially distanced, mask wearing audience?
Steve: I can still hear the laughter and read the audience body language, so that part isn’t that different. Before Covid, I would do long meet-and-greets after my live shows, so the hard part for me is not being able to have that personal connection with the audience after the show.
CTW: Do you have any tips for surviving the current madness in the world, both pandemic and politically wise?
Steve: Oh man, I stay away from politics! I don’t talk about them in my act, because people want to be entertained when they come to a show. They don’t want to hear about that stuff. But as far as the pandemic, and I talk about it in the special, is social distance from your spouse and lots of trips to Home Depot to keep you sane. My advice: Don’t watch the news. Watch my special.
CTW: You have a hit podcast which you create together with your wife, Renae, who you refer to as Captain Evil – how did that nickname come about?
Steve: I referred to her as that in my Relatable special because I said she was like a messed-up super-hero, and anytime she sensed I was having too much fun, she’d show up and ruin it. And then, I think because my jokes resonated with a lot of couples, people identified with the same dynamic in their own relationships. Husbands started calling their wives Captain Evil, and my female audience really connected with my wife. So, on ‘Til Death, there are huge dia de los muertos paintings of me, my wife, and son, and hers says Captain Evil on it. It just stuck.
CTW: What do you most love about doing stand up?
Oh man, not being able to get on that stage and perform during the lockdown was brutal for me. I realized I needed it. I needed that stage and I needed an audience. And I’d be just as happy to perform for 10 people as 7,000.
CTW: And conversely, is there any aspect of the job that you don’t like?
Steve: Having to be away from my family and miss out on special moments because I’m traveling every weekend. That’s why we try and travel together when we can. I forget which comedian said it, but he said, “They pay us to travel, not to do stand-up.”
CTW: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you since you started performing?
Steve: I’ve had people come up to me and tell me they’ve laughed so hard they peed.
CTW: Apart from stand up is there anything else you’d like to do in the comedy world?
Steve: I’d love to have a sitcom. One that shows what a Mexican American family is really like and doesn’t feed into the stereotypes being perpetrated by the industry. My wife and I are trying to share a more honest narrative through our podcast – Steve Treviño & Captain Evil: The Podcast.
CTW: If money were no object, what would you like to create?
Steve: I’d like to create a special place for veterans who have served our country and provide them with all the resources they need.
CTW: And finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?
Steve: What’s more important to you, your family or your career? And my answer would be of course family, but my career is a close second. So I have worked really hard to make my family and career one and the same. And my wife and I argue about how to juggle it constantly on our podcast.