Wednesday, April 17, 2013

He thinks naughty thoughts

And then shares them, for laughs, or to prevent cancer

Express Staff Writer

Comedian Steve Sabo wonders why bachelorettes always bring their end-of-single-days parties to comedy shows and not say, the ballet. Find out why at Sun Valley Brewery this week. Courtesy photo

His name is Steve Sabo and he tells jokes—very, very, off-color jokes about everything from lazy Girl Scouts to being rejected by an online dating site for counting beauty as important.
    And that’s almost all I can write out loud about this guy because his material is NSFW, but it works in his act, garnering him a following and gigs on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, USA, Spike, CMT and regularly on XM/Sirius radio as part of his “Caffeinated Voice of Reason” show.
    And it’s bringing him to the Sun Valley Brewery on Tuesday, April 23, for the beer hall’s first crack at comedy. Tickets are $10, show time is at 7 p.m. and the setting will resemble a dinner show.
    Sabo aggressively measures his own life as material, viewing it with a perpetual 50/50 lens. While at first noting that his profession offers the perks of traveling all over the nation, he counters himself with the reality that to stay relevant requires traveling all over the nation. He doesn’t get to pick the best parts and his time is often spent moving from car to venue to car again, keeping him in an information vacuum.
    But his mind is clearly never still and nothing falls into the periphery.
    Though it was a year behind the rest of the nation, Sabo claims it wasn’t until he saw a headline on a USA Today story saying the “Sure sign we are in a recession? Girl Scout Cookie sales down 19 percent.”
    “Is it,” he ponders, “or is it a sure sign that kids are f*#@ing lazy? I’ve never had a Girl Scout come to my door—maybe because I’m registered, but that’s not the point.”
    He only half apologizes for his lack of filter saying, “You can’t keep that stuff inside, that’s what causes cancer!”
    Sabo, from Cleveland, has opened for popular comics like Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Jim Breuer, Kevin James, John Caparulo, Bobby Collins and Kathleen Madigan.
    You can learn a bit more about him from the following interview or from his website,, or you can Google him and find out who he is not.
    He is not the Atlanta Falcon, the home-wrecking cop, the Missouri model or the California doctor. He is not the actor, though he has had a leading role in a little heard of horror film called “Hell’s Lake,” and would like to be.
    “Google is a dangerous thing. There is also a Steve Sabo who was a pro wrestler and one that murdered his wife in the early 1900s. I just tell jokes for a living. And I’m the one who got the website, so I win.”
    He answered the rest of the questions and a few innocuous follow-ups in similar rapid-fire and irreverent style that is often clever, sometimes wince-inducing, definitely adult-audience-level humor.
IME: So did a favorite drunk auntie or flatulent uncle influence your comedic rise?
    No, comedy started with me. Most of my relatives are conservative, uptight. I must have been dropped on my head a few times. In fact, I know I was.

You offer yourself as a “caffeinated voice of reason.” How do you prefer your artificial stimulants?  
    I take my caffeine intravenously. Not really. Coffee in the morning, energy drinks at night. I will probably explode before I reach 50.

How do you give back?
    I want to make a joke here about being contagious. But I do several fundraisers a year, for Toys for Tots, cancer and various other things. I also mentor new comics, and nurse baby birds back to health.

If comedy doesn’t work out, you will?
    If comedy doesn’t work out, I will work out more. Maybe then I will look like the body builder Steve Sabo. That would be cool. Except for the shrunken genitals that are the result of steroid abuse.

How’s the “I want my $2 campaign” going? (Based on the famous paperboy’s line from the John Cusack film “Better Off Dead,” he calls it a declaration of intent and a chance to sponsor a standup comedian for less than the cost of a beer. In summation, this is the deal below.)
    “I want you to give me two dollars. Not just you, everyone. Let me explain. A friend and I were recently discussing the fact that if every person you met in a day gave you a dollar, you could be a millionaire in no time. If everyone gave you two dollars, you could be a millionaire in half the time. And if everyone that THEY know, and THEY meet gave you two dollars, theoretically, you could have a million dollars in no time. I want to be a millionaire. I want YOU to help. This is a social experiment to see how long it would take to get to this golden amount; kind of like the “licks to the center of the tootsie roll pop” debate. I am not dying from a disease. I am not in debt. And I promise, none of this money will go to any cause except for making me rich.”
    The $2 campaign is a great idea in theory, but so far, it has only made me a hundredaire.

This community spends a lot of time engaged in sports and rec, and recovery, usually, in a bar. How do you prep material for this audience?
    My material is perfect for hard-drinking sports fans. I won’t have to change a thing.

Prefer reading, or TV?
    I like to read books based on TV shows. I read all the time. Way too much, if there is such a thing.  But I do enjoy sitting down in front of the boob tube as well. Mainly because it has the word ‘boob’ in it.

Does satellite radio make your rise to stardom easier?
    Satellite radio is great for comedy fans. They play me a lot, and I’m thankful. People do recognize me from my radio bits, which keeps me writing. I don’t know if it will make me a star, but it does make me a couple nickels.

If you couldn’t think of a joke you would … ?
    Well, I’m pretty fast on my feet. If my jokes don’t work, I can always go into the audience, make something out of nothing. But luckily, I’ve had a lot of experience on stage, and my jokes usually work. Hope I didn’t just curse myself there.

Advice you give to someone thinking about a career in comedy?
    My advice is get up on stage. Any stage, every stage. You learn something from every experience. Be personal, your uniqueness is the key to your show. Always be humble. It’s show business, emphasis on the business. And life isn’t fair. Comedy certainly isn’t. Don’t do it for the money, because you will be poor for a long time. But making a living doing what you love—that’s pretty awesome.

Following up by e-mail on a previous answer re: nursing baby birds: It’s spring around here and there are lots of foundling birds. Where should I send them?
    As I assume by foundlings you mean young and impressionable young ladies, you can send them to the show. (Smiley icon.)

Ahem, if I do that, the men in this town will hunt you down. There are more of them than available women most days. And these guys think guns are fun.
    Yeah. An occupational hazard. Luckily, I only need to evade them for 24 hours.

Bring warm clothes and pepper spray.
    Sounds kinky—are you coming on to me?

Occupational hazard. (Smiley icon.)
    (Smiley icon.)

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