Grief in Comedy: Interview With Stand-Up Comedian Chris Calogero

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Today my guest is Chris Calogero, a standup comedian from New Jersey who lives in Brooklyn and has been featured in the “NY Times,” “Funny or Die,” “Paste Magazine,” and “Good Morning America Day.” Chris is also the host of the podcast “Mourning Coffee,” where he interviews other comedians about their experiences with grief—how it affects their personal lives as well as their comedy.

We talk about Chris’ initial reaction of “I don’t know if I can ever do comedy again,” to doing a set with dark and heavy punchlines and discovering that stand-up just might be the way he is able to make his way through the grief, how comedians aren’t well, how the impulse to do comedy seems hard to break unless you decide to become embittered and entitled by it, needing the audience to know that you’re ok and won’t break down on stage, why we share about our grief publicly, how lonely grief makes you feel, toxic positivity, how getting laughs on stage is validating where relatability is concerned, then conversely when relatability doesn’t matter when it comes to quality, how we’re watching many of our fellow millennials turn into angry old boomers who hate the younger generation, how comedians dig in their heels when it comes to change, how 28 might as well be as old as 70, the intoxicating feeling of superiority, our favorite grief jokes, and how people think you aren’t allowed to experience joy while grieving.

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