Comedian Steve Donovan
in Person 10/2005
Well, for Steve Donovan
, it's reality.
...Steve was born and raised in Malden, MA, then headed off to Syracuse University in Central New York State, about 5 hours north of NYC.
Graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish, Steve
briefly came home to teach junior high school but then returned to NY to break into the comedy scene.The trouble with New York is that there are more comedians than there are comedy jobs.So Steve
performed wherever and whenever he
could ~ including staging some nontraditional shows at laundromats and supermarkets."The only regular we had," Steve
laughs, "was this homeless guy who had no where else to go.But I think he
would have hung around even if he
'd had someplace else to go - he loved my stuff!"
Doing whatever it took to get time on stage, he
also worked a lot as a "bringer," winning performance time based on how many paying customers he
could bring into a club.
The stage time he
was able to log paid off and ~ after four auditions ~ Steve
earned a regular spot performing at New York's The Comic Strip, famous for alums like Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock to name but a few.Steve
was performing there up to 5 times a week and loving every single minute.
According to Steve
, "Comedy is incredibly hard, but when it's done right it looks so easy.Everybody is convinced that they can do it because they make their buddies laugh at the bar."But it's a lot harder then that, starting with coming up with quality material for a routine.Steve's routine is very story driven, focusing mostly on his
family and his
life growing up.Family was certainly the inspiration behind one of Steve's
most memorable shows, a spur-of-the-moment performance back in his
hometown in 1999 after his
cousin had just died tragically in a car accident.His
big Irish family was gathered at his
cousin's widow's house and no one really knew what to do or say.Suddenly Steve's father, one of Boston's finest cops and therefore "professionally trained to be intimidating," turned to his
son with, "Stephen
, I understand you're down there in New York andyou're telling jokes about me." Steve
nodded and his
father said, "Well I can't come to New York so I want to hear what you're saying about me." Steve
routine and told jokes about his
father for a full fifteen minutes.He
finished up about two minutes before the priest arrived, just in time for the family to (almost!) compose themselves.Steve's comedy was exactly what everyone had needed and the laughter helped ease the pain of a very sad situation.
So how did Steve wind up back here in Massachusetts (which we're glad he
did!)?A friend of Steve's
from Syracuse remembered how funny he
was and contacted him in June 2003 when she
heard there was an opening at WXLO's morning show.Steve
came back for the audition and got the job.He
then made the move from New York to Worcester and traded late night standup for early morning studio time.Although Steve
is from nearby Malden, Worcester was new territory.But now he's
becoming a "local," familiarizing himself with all the perks of a city ~ colleges, restaurants, the art museum, the nightlife ~ and appreciates that the city offers lots of opportunities while maintaining a small-town feel.He
can go to the Boulevard Diner and know everybody there.He
can go to Bagel Time on Park Ave. and "…for the first time in my life I can say 'I'll have the regular.'"
And according to Steve
, now is an exciting time to be in this part of the state."So many cool things are starting out in Worcester, that you really feel like you can be a part of it."In addition to having a great time getting to know Worcester, Steve is also having a great time working for WXLO,
especially because he's
given a lot of creative space.One of his
favorite segments on the morning show is based on the idea that "somewhere in the world there is always someone doing something weird."The segment, airing every morning at 6:55, is called Weird Off The Wire and consists of random news stories that are more than a bit odd, like the one about a German man who was buying computers, taking out the internal parts and replacing them with potatoes, then demanding his
money back, claiming he
had been sold a defective potato-filled computer. (What's more amazing is that he
actually got money back the first time he
did it!) These truth-is-stranger-thanfiction stories are fun both to find and put out there for the audience to enjoy.Steve
has also gotten to do celebrity interviews with stars like Alan Alda, Don King, Sylvester Stallone and Cher, amongst others, and says that this part of his job is as much fun as you'd expect it to be!
Doing the morning show does have one downside as far as Steve
is concerned ~ it means that he
has to get to the station at 5 a.m. "It's not natural to get up in the middle of the night, unless you're a farmer, and even they wait till the sun comes up."But other than that one small drawback, Steve