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‘Tragic but funny’ – Comedian Steve Treviño’s ‘Til Death’

March 6, 2019
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‘Tragic but funny’ – Comedian Steve Treviño’s ‘Til Death’ (Image courtesy of Comedy Dynamics)

Comedian Steve Treviño is back with “Til Death,” his third standup comedy special utilizing real life stories.

“It’s really a love story,” Treviño said of his new special during a phone interview. “If you’re married, if you’re in a relationship, if your parents are married, my show is for you.”

Like his previous specials, Treviño draws upon real stories from his life and marriage for “Til Death.”

“I’m a storyteller and I talk about my life in detail,” Treviño says. “A lot of standup specials now are sad and boring and tragic. Mine is tragic but it’s funny. I really do deal with how my wife and I almost got divorced but I do it in a very funny way.”

He’s not kidding. The subject of divorce is a steep mountain for any comedian to scale but Treviño handles it in a way that makes him even more endearing while making his wife a good candidate for a profiles-in-courage award. They clearly love each other and Treviño is quick to remind me how lucky he is that she married him.

“I have the greatest wife in the world, man. We’ve gone through everything together. What makes the material so real is because the audience knows she’s in on it.”

Still, Treviño says he knows better than to test new material on his wife to gauge a reaction.

“Dude, no,” he said. “She craps on everything. My wife is a half-empty kind of person, so I never pitch ideas to her. She immediately finds everything wrong with something.”

Since his last special, Treviño and his wife became parents, giving him a new source of comedy.

“The lack of sleep is the biggest change,” Treviño laughs. “I used to sleep but now I wake up at 7:00 a.m. to ‘Dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad.’ Or he’ll creep up on the bed very quietly and stomp on my throat.”

Treviño says his comedy specials have benchmarked specific times in his life.

“The Showtime special (‘Grandpa Joe’s Son,’ released in 2012) was about childhood and meeting my wife. My second special – ‘Relatable’ (2014) - was for Netflix. That one was about being frustrated with my wife. With ’Til Death,’ here’s how we almost got divorced and here’s how my son was born.”

Treviño, 40, has been professionally delivering standup comedy for exactly half of his life but says he still doesn’t feel that he’s arrived, despite hundreds of sold out shows and his acclaimed comedy specials.

“‘Relatable’ went up on Netflix in 2014 and nobody watched it,” said Treviño. “So I put out a series of video trailer memes based on material from the special and one of them went viral. When I say ‘viral,’ I mean that every time I refreshed the page, they were coming in by the thousand. It was a bit about my wife shopping at Macy’s. It’s now been seen more than 100 million times. Since then, nearly every show I do is sold out.

“My wife and I have been together for a very long time. We’ve struggled together and we went at this together. It’s been quite the journey. Now that we sell tickets, I can feel like my bills are going to be paid but I still don’t really feel like I’ve arrived.”

The set for “Til Death” looks like a barn because it is. Treviño says the special was filmed in front of 500 fans in a barn in San Antonio, Texas.

“I wanted to show my Tex-Mex sensibilities,” Treviño said. “I’m a Texas country music fan. I’m a country boy. I grew up in a little town called Gregory – Portland, Texas, and I really wanted that feel to come across in the special. At one point in the special, the peacocks start sounding off in the background. We left it in just to show that it wasn’t a set built for the show. I wanted to keep it real and Comedy Dynamics did an amazing job making that place look beautiful.”

Steve Treviño’s “Til Death” is produced by Comedy Dynamics and is available now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, Spectrum and most all digital platforms.

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