You’d have to be a lunatic to choose a career in stand-up comedy, says headliner Christina Pazsitzky ’99. You’re on the road constantly. You stay in dingy motels and eat bad food. You’re broke. You’re lonely. Sometimes you bomb.
And yet, she loves it.
“It’s still a thrill to make people laugh. It’s better than anything else.” Patzsitzky says. “It’s still a thrill to see my name on a marquee.”
Pazsitzky’s been at it for more than a decade. She’s performed in every state, across Europe and Asia, and in Afghanistan for U.S. troops. She’s also written for popular late night talk show "Chelsea Lately."
She’s one of just a handful of women who headline at comedy clubs. “There’s absolutely a societal bias against women being perceived as funny,” she says. But she’s managed to pack comedy clubs with her honest, brave, and, at times, self-deprecating humor.
Her current one-hour stand-up act is personal and political, and everything is fair game—from racism and sexism to her Hungarian immigrant parents and her husband, comedian Tom Segura, with whom she co-hosts a popular podcast “Your Mom’s House.”
“It’s like philosophy in some ways,” she says of writing stand-up. “You’ve got your premise. You’ve got your theories on the world, and then you’re convincing people of your arguments. It’s an intellectual game.”
The philosophy graduate says that if she weren’t a comedian, she’d be a philosopher, like her mentor, the late Bob Makus, a USF philosophy professor who encouraged her to pursue creative work.
“He taught me how to think,” she says. “If you can read and use your mind, you can do anything, and that’s what I learned studying philosophy. And I think that’s the secret to having a good career and a good life emotionally and spiritually.”