The Hippo


May 31, 2020








Steve Macone

 Giggles and Nibbles Comedy Night

When: Friday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Crowne Plaza Nashua, 2 Somerset Pkwy, Nashua
Tickets: $35, includes hors d’oeuvres  

Doubly blessed
Standup comic also writes for Onion, New Yorker

By Michael Witthaus

 When it comes to fake news, there are two sources that rule America: TV’s The Daily Show and the Web’s The Onion. 

Steve Macone earned a contributor position with the online paper via a rather arduous process. 
“Every Onion story starts with a headline — it has the whole joke in a stand-on-its-own kind of thing,” Macone said. “I spent two and half months coming up over 400, just to be able to pitch.” 
His work is in The New Yorker, and two pieces he wrote for American Scholar made the Best American Essays short list. But it’s his work as a standup comic that’s bringing him to Nashua on Feb. 28 for the Giggles and Nibbles Comedy Night.
A varied career suits Macone well. 
“Literally it’s like choosing a favorite kid. I have one but I won’t tell anybody,” he said of his dual life as a writer and a stand-up comedian. “Both are amazing art forms, and they are two different ways to say different things. So I could never see a time in my life when I won’t do both … if I do, it’s because I’ve given up.”
For the comedy piece, Macone’s act frequently hits on life’s absurdities. For example: Why are people mad when someone tosses an apple core from a moving car but unfazed when the same thing happens with a cigarette butt? 
“Oh, bouncing sparks underneath my vehicle that runs on flammable liquid,” he says, adding sternly, “I think they should be attacked with a grenade launcher. You threw fire at me! I thought we were in an action movie!”
He often examines mind-twisting questions: How does one feel numbness? Why does your arm fall asleep and wake you up? One great bit wonders whether a roller coaster is the best metaphor for life’s emotional ups and downs. 
“Have you ever been on a roller coaster?” Macone asks. “They’re awesome … but there are no plateaus.”
Macone found his way into comedy while studying journalism at Boston University. 
“I went to school for real reporting and took the coward’s way out, writing fake news,” he said with a laugh. 
He and his classmates began with standup; many eventually moved more toward improv and sketch comedy — one is now a writer on Jimmy Fallon’s new show.   
As his friends joined ensembles and branched out, he stayed focused on standup. 
“I’ve been doing it 10 years, playing a couple times a month in Boston,” said Macone, now 28. “Boston is one of the best places to learn; you can go to see someone you have never heard of for a $5 ticket and experience real talent.”
The comic has grown adept at deflecting boisterous audience members, noting that his craft has evolved from “basically someone that’s emceeing your drinking” to something approaching literature. 
“It really depends on the show — there can be a crowd of 25 and you feel like you’re talking to a thousand,” he said. “But it’s interesting, this is the only art form where people aren’t sure if they are supposed to say things.  You would never go to an art show or museum and say, ‘Should I shout at the sculpture?’”
Presented by the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Giggles and Nibbles Comedy Night features three comics, including Macone. Headliner Joe Zimmerman has appeared on John Oliver’s Comedy Central showcase and Craig Ferguson’s late show; BuzzFeed recently put him on a short list of top comics. Alington Mitra is the reigning champion of both the Boston Comedy Festival and Funniest Comic in New England competition.  
As seen in the February 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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