How Comic Christina P Put The ‘Special’ Back Into Comedy Special


With an overwhelming abundance of content these days, it’s more difficult for the cream to consistently rise to the top and receive appropriate recognition. Stand up comedian and podcaster Christina Pazsitzky has long been on top of the podcasting world, along with husband comic Tom Segura, and has been a highly sought-after headlining comedian, also along with Segura, since their podcast Your Mom’s House took off in the early 2010s.

This summer, Christina, who also hosts the Where My Moms At? podcast, added a well-crafted and BIG BUDGET Netflix
NFLX
standout stand up comedy special to her body of work.

Today, countless stand up specials exist on virtually every streaming platform and various television networks and websites. Despite the innumerable amount of competition, Pazsitzky’s exists on a level of its own.

As other recent specials feel more like a late night set due to their shorter length and lack of production, Christina’s Mom Genes is an event. The Netflix special rivals the HBO ones of the past through conveying a big-budget look and feel, missing in today’s on-screen presentations from stand ups, coupled with Christina’s unique point of view and skillful writing chops.

In a conversation earlier this month, Christina shared that the special’s flair left Netflix a hefty bill.

“So let’s see. So let’s see… So the outfit itself was a Dolce & Gabbana suit, and I had to get two of them, right? Because if one gets messed up at the first taping and you sweat through it or whatever— so the suit itself, what is that, like 10 grand? And then the boots are Alaia. That’s another three grand. And then, don’t forget, I had to put Swarovski crystals on the suit. That’s another $20,000,” Pazsitzky told me over the phone.

“This was fun. And then I licensed that ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ song, which was another fortune. And that’s where Netflix said, ‘No, lady, we’re not giving you another penny.’ So I licensed it myself. I spent the money on that one. That was 60 grand, because I wanted that song so badly because I just love it.”

Christina saw her spending and Netflix’s as a wise investment.

“I think it’s because you see the value in it,” Pazsitzky said. “Because when you watch it, it’s better. The more you put into it, the better it is. And when you’re a newer comic and you have no money to put into things, it’s a bummer. You see how it turns out. So to be able to put money and reinvest in what you love, it’s money well spent.”

The mother of two also felt that after a couple rough years in the pandemic, giving herself a noticeably stylish and uplifting look onstage would go a long way.

“You know what it was, honestly, is that I really felt that it was such a depressing couple of years, and I was supposed to film this hour before the pandemic,” Christina said. “Like, right before it [happened].

“So I came out of it, everyone came out of it, and I thought to myself, you know what? I’m so happy to be alive, and I’m so thankful that I wanted to go big and just have fun and be bold and big and do old school Hollywood, because, I mean, it sounds corny, but I do feel like the world needs some glamour.”

One of the reasons Pazsitzky went with Netflix for the special was because of the reputation they’ve cemented as one of the few entertainment giants to stand by comedians amid backlash to their content.

“I have to say that Netflix is— they’re like the best people to make comedy specials with,” Christina said. “And the way they stood by (Dave) Chappelle is so important and so commendable. yeah. I mean, it’s a great place to be. I’m thankful to be with them.”

Something happening in the comedy community that is rubbing Christina and other performers the wrong way is comics calling out their peers for a joke or tweet they disagree with.

“Snitches get stitches,” Pazsitzky joked. “I feel like there’s a code in comedy that— I believe in freedom of speech. This is primary, primary. It’s freedom of speech. So when you go after another comedian for their content, for their jokes, you’re attacking that very fundamental privilege that we get to exercise in this country. So yeah, that’s a complete violation of the code. It’s an unspoken code. That and don’t blow the light. Don’t run the light.”

Seeing as how the line is constantly shifting in what can be discussed or expressed culturally, Christina thinks it’s paramount comics stick up for each other, even when they take issues with one another’s material.

“It’s important, again, to maintain freedom of speech. Absolutely,” she said. “To attack somebody else, you don’t know what they’re going to come after you for the next day. And who is above reproach? You take a dive into anybody’s social media or anything, you’re going to find something.

“So it is like the silliest thing that’s happening right now, is this finger-pointing and like, ‘I’m more virtuous.’ “No, I’m more virtuous.” It’s just silly, because none of us— who’s perfect? Come on. It’s a bizarre time to live in, man. It’s a bizarre time, but I think Whitney Cummings said it best. She was in my green room in Austin a while ago, and she goes— and I’m complaining about this nonstop.

“It’s my favorite thing to bitch about, is how conservative everybody is and crazy. And she goes, ‘Well, Christina, just think about how great it is for comedy. It’s so easy to shock right now.’ She’s like, ‘Ten years ago, you couldn’t shock anybody.’”

Since Will Smith’s Oscars slap of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle being attacked at the Hollywood Bowl in May, some comics have been more on edge performing. According to Christina, the element of danger isn’t a recent development.

“I’ve had glasses thrown at me. I’ve had beer bottles thrown at me. So it’s nothing new,” she said. “But I’ll tell you what, man, I think people saw the pictures of what Chappelle and his crew did to the guy who tried to attack him, and I’m hoping that’s a deterrent on any of these fools that think they can attack comedians.

“I’m not worried, though. Not really. Like I said, stand-up is always volatile. You’re entertaining drunk people for the most part. So there’s always hazard with that. Always.”

Pazsitzky notes several comics have since hired security to protect them at shows since Rock and Chappelle’s altercations.

Christina and Tom are longtime friends of famed podcaster Joe Rogan. They remember when The Joe Rogan Experience podcast began as a vehicle for fans to see and hear comedians hang, so it’s been strange for them to see the types of headlines surrounding Joe and the podcast the past couple years in regards to Covid.

“Look, if anybody can handle it, it’s Joe,” Pazsitzky said. “I think he’s a brilliant guy. He’s a gifted comic. He’s an innovator. And I think you have to be a special person to take everything that he does. He’s a special dude.”

Christina was recently a guest on Rogan’s podcast to promote her special. When she’s in-studio with Joe she notices the big and little things that played a role in him becoming a podcast titan.

“Can I tell you that Joe is such a great conversationalist. The guy has such a gift for listening to people, really listening and really thinking and really communicating,” Pazsitzky said. “He’s very gifted. The last time I did [his] show, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s already been three hours.’ It goes by so fast.

“I think it’s just a testament to how great of a podcaster he is, because I’ve done other shows where you’re like, ‘Oh, God. What are we going to talk about?’ And he’s so curious about the world, which I think is what makes him a good podcaster. He’s just endlessly curious. He’s fascinated by people and he’s fascinated by nature and by life. yeah. He’s an interesting dude.”

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