CHRISTINA PAZSITZKY INTERVIEW
Rooftop Comedy Productions is proud to release Christina Pazsitzky’s It’s Hard Being a Person. Christina’s debut comedy album shows off her style of comedy that’s taken her everywhere from Last Comic Standing to Chelsea Lately. Christina’s not afraid to wear her “Going Out” sweatpants to someplace fancy like Applebee’s or talk about her thing for fat guys, including her very funny husband Tom Segura. We recently chatted with Christina right before Thanksgiving to discuss this generation’s Brett Butler, her personal identification with sausage, and comedy in old Hungary.
Rooftop Comedy: Are you doing any traveling for Thanksgiving?
Christina Pazsitzky: No. Thankfully, my relatives are here in Los Angeles. My husband and I are hosting this year to get our drink on.
RT: You’ve expressed your intense dislike for the term “girl comic”. Do you think there’s still a degree of pressure on funny female stand-ups to be cutesy?
CP: I think the pressure is always there for girls to be agreeable and attractive, comic or not. The culture is starving for a female voice that doesn’t reinforce the norm. It’s all well and good to be girly—I’m not taking a dump on the girls that do that—but I think the culture is ripe for somebody like Roseanne or Brett Butler to kind of be that other voice. There needs to be balance in the comedy universe.
RT: Just this week, GQ magazine named Kristen Wiig “Bro of the Year”.
CP: Like Kristen’s so funny, she’s guy funny? It’s odd to have Comedians in GQ at all. Gone are the days when you could just have a personality and have a career. I’m trying to think…who’s that guy? Marty Feldman? He had one wonky eye and that guy was in a bunch of movies in the ‘80s. Well that culture is gone. I think it’s because of people like— not to knock him or his comedy—but Dane Cook, who was the first of that, “Oh my god. You’re so attractive and you’re funny?” Dane can sell tickets to guys and the girls who think he’s hot. But as far as posing for lad mags…I don’t see myself doing it, unless it’s the way Sarah Silverman did. She posed in a gorilla costume, which is great.
RT: So you were born in Hungary.
CP: Actually, no. For storytelling purposes, I condensed the details a bit. That popped out of my mouth in a Chardonnay haze during recording. My parents escaped from Hungary in ’69, fleeing the Communist regime, and they were put in a camp in Italy for a year and then the Catholic Church sponsored them to go to Canada. I was born in Canada, in Windsor, Ontario, across from Detroit. My father worked at a car factory in Detroit and we moved to Los Angeles when I was four. I grew up in a working class immigrant household. My parents never told me I was a “little princess” or any nonsense like that. On the outside, I look like a white blonde girl, but I’m made of sausage. I’m made of Hungarian kolbasz.
RT: Speaking of, sausage seems to be a common theme on It’s Hard Being a Person.
CP: I think it’s such an unconscious thing for me, because I really have a love for all processed meats. It’s just part of my upbringing. If you opened my father’s fridge right now, you would find at least 4 links. To me, sausage really speaks to what class you’re from, because it’s all the meat you’re not supposed to eat, but if it’s flavored just right, you can make it really good. But you can’t think about it. It is kind of a metaphor for life. You’re given these nasty bits and you try to put it together and make it palatable and tasty.
RT: What’s the comedy scene like in Hungary?
CP: I don’t know what exists now, I’m assuming they get our movies and stand-up. Stand-up is a really American art form, with some Brits and Australians thrown in, too. The only Hungarian stand up I ever knew of was a guy named Hofi Géza and he was a stand-up comedian during the Communist regime. Hofi was one of the very few subversive elements allowed during the regime, because he would make jokes about stuff that you knew had a double meaning. He was taking jabs at what was going on, but it was permitted because everyone loved Hofi. I’d listen to my dad’s records of Hofi when I was a little girl. I’d pick up on stuff here and there. I didn’t understand all the humor.
RT: When you were on MTV’s Road Rules, was there any pressure from the producers to be the funny blonde woman?
CP: I was actually, for many years, goth and punk growing up. I was very angry and very depressed. When I did Road Rules, I was studying philosophy in college and took myself very seriously. At best, I was snarky and sarcastic. They didn’t cast me because I was funny. They casted me because I was—I don’t know why. I was dumb, that’s for sure. I just wanted to see the world. I know my humor comes from being an angry, 14 year-old punk. I love that fiery, conscious, action-driven, DIY ethic. I’m proud though, to have been on Road Rules and in a time when they didn’t vote people off or set them on fire. Nobody even hooked up on my season. We were just a bunch of douche bags in a Winnebago having fun—good clean, honest, drunk fun. I’m still very close to a couple of my cast mates, they’re like family.
RT: What factors went into your decision to release an album now?
CP: It was time and I was finally a full-time comic. The title, It’s Hard Being a Person, came from a promise I made to myself when I was working in telemarketing years ago. I was so miserable. It was one of those jobs where you just call people every day and just get shit on—rightly so, because you’re calling people at home and offering them a survey on eggs. This guy David I worked with was so funny. One day, I just slammed down the phone and was like, “Man, I fucking hate this job”. He goes, “Yeah, well, it’s hard being a person” and I thought “Ah! That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard”. The most existential—it is hard being a person. I swore that when I became a full-time comic, I’d name my album that. The time came and I did.
RT: Do you like working the rooms in LA more than touring all over?
CP: I love LA. Because I grew up here, I understand the crowds better. I like to develop new jokes here. I do the Comedy Store a lot when I’m home. Bits are born in LA and then taken on the road to be honed. I see no value in being a comedian that only five people get. Your job as a communicator is to make your ideas understandable to a large audience. I’ve really started to enjoy the Midwest a lot. At first, I didn’t know what to expect, because I grew up in LA and had no idea how the rest of the country lived. But they’re down to earth people. They care about family and the neighborhood. And they love hot dogs. I can respect that.
Christina will be headlining at Crackers Comedy Club in Indianapolis Dec 14-17. Her podcast “Your Mom’s House” is available for download on iTunes. It’s Hard Being a Person is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and the Rooftop Comedy Shop.