Steve Treviño is quietly becoming one of the country’s fastest-rising comics and embodies the title of “America’s Favorite Husband.”
He has been viewed more than 175 million times as of 2020, selling out shows coast-to-coast, amassing nearly 1 million total social media followers. He’s headlining specials for Amazon, Netflix, and Showtime, and most recently, a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic comedy special, “My Life In Quarantine,” that is now available on Amazon.
You can see Treviño live when he performs three shows at Punchline Philly this Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15. The Mexican-American comic, in the vein of Ray Romano and Kevin James, is regularly on the road, touring more than 250 shows a year around the world. Last year, after a few months off, due to the pandemic, Treviño said that he persevered, even with venues at 20 to 30 percent capacity, to provide for his family, and for mental clarity for himself and for his fans through a little laughter.
That is how his new special, MLIQ, came about. “My Life In Quarantine,” was shot last September, outdoors, in front of a live, masked, and socially distanced crowd in Canyon Lake, Texas.
In a press release, Treviño said he takes on the brutal reality of realizing he’s nonessential. He uses his tongue-in-cheek humor when referencing not being able to tour over the last few months, while also finding laughs in all aspects of the shutdowns – panic shopping, being home with his wife and best friend Renae, and the etiquette of face masks and hand sanitizing.
2020 had a silver lining for the Treviños, as they call 2019 their worst year. Part of it was the special touches on Renae’s miscarriage at five months pregnant, the trials and tribulations of a fertility clinic, and the blessing of being able to get pregnant and give birth to their baby girl during the pandemic. Though a heavy period in their lives, both Steve and Renae wanted to share their story.
Treviño is breaking barriers culturally and in the comedy world, as well as using his celebrity to help people in need. While being a positive force in the community, he raises money for Helicopters For Heroes, an organization benefiting veterans, something he is very passionate about.
PW recently caught up with Treviño to talk about his comedy and upcoming shows in Philly:
Let’s go back to the beginning. When did you first realize that you could make people laugh and that you’d like to do that for a living?
I changed schools a lot when I was young, and I quickly found out that being funny was a great way to make friends at my new schools. As an 8-year old, I snuck in watching Richard Pryor on TV and that was when I realized you could do stand-up as a job. Ever since second grade, if anybody asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say stand-up comedian.
As someone who is used to doing 250 shows a year around the world, the pandemic and all of its closures had to have an impact on you. How did you get through it?
It was very hard in the beginning to find out that I was nonessential and not get to work at all. My gigs were canceled and I was stuck at home for the first time in over 20 years of being a touring comic. And to be honest with you, I had never dealt with depression, but being out of work, being stuck at home, not being able to get on stage really put me in a very bad place. If I didn’t have my wife, Renae, who made me realize this wasn’t just happening to me, that everybody was going through it and we should do something…So my wife and I started doing a weekly live Facebook video that grew into our weekly podcast, “Steve Trevino & Captain Evil.” It has continued to grow through the pandemic.
I’m here to make people forget about their troubles and just have a good laugh, so I’ve always made the decision to make sure that my shows are an escape from day-to-day life.– Steve Treviño
Of course, one positive thing that did come out of the pandemic was your special, “My Life in Quarantine.” Can you talk a little about how that came about?
“My Life in Quarantine” came about because my stand up is about everyday life, and I started writing material about things I was experiencing during the quarantine, like being stuck at home with my wife and constant trips to Home Depot. I knew that I had to film it because this was a moment in time and that if I didn’t film it those jokes would never be in another special. As time goes on, those jokes won’t resonate with people as much. Even now, people are starting to forget what it felt like to be in quarantine. And because of the circumstances I was able to do something different than my other specials and include my family in it. My son does some stand-up, and because of the popularity of the podcast, we filmed a live podcast and included that, too.
In addition to making people laugh, you like to help those in need and are a big supporter of Helicopters For Heroes, an organization benefiting veterans. How and why did you get involved with that group?
My father’s a Vietnam vet and I saw, firsthand, what war could do to a man. I wasn’t able to serve myself due to a back injury, so I figured, if I could do anything, I could support the veterans by raising money, supporting them at my shows, and bringing awareness to the cause. I know the sacrifice. That’s why I did it and it means a lot to me to be able to use my stand-up to give back.
On stage, you don’t talk a lot about politics or whatever is in the news that day. You find humor in everyday events. Why do you take this approach to comedy?
I’m here to entertain. I’m here to make people forget about their troubles and just have a good laugh, so I’ve always made the decision to make sure that my shows are an escape from day-to-day life.
What will people experience when they come out to Punch Line Philly for your shows this month?
I hope that people come to my show and take a little time to laugh at themselves. I spend a lot of time talking about everyday married life, family life, being a parent, and I hope that people can sit there and realize that we’re all the same. We all have the same struggles and we can sit back and have a good laugh about it together.
For tickets and details to Treviño’s upcoming show, visit punchlinephilly.com.