Comedy is a lot of work these days. 33-year-old Stavros Halkias is at the front of a new wave of comedians who, in addition to releasing an hour-long special every year or two, hosts a thriving podcast or five, dips a foot into acting, posts to social media like his career depends on it (it just might), and, spends the majority of the year touring from comedy club to comedy club. (And living on whatever food you can get when those comedy clubs close.) GQ Caught the Baltimore native at home between Christmas and New Year’s plotting his 2023, there wasn’t a shortage of subjects to cover.
First up: the Halkias—headlining Fat Rascal Tour which begins its first leg in February and culminates three months later with the filming of its next special, due in the fall. It marks roughly a year of Stavvy boom, in which his self-released Live at the Lodge Room racked up millions of views in its first week and, after ending his Patreon-dominating podcast cum townsaw his nascent solo pod Stavvy’s World crack Spotify’s top-100 list before it hits 10 episodes. Halkias admits that it all could come crashing down at any moment, but he’s not slowing down to find out.
GQ: How’s the new hour set coming?
Stavros Halkias, It’s going well! It’s about 75 percent of the way now, and over the next couple of months, I think we can put the finishing touches on it. My plan right now is to shoot it in May, at the end of the first leg of this tour, in Austin.
With the start of your tour in the middle of winter, you picked a hell of a region to travel.
The first month, it’s Buffalo, Wisconsin, Boston, Albany. The tour’s brutal. I just agree to things without seeing the timeline.
I’m not sure you’ll be able to find the club under all that snow.
They’ve got two months to dig it out. So, fingers crossed.
So as you’re working out material in New York, what are the best and worst things you can eat following a set?
For me, the city is not really an issue, because I am at home. I’ll even pack a lunch. The Comedy Cellar has my favorite wings in the city, so that’s always dangerous. The Stand has incredible food—they literally built a pizza oven before they built a stage in that club.
But for me, the road is where it’s mentally and logistically tough—you give yourself an out. I’m in a strange city and I’m not done ’til 1 am, all I can eat is dog shit, you know? I know I’m in trouble when I’m thinking about the meals I’m going to have when I’m traveling.
The first time you go on the road, it’s like a vacation. These are your dreams coming true. We’re in Austin? Got to get barbecue. We’re in Vermont? Let’s go to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. But now I’m on my fourth or fifth headlining tour, so it’s just work. I’ve gained a lot of weight on tour, and I know I should just be looking at food as energy to survive. When things are at the start is when I’m Googling where I can get a salad.
But the last day of the winter tour this year was Vermont, and I really just let loose. The real answer to “what’s the worst thing you can eat after a spot?” is an edible, because you’re like, fuck it, i’ll eat anything, I hadn’t smoked weed for five months to keep my willpower going on this tour, and then I was like, ah, fuck it, it’s the last one, who cares, And I’m getting high and getting desserts every night. I’m getting stoned and ordering pizza at 1 am at whatever shitty pizza place is open.
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