Swinging For The Fences: Chris Distefano Takes Us Through His Sunday Routine
On: April 1, 2014

Fans of New York sports teams may see athletics and mirth as mutually exclusive, but the comedian Chris Distefano, 29, has found a niche combining the two. Mr. Distefano, a former physical therapist who gave it up for standup comedy, has been a regular on several MTV and MTV2 comedy shows, including “Guy Code” and “Girl Code.” Starting on April 1, he will be a host of MTV2’s new “Off the Bat From the M.L.B. Fan Cave,” a program in which players and celebrities will drop by the Major League Baseball space on Broadway and East Fourth Street. He recently moved to Long Island City, Queens, to a building with a basketball court.

BATTER UP I don’t really like to sleep in too much, so I’m going to wake up at about 10 a.m. I like to turn on ESPN, watch “The Sports Reporters,” watch a little CNN, cartoons. Usually on Sundays I have brunch. I’m that guy. So usually I’ll have some Eggo waffles or a little bit of Cheerios at about 10:15.

A QUICK ONE I go down and play some ball, shoot some free throws. Maybe do a quick workout, just 25 minutes or half an hour, because it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day that he gave us to rest, so I don’t go too nuts.

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FAMILY FORAGE Then about 11:45 I have brunch with either my friends or my three parents. I got my dad, my stepmom and my mom. They all used to hate each other, but now my career has brought everybody together. I did Letterman a few months ago and they all came to watch me. They were actually in the studio, and it was the first time they all talked in a while. Now, all these big events that I have going on in my career, they all come out and support, so they’ve gotten to be friends again.

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BRUNCH There’s something about bacon and eggs with a mimosa on a Sunday that you just have to do it. If I don’t do it, I don’t feel like it’s Sunday. I just found a new brunch spot right down the street from my apartment called the Sage General Store. I like trying all the new spots, so this way I look cool when people come visit.

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FILIAL FABRICATION Mainly my comedy that’s made it to TV has been about my dad. My dad says funny things, but I’ve created a hyper-exaggerated version of my dad. There’s my real-life dad and then there’s my comedy dad, who is a totally different person. Everything that I say about my family did really at some point happen, but then I just embellish it to add humor. They all love it. In the beginning, since I was a physical therapist before I started in comedy, my mother said, “I can’t believe you have a doctorate degree, and you’re going to throw it all away to be a clown.” But now that I’ve been on Letterman, and the other guest was John Travolta, and my mother is a humongous John Travolta fan, anything that I talk about with them, they’re very open and cool now.

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CAGES After brunch, that’s when I hit the batting cages or look to see who’s playing softball. I’m trying to get into the celebrity M.L.B. all-star game, so I’m going to the batting cages in Astoria every single day and working on my swing, and going out and playing softball. Or maybe my dad will bring his glove and we’ll throw a softball around for an hour or two and just catch up. We’ll toss it back and forth like I’m 4 years old. We don’t care about the cold.

WORKING IT Usually I’m doing shows on a Sunday night. I’ll do an 8 o’clock show and maybe a 10 o’clock show, depending on what I have booked. There’s the comedy clubs, and there’s the alt shows in bars. If you paid 10, 15 bucks, I’m going to try to do the best I can for you so you get a good show. If it’s a free show, you’re just having a drink and might watch some comedy, then I’m going to take more chances, maybe try out a joke that hasn’t been fleshed out.

SEARED Usually I’ll have food at one of the comedy clubs. Like a club called the Stand has the best food. I’ll get a burger, fries — actually, because I want to stay in shape to try to make this all-star game, I’m going to get a salad with some seared tuna.

UNWIND By the time I get home I’ll either catch an N.B.A. game or watch some college basketball. I always record my sets. If I have a lot of energy I’ll listen to the set I just did and see what mistakes I made, what can be improved, what got laughs or didn’t get laughs. But I try to get to bed by 11, 11:30. I always fall asleep to ESPN.

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