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Living the Comedy Dream: Steve Halligan Recovery Comic
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy

Runner up in the Best of Boston Comedy contest, Steve Halligan is quickly making a name for himself in the comedy world. Drawing upon his complex life experiences, Steve’s quick wit and charm have made him an audience favorite. As a regular at the Beantown Comedy Vault, Steve has worked with some of the finest and most respected comics in the industry including Dick Doherty, Dave Russo, The Reverend Bob Levy, Gary Gulman, Joe Wong and Rich Vos.

Recovery Comedy: What were you like as a kid?

Steve Halligan: Tall, lanky, glasses, zits and braces. That should paint a pretty clear picture of pure 100% awkward, right? I see how my ten year old son faces life, mostly with ambition and confidence. I don't think I possessed those qualities until I reached my 30's.

Recovery Comedy: What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Steve Halligan: Honestly I can only describe it as a calling. I heard a voice in my head say, “why not try comedy?” From ages 15-26 I was a musician. I mean I’m still a musician but I was in bands during that time. I’ve always loved performing but as I got older and became a Dad, I knew I didn't want to be in a band anymore but I did still have a need to be creative. Comedy seemed a natural choice. I've been performing for two and a half years.

Recovery Comedy: Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Steve Halligan: I was not. I started doing comedy when I was six years clean. I've been doing stand-up regularly for the past two and a half years.

Recovery Comedy: Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Steve Halligan: I don't think I have a distinct, planned message in my stand-up. If anything, it's a public declaration that despite my 36 years of life experience, I still have no idea what I'm doing. A lot of my material is based on my complete misunderstanding of life and everything around me, so I guess my message is that I still need help.

Recovery Comedy: Who are your comedy idols?

Steve Halligan: Bill Cosby, John Candy (RIP), Bill Murray, Marc Maron and Louis C.K.

Recovery Comedy: Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Steve Halligan: Everything is material and nothing is off limits as long as I have some kind of direct experience with the subject matter. I think the only way to make any content relatable, especially something considered taboo, is to have experience with that subject. I also seem to draw a lot of inspiration from animals. Pretty much everything they do is funny.

Recovery Comedy: What is your joke writing process?

Steve Halligan: I very rarely actually write, like as in pen to paper. Usually I experience something, think about how to present it as a joke then try it out until it develops itself. I guess it's a pretty organic process in that regard. Most of my tags and formation of sequence comes to me through meditation. I've been practicing transcendental meditation for almost the same amount of time as I've been performing stand-up and I find most of my creativity comes during the silence and stillness of meditation.

Recovery Comedy: What is your kryptonite?

Steve Halligan: Such an amazing question. I am my own kryptonite. I am my own arch enemy.

Recovery Comedy: Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Steve Halligan: Incredibly supportive. My parents go to as many shows as they can and I can tell they actually enjoy my stuff. As any parent, I think they're proud to see their kid do something they're truly passionate about. Plus, they were used to seeing me self-destruct so this is a nice change of pace for them.

Recovery Comedy: Is comedy part of your healing process?

Steve Halligan: 100%. All the time I spent in active addiction was time spent suffocating my spirit and the spirits of those around me. Comedy allows me to forgive myself for spending so much time destroying myself. Performing is truly one of the greatest gifts of recovery for me.

Recovery Comedy: What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Steve Halligan: I was hosting a New Year's Eve show and the headliner was nowhere to be found. I had to chew up 15 minutes of time, after I had already done all the time I had. And when he finally showed up, I had to go back stage and help pour 100 glasses of champagne. Not ideal for anyone who doesn't drink!

Recovery Comedy: What was your best experience performing comedy?

Steve Halligan: I recently did a show for a 12 step convention during a blizzard. Five minutes before the show started, the power went out in the hotel. The only thing working was the emergency overhead and exit lights that were tied into the backup generator. No stage lighting and NO mic. And it was amazing. If the energy of the crowd could be harnessed, we could have restored the power to the whole block.

Recovery Comedy: What is your favorite joke?

Steve Halligan: I have a joke that my stepson is the one I step over to get to my real kid. It looks a lot harsher in writing though. Love that kid.

Recovery Comedy: What is your comedy dream?

Steve Halligan: If comedy is a dream, I don't want to wake up.

To find out more information about Steve Halligan or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!

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