Nico Cattaneo

Nico Cattaneo

Comedian, Musician

This episode is Part Two of my conversation with Nico Cattaneo, the talented composer behind our podcast theme music, my son, and a rising young comedian in New York City. If you missed Part One, be sure to check out Episode 120, before diving into this episode.

In this installment, we delve into the diverse tiers of the comedy scene and the different paths aspiring comedians can take as they navigate their way to a career in comedy.


  • [02:52] – Nico shares the importance of comedians producing their own shows to gain stage time in front of real audiences (and make a little money.)
  • [05:32] – Nico discusses the concept of Bringer Shows, and the potential for exploitation, especially for newer comics.
  • [06:49] – Nico highlights other, less exploitative opportunities, especially in cities like New York, where open mics attract audience members.
  • [07:25] – Nico explains the unconventional concept of “barking,” for income, guaranteed stage time, and act development. He also shares some of the unique interactions he has with strangers, ranging from making friends to encountering resistance.
  • [14:13] – Nico shares some of his favorite go-to material honed during his time “barking” to engage passersby.
  • [15:22] – The challenges and various paths to success for comedians and the concept of getting “passed” at a comedy club.
  • [18:33] – Nico shares a special offer for listeners of the show who visit his Instagram page.
  • [19:15] – Nico introduces indie alt comedian,  Clara Olshansky, praising their humor and well-written personal stories and observations.
  • [20:38] – Maddie Wiener — a consistent and killer performer.
  • [21:23] – Alex Taubin — from one-liners to a stand-up comedy evolution.
  • [23:16] – Ethan Mead — the one comedian who makes Nico laugh more in person than anyone else.
  • [23:31] – The explosive and unpredictable style of Mia Faith Hammond and the parallel between her comedic style and that of Casey Rocket in Austin.
  • [27:04] – Nico recommends listeners check out Julia Castner recent winner of the Comedy Mob Festival, and other NYC comedians including Adam Christopher.
  • [28:19] – Nico shares his food for the body recommendations from NYC including Berlin Döner he was introduced to by Espi Rivadeneira.
  • [29:07] – Nico shares his “food for the soul,” the YouTube show Neutral Drop.
  • [30:26] – Nico introduces the Full Belly project in New York, which combines a pop-up restaurant and comedy club. Each event features a different chef designing the menu, coupled with a comedy show produced by Nico. Profits from the show go to a New York nonprofit addressing food insecurity.
  • [31:39] – Nico shares information about the Deception Stone project, where he and other young comedians create a limited number of collector’s item rocks.
  • [32:58] – Check out “Horns and Hacks,” where Nico voices a unicorn offering business advice.

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