Thursday, July 23, 2009
If you're working on solving a problem right now, stop. In just a few hours, Steve Calechman and Tony V will get to work solving the world's problems in their Thursday night show, Steve and Tony Save the World. They are both veteran Boston comics, and as such, should be able to take care of everything pretty quickly by themselves, but they'll do it even quicker with the help of Josh Gondelman, Ira Proctor, and Tony Moschetto.
I caught up with Calechman by e-mail today to see how they're approaching the task.
How long have you known Tony V?
Fifteen years. Fifteen long and hard years.
When was the first time you guys performed together? Do you remember the specific show?
I try to forget such things but I think the first time we were on the same show was at the Aku Aku in Worcester. Most good things were born at the Aku Aku in Worcester. The first thing I think we did together was reading The Double Decker Purple Shul Bus to a roomful of young, single Jews. Tony read his kid's book and I translated it for him, since he has minimal sensitivity to any people who are not him.
How long has it been since you two did a show together?
We were at Tommy's last month but did separate sets. Also last month we did a show for an animal shelter in Salem and did the raffle at the end where are magical riffing powers were on full display. It was the best night of those people's lives.
What do you think makes the pairing work?
It really doesn't. It's just that it's a Thursday in July and standards are lowered in the summer. Really, if this show doesn't work, who's gonna know or care?
How did you decide to do a show solving the world’s problems?
In one of our many inane daily conversations, one of us usually has a beef with something. Not being slackers, we figure out a solution and realize that the world would be a better place if we were in charge. We also realize that it would be cruel and selfish to keep this brilliance to ourselves. If people choose not to come or listen, then the problem lies with them and we cry for their souls.
Do you have any of the world’s problems solved in advance of tonight’s show, or are you playing it by ear?
We always have ideas but we often work better without much forethought. The less that rattles around in our heads, the better.
Do you plan to revisit this concept as the world develops more problems after the show?
Unless we had something better to do, like a Springsteen show or a poker game. But ultimately, we'd answer if the call came out. Deep, deep down, we're just a couple of simple humanitarians.