"Costaki Economopoulos has the biggest name in showbiz."

Seriously, try pronouncing Costaki Economopoulos’ name. After you think you’ve got it, it then begins to be a challenge. However, once you do, you’ll never forget it. And that is what the comedian wants you to do – remember his name. That’s because, the comic with the long name is actually making a big name for himself in stand-up comedy. He recently stopped by to chat about his name, his life and his career.

Q – OK, so your name is Costaki Economopoulos. That’s Japanese, right?

A - Yes, Suzuki Kawasaki! Actually, at my high school construction job in Georgia, I got a lot of Kawasaki Snuffalupagus kind of nicknames.

Q – I’ve heard you on the Bob & Tom radio show numerous times and every time I hear your name, I’m able to pronounce it once and then I butcher it. What’s the most memorable story or situation involving the mispronunciation of your name?

A - Jacksonville, FL- the woman said, "Put your hands together for Econocockalockapus!"

Q – You started doing stand-up while in grad school. Why did you attend grad school if you were set on becoming a comedian?

A - I didn't think becoming a comic was a realistic goal. It seemed so far away, like becoming a rock star. So I studied what I loved and planned to teach like my folks did.

Q – Your act revolves a lot around politics. I’m assuming you voted for someone the last election. How do you stay objective in political comedy if the person or party you’re for doesn’t win?
A - Politics is a tricky one. Probably a 3-way tie with race and religion for explosive potential.

Q - The Bob & Tom show really opened you up to a wider audience. How did you get involved with the show?

A - I worked the club there in Indy for years. Eventually they had me on and liked me. We just slowly developed a good relationship.

Q – Your significant other is comedian and actress Caroline Rhea. How do you handle the fact that she is universally more known in the business? Does that ever get to you?

A - Sometimes, because she's a bigger draw and that's what I want for me. But she's one of the best there is, and totally deserves the success, so for the most part it's a non-issue. I'm thrilled that she does so well.

Q – When writing material, how much influence does Caroline have on you or is it something you do by yourself?

A - Sometimes she and I fight over a joke idea, but actually our styles are SO very different, we could probably both do the same premise in different ways. She reveals herself on stage in a crazy jazz-like style with a lot of crowd work. I'm more of a pure joke-writer.

Q – You and Caroline have a daughter together. Do the three of you go on the road together?

A - We've done a few gigs here and there. Caroline doesn't do too much now because she likes staying home with Ava. It's great fun though. A few times she watched Ava while I was on and then handed me the kid as I left the stage and she started her show.

Q – Being that both of you are comedians, what advice would you give to your children if they, too, wanted to go into stand-up?

A- Try it! Do whatever you want. Life's fun if you make it that.

Check out more of Costaki Economopoulos, including clips and CDs at: www.costaki.com.

BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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