Ted Alexandro Interview

By Leo Goodman

Ted Alexandro Comedian

Ted Alexandro has been a working comic for twenty years, developing his style and building his reputation.  Although he likes to travel, the former music teacher is definitely a New Yorker, living in Queens, performing at clubs every night and also getting himself arrested at Occupy Wall Street.  He’s been on all the late-night shows, has Comedy Central specials, and is getting ready to record a new hour-long special this winter.We sat outside at a little coffee shop in Astoria near where he lives.  It’s a quiet place that has regular music and comedy performances, a good place to sit and write, and as soon as the barista sees Ted she asks if he wants the usual.

Sitting outside over a cup of tea (not the usual), Ted talks about teaching, long-term collaborations, and letting the fans find you.

BCT:   I know that when you started doing comedy you were a teacher during the day, teaching music.

TA:     Yeah.

BCT:   Were you a teacher first, and then after too many days of wanting to say bad things to the kids you decided to try stand-up, or was stand-up the thing and teaching was just a means to an end?

TA:     I was always performing.  Through high school I was doing the plays, in college I was in plays, and I was a music major originally; jazz piano major.  Then I switched to elementary education cause I was kind of in over my head with the jazz program.  But I was still doing theatre the whole time, and then I got into sketch comedy with this guy, Hollis James, who turned out to be my best friend in college, and we started doing a two-man stand-up act.  Right when we got out of college.  My very first teaching job was as a gym teacher, when I was still in college.  I took a semester off to study jazz piano with this teacher, and a friend of mine who was working at a school said “my school needs a gym teacher, do you want to do it?”  And I was 20 years old, I didn’t have a degree, I wasn’t an education major at this point, but they just said “can you blow a whistle?” read more