Christopher Calcagno '94

The Lance That Cuts the Boil

Whenever you’re down and out in New York City, Chris Calcagno would love you to drop by for a few laughs. The standup comic performs several nights a week at clubs in Manhattan, slaying audiences with his edgy take on life in the 21st century.

“I talk a lot about relationships between the sexes, how ridiculous political correctness has become, and I get a lot of funny material from everyday life in New York,” he said during an interview at Caroline’s, a comedy club on Broadway.

A political science major from Clifton, N.J., Chris took a circuitous road to the Great White Way. He worked at an investment bank after college, moved to Seattle and lived “an artsy life for a couple of years,” then returned East to study law, graduating from New York Law School in 2002. Contract work for law firms and corporate clients allows him to pay his bills and concentrate on his comedy career.

A natural clown who cracked up his fraternity brothers at Phi Kappa Psi, Chris started doing open mike nights in 2004, but his early routines “bombed terribly.” He enrolled in a comedy workshop where he revised his jokes, honed his act, and developed a killer set.

Chris learned to work audiences at URI playing bass in The Joneses, a band that played campus parties and bars around Narragansett. Now he’s a regular at Caroline’s and performs at many other clubs including the Gotham Comedy Club and the Broadway Comedy Club.

He’d love to get back in touch with friends from URI, and urges acquaintances to email him at and look him up whenever they’re in town.

“I feel like my job is to channel all the things that everybody wants to say but can’t say in everyday life. The role of a comic is to be the lance that cuts the boil and lets out all the toxins that build up in people at work and in life. That’s what I try to do.”

—David Gregorio ’80