In the spring of 1993 Costaki was doing graduate work at the University of Georgia. He spent most of his time hammering out a thesis on the influence of political satire on our feelings about government. His off time was spent honing his stand-up skills in pizza joints and bars around town. When he had to turn down a couple of gigs to work on the paper, it made his stomach hurt. He hung in there, finished the thesis, got his master’s degree, and within a year was a full-time comic on the road. He has been creating funniness for audiences all over the country 40+ weeks a year ever since.
His humor has been described as smart, pointed, hip, sharp, insightful, socially relevant, and gut-laugh funny. A fellow comic once referred to Costaki as a “casually brilliant joke philosopher.” His take on politics and religion will leave you thinking and laughing. And his light swagger, playful squint, and wry smile tell you that perhaps there’s more to this multi-layered joke than you first recognized.
Costaki began to make some noise in the business by reaching the finals of the Seattle Comedy Competition, where he was discovered and invited to the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival. He was just one of ten finalists in Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots national talent search. Over the years, Costaki has performed in 47 states, covering the country’s best clubs, dozens of colleges and private shows, and some of the worst bars in America.
Also a talented writer, Costaki’s jokes have appeared on The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show, and Best Damn Sports Show Period. He was a writer for BET, where he was staffed on two of their hit shows. He wrote jokes for Bette Midler’s Kiss My Brass tour. Costaki spent Spring Break one year in Cancun writing on the MTV show Parental Approval. He also wrote daily for The Complete Sheet, a DJ prep service that goes out to almost 500 stations worldwide.
But he is easily best known for “The Economonologue,” a weekly segment on the syndicated Bob & Tom Radio Show that reaches some 5 and half million people in 150 markets. This national exposure has opened the door to Costaki’s dream: people coming to see his live performances “on purpose.”
After a recent performance with Jake Johannsen, Costaki’s mother said, “You were better than that other guy.” And really, is there anything more to say after that?