The pandemic probably didn’t give many people a reason to laugh – unless those people live in Austin, where a few contributing factors led to an influx of comics now calling Austin home. Among those who rode the wave to the Capital City are Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky (aka Christina P). The 40-something parents of two boys, 5 and 7, are multi-hyphenates- stand-up comedians, podcasters and writers. They’ve been co-hosting the Your Mom's House podcast since 2010 and Tom also co-hosts the podcast Two Bears One Cave with best friend and fellow comedian Bert Kreischer while Christina hosts the Where My Moms At? Podcast. Both are under the umbrella of their studio YMH Studios, which also houses podcasts hosted by Jamie Lynn Sigler, Rob Iller, Dr. Drew and more. We spent an afternoon at the studios where we took photos and chatted with Tom and Christina individually on everything from life in Austin to working together, co-parenting together and being happily married for nearly two decades to why all comics (should) have podcasts, the buddy movie Tom would write for Brad Pitt, pending projects and more.
What do you like about living in Austin?
I like the lack of pretentiousness. I like that my kids can find a snake and throw it on a trampoline. I like the food and the people are nice. We moved here and instantly I found a community. Growing up in LA, you don’t even know who your neighbors are, so the vibe is very different that way. It’s like I was always meant to be here.
Who do your kids think is funnier?
I think Tom is really dialed into their wheelhouse. We tell them bedtime stories and he can get them rolling.
You’ve been doing your podcast together for more than 13 years! What do you like about the medium?
Everything. I love that we can say and do whatever we want and it's immediate. I love the freedom and the connection with the fans. Podcast audiences are great. They know everything about you. It's weird, in a great way though. It's a good connection to have with your audience.
If you had to choose podcasting, stand-up or TV, which would you choose?
Stand-up. That’s always my first love.
Do you and Tom have any rules for your relationship?
I think we learned once we had children that it was really important to get away from them and to spend nights away, so we plan those trips, just a couple of nights together to reconnect and just be people, not podcasters or comedians or parents, to just remember why we really liked each other in the first place.
Do you try out material on each other?
No, in fact, my husband will tell you that if he tells me a premise for something he's working on and I absolutely hate it, he's like, ‘It's a winner, I'm gonna keep it.’
Do you think it’s harder being a comedian now than ten years ago?
In some ways, because society got really tight. On the other, if you're not afraid of offending, it's so much more fun because it’s so much easier.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the road?
Sleep. I love a nice bed on the road. I get a room with two beds, one that's my eating bed, and one that's not. I order room service and I eat in one bed, get food all over it and sleep on the other one.
Do you have anything currently on your career bucket list?
I’d love to do Sesame Street.
Speaking of that, how old do your kids have to be before they can see your specials?
Ha, Never. I don't think they want to. I don't think they give a rip. They turn on Netflix and I tell them there’s mommy and daddy and they're like, whatever. They just want Mom and Dad, they’re not dazzled by us, which is a good thing. We are there for them, they're not fans.
Ron White said to me, ‘When you're doing good out there, slow down. When you're doing bad out there, slow down.’ It really resonated with me not just in comedy, but in life. What am I hurrying to? I feel like Austin's been great for that because in LA it's just go, go, go, and what am I hurrying to? It's all going to be there tomorrow.
Do you have any unique holiday traditions?
First of all, I’m bummed Halloween is over because that's the greatest holiday all year. For Thanksgiving, we have a tradition in the Segura house because we hate turkey because it's dry and it tastes gross, so we usually have steaks.
Some things you're grateful for?
Oh my gosh, everything. My health and the health of my family, that I’m able to be a comedian and do this for a living and for Austin welcoming us with open arms, it’s been amazing and I never want to leave.
Austin’s become such a great comedy hub.
Yeah, when I was a touring club comic act in 2006 Austin was a cool stop and now it feels like one of the big scenes, there's everything here. There's alt comics, huge established comics, flagship names like Joe Rogan and Ron White and everything in between, and people are all doing shows together. And then, there’s Joe’s place (Comedy Mothership), Creek & the Cave, Cap City, places to go. It’s a great time to be a comic here.
Do you think it’s harder to be a comedian now than several years ago?
People say you can't say anything these days, but really, you can say anything and you can play into the fact that people are bothered by it. There's a lot of people doing it, but I think that's a good thing. Stand-up is still niche when you look at entertainment as a whole, more people still watch a big television show or a film as opposed to a stand-up special, but stand-up is growing in popularity every year. You can tell by the business comedians are doing on the road.
When I was a kid, there was Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, that was it. Those guys were also huge stars. Fast forward to today, there's probably 30 or 40 theater acts, which is insane, and a dozen comics doing arenas, which was unheard of. That speaks to how popular stand-up is now.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I just like a quiet and calm green room. I go over my notes and that's pretty much it. I’ll do a workout at some point during the day because I feel like that helps get your head straight on top of being good for you, and light eating. We save dinner for after the show because I hate performing on a full stomach. And then I always perform without drinking or any substances. I like to feel totally clear-minded up there.
You started podcasting well before everyone started podcasting.
There were a few ahead of us, I always have to give credit to the fact that we weren't the first, but we were early adapters. Rogan started his in 2009 and was very encouraging to start one and I was completely reluctant. I had zero desire to do it, but I decided to do it and I convinced Christina, she didn't want to do it either. I convinced her and we started in late 2010. We're at 13 years doing it. It's pretty crazy. And now everybody has one. If you're a comedian and you don't have a podcast, you're kind of like a comedian who doesn't have a website. You kind of have to have one.
What do you like most about the medium?
The complete and total freedom. That's why it aligns perfectly with comedians. One thing that’s pretty universal among comics is that they don’t like authority figures, and with podcasts, there are no bosses, you’re in charge. So, it’s the perfect medium for a stand-up comedian.
What’s the future of YMH?
We’re going to expand into film and productions.
You have a photo on your wall of you and Brad Pitt chatting at one of your shows. If you were doing a buddy comedy with Brad Pitt, what would the premise be?
I think the premise would be that he's a loser and I've got it together and I tell him he’s got to get it together since he's just like eating Cheetos and sleeping on a blanket on the floor kind of thing. I help him and get him made over and then I flip and get jealous that I did too good and I sabotage his newfound success.
What's the status of your sci-fi comedy film Fat Astronauts?
Well, the big bummer is that we have a great draft of a script that cannot be worked on because of the strike.
You recently sold another show to a streamer?
Yeah, I have a series, and I sold an animated show, but that’s outside of the writer strike boundaries so you're allowed to do that.
Is the animated show going to be one your children can watch?
Um, may- no. It's not a hard R animated show, but it's probably at least PG-13. We try to keep them away from some stuff.
Who do your kids think is funnier?
I think they find me funnier, not because they think I'm a clever comedian, they just laugh at me more and make fun of me more so they think I'm a funnier guy. But, they laugh at both of us. They’re still at that age where you can get them on a roll with little things like expressions and they think it's absolutely hilarious. They also like to insult me more than they like to insult my mother. They certainly love her more.
You've been together almost 20 years, do you have any advice for a relationship with longevity?
It's kind of cliche, but it's definitely you need to talk. It sounds so simple, but I’ve learned that you can't keep things bottled up, communication is everything. And, it’s not taking things for granted, being respectful, thankful and expressing gratitude for what the other person's doing. Like, I'm very fortunate that she's such a great mom. I'm touring all the time aggressively and I know my kids are with their mother who's a really smart, loving and great person. It’s very comforting to have that because there are people in my situation who don't have that and I'm sure they're really messed up over it. So, I'm very fortunate.
She's also super supportive of me and all my nonsense, not just with touring, but if I say I’m going to the racetrack, or I’m going to go fly a helicopter, she’s just like ‘Ok man.’ She's supportive, which makes me happy and I try to be as supportive of whatever she’s pursuing that makes her happy.
Anything you’d like to add?
I'm just very grateful to be in Austin, it’s been really awesome for me personally, for my family and we really enjoy it, it’s really fun here.
QUICK FIRE: TOM
Best croissant in Austin. I'll say this, I am talking to somebody about possibly opening a place and if we make this deal, it would be pretty epic. When it comes to a croissant, it’s important to get right. But my current favorite in town I would say is Tiny’s Milk & Cookies and Heaven’s Bistro.
Last show you binged I just finished ‘The Watcher’ It was good. ‘Slow Horses’ is the last really good one I watched. The writing is excellent and the performances are really good.
Last thing you bought online Running shoes. I've been doing the Peloton home bike for cardio, but I’m going to start running.
Favorite song to run to Probably Welcome to the Terrordome by PubliC Enemy.
Favorite Peloton teacher Ally Love a hundred percent. I’m pretty exclusive to Ally.
Last meal I would probably get rigatoni norcina with sausage and an olive oil-based sauce, some seared scallops on the side and just a taste of ribeye. Then wash it down with a bottle of Cayman Cabernet a chocolate souffle for dessert.
Favorite Austin restaurants? I love Red Ash, that place is unbelievable. I love J Carvers, Sushi by Scratch and I love the Golden Tiger for burgers because it’s open late so we can go there post-show. Pasta Bar is incredible and Olamaie.
QUICK FIRE: CHRISTINA
Dream guest for ‘Where’s Mama At?’ Rick Rubin
Favorite restaurants in Austin I love Red Ash. Tare and Terry Black’s BBQ.
Last thing you, bought online: At midnight last night while Tom was snoring I bought bathing suits.
Last show you binged? ‘Physical,’ with Rose Byrne, and Tom and I watched ‘The Watcher’.
Last meal: Probably just spaghetti with red sauce and shaky cheese, like Kraft, or Stauffers French bread, pizza, the frozen kind.
Do you or Tom cook? I do, I cook on Sundays. I'm learning how to cook from TikTok. I learned how to make Korean food, which I've been a lifelong fan and I'm starting to cook Italian.
"We learned once we had children that it was important to get away from them and spend nights away, to reconnect and just be people, not podcasters or comedians or parents, to just remember why we really liked each other in the first place." - Christina P