Steven Markow is a comedian and writer in Brooklyn, NY. His written work has been published by The New Yorker, Paste Magazine, and McSweeney's. He's appeared in sketches on Late Night with Stephen Colbert and The New Yorker. He's been a featured performer in Time Out NY and hosted one of Paste Magazine's "Top 10 Alt Comedy Shows in NYC". His podcast Turner Masters Memory Hospital, co-written with Catherine Cohen, was spotlit by The AV Club. He studied improv and sketch writing at the UCB, PIT, Second City, and Annoyance theaters. His short film Weird Movies, animated by Felipe di Poi, was a Vimeo staff pick with over 150k views, and has since been featured at several short film festivals, including Animation Block Party at BAM Rose Cinemas. He studied Film and Literature at Bennington College.
I did my first comedy open mic when I was 15 and bombed real bad. But I also took my first improv class around that time as well and got a ton of great feedback, and knew then I wanted to be a comedian. Unfortunately, that’s when I started dealing with debilitating mental health issues, and it would take 10 years before I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that when I was finally treated for the illness, and the depression and anxiety that had made my life hell for years finally abated, that the first thing I did was get back into comedy. Thankfully I had continued making work in one form or another throughout that 10 year period, including a series of video monologues with bizarre lonely characters that inform the work I make today.
Satirizing toxic masculinity and exploring fragile male egos through hundreds of character videos, as well as pieces published on The New Yorker, has been a major part of my creative output since starting (again) in comedy in 2015.
I also produce live shows and continue to make projects which have allowed me to book and work with diverse casts of extremely talented people, something I intend to do on a greater scale as the opportunities arise.
A big part of creating these opportunities has been shifting from a performer/writer to writer/director on many projects, and it’s been amazing watching so many beautiful, funny, incredibly talented performers bring my dumb, weird stuff to life. I absolutely love working with ensembles and getting to be part of a writers room is my main personal and professional goal right now.
I’ve also had dozens of poems, plays, and surreal short stories published, I’ve freelanced as a photographer and continue to make work in that medium, I make music, I’ve painted, I’ve made limited series audio fiction podcasts. I just love making things, and what excites me most creatively is to keep experimenting with ways to integrate as many of these practices together into more complex performances, films, and other projects, both funny-weird, weirdly funny, and maybe just weird.
I also love Horror and plan to work in that genre as well, blending it with super dark and absurd humor in future projects and performances.