Theodor Capitani von Kurnatowski the Third (born March 19, 1980), known professionally as Theo Von, is an American stand-up comedian, podcaster, television personality, host, and actor.
Theo Von was born Theodor Capitani von Kurnatowski to Gina Capitani and Roland Achilles. His father was originally from Nicaragua, and was 70 years old when Theo was born. Von is of Italian and British descent on his mother's side and of primarily Polish as well as Native American descent on his father's.
Von grew up in Covington, Louisiana with his older brother and two younger sisters, all of whom currently reside in Baton Rouge,Louisiana. Von was legally emancipated at age fourteen. He graduated from Mandeville High School in Mandeville, Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University for a time, as well as Loyola University New Orleans, University of Arizona, College of Charleston, and Santa Monica College. Von received his undergraduate degree in 2011 from the University of New Orleans.
Von began performing stand-up comedy as a young man in Louisiana. At age 23, after his tenure on MTV, he decided to move to Los Angeles and professionally pursue stand-up. For some time, he had difficulty as an entertainer in Hollywood as talent agents would not give him a chance, viewing him as a reality TV star. It took years to shake this image and establish himself as a comedian.
Von achieved one of his first major comedic accomplishments a few years later in 2006 when he won the title of Fan Favorite on the online competition aligned with the fourth season of Last Comic Standing. Around this time, Von also began touring his set nationally. He also took part in five international tours for the USO which included performing at Guantanamo Bay.
On June 1, 2012, Von was the featured comedian in an episode of Comedy Central's The Half Hour, now known as Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents. He also promoted his comedy on The Arsenio Hall Show, Hello Ross, Chelsea Lately, Watch What Happens Live, @midnight, and This Is Not Happening, among other television shows. In 2016, Netflix released Von's debut hour-long comedy special No Offense. The show was taped at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In Summer 2019, Von embarked on a three-month national tour called The Dark Arts Tour.
In 2009, Von popularized "crank texting" (sending a text message to random phone numbers to incite conversations), and began his "crank texting" blog, which was picked up as a column by CollegeHumor a year later.
Television and film
2000–2006: Road Rules and Real World/Road Rules Challenge
Von began a professional career in entertainment at age nineteen when he starred in MTV's Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour in 2000. He was recruited to the show while studying at Louisiana State University.
Following his season of Road Rules, Von was on four seasons and nearly seventy episodes of MTV's reality game show The Challenge, formerly known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge. The show was a spin off of MTV's The Real World and Road Rules. He was part of the cast of the seasons Battle of the Seasons (2002), The Gauntlet (2003–2004), Battle of the Sexes II (2004–2005), and Fresh Meat (2006). Von was runner-up in 2002 and won the following two seasons.
2008: America's Prom Queen and Reality Bites Back
In Spring 2008, Von was a panelist on the 2008 short-lived ABC Family reality competition show America's Prom Queen. In the summer of 2008, Von was one of the members of the Comedy Central sketch/competition show Reality Bites Back. Von won the show, beating out fellow comedians Amy Schumer, Bert Kreischer, and Tiffany Haddish, among others.
2012–2014: Host of Primetime in No Time and Deal with It
Beginning in 2011, Von took over as a host of the popular Yahoo online TV recap show Primetime in No Time. Von hosted the TBS hidden camera show Deal With It, executive produced by Howie Mandel, for its run of three seasons from 2013 to 2014.
2012–Present: Screen acting
Through 2018, Von appeared in cameo acting roles in a few television shows including Inside Amy Schumer and Why? with Hannibal Buress. He has said that he was not more interested in acting earlier on, despite having opportunities to do pilots and sitcoms, because he was not excited about particular projects and that they often conflicted with his touring and podcasting schedules. In August 2019, Von announced that he had been cast in the big-budget film Ghost Draft and had been recruited to the project by its star Chris Pratt. A few weeks later, Theo announced on episode #230 of his podcast that he had dropped out of the movie due to the time commitment it would take for the role.
Von did a three-episode scripted comedy show on Comedy Central called Man Up in Spring 2018.
As of 2019, Von hosts two podcasts, This Past Weekend and The King and The Sting. Von is a recurring guest on many comedian's podcast including Joe Rogan's The Joe Rogan Experience, Ethan Klein’s ‘’h3h3Productions’’, Joey Diaz’s The Church of What’s Happening Now, Bryan Callen and Brendan Schaub The Fighter and the Kid, among others.
The Comedy Sideshow
In April 2011, Von began his first podcast, The Comedy Sideshow. Taped at the Improv Comedy Club in Hollywood, Von would interview comedians and other entertainers. The show had twenty-three episodes, the last of which premiered in November of that year.
Allegedly with (podcast)
In 2015, Von started a weekly podcast with Matthew Cole Weiss called Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss. Two totally opposite friends – comedian Theo Von and filmmaker/journalist Matt Cole Weiss - compete to see who has better “alleged" tales of celebrities, hilarity, trauma, dating, success and failure from their years living in Hollywood. The podcast lasted three years and had a total of 123 episodes.
This Past Weekend
Von began a new podcast in December 2016, This Past Weekend. The show is a long-form video podcast which features Von storytelling, answering fan voicemails, as well as thoughtful guest interviews. Von released his two-hundredth episode in May 2019.
The King and The Sting (podcast)
In December 2018, Theo Von and comedian Brendan Schaub started a new podcast called The King and The Sting. At the podcast's release, The King and The Sting debuted #1 on the iTunes Podcast charts in the United States and also reached the top charts in the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain and Australia.
Von lives in Los Angeles, California.
Appearances in media
|2000||Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour||Himself|
|2002||Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons||Himself||Contestant|
|2003–2004||Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet||Himself||Contestant|
|2004-2005||Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Sexes 2||Himself||Contestant|
|2005||Battle of the Network Reality Stars||Himself||Contestant|
|2006||Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat||Himself||Contestant|
|2006||Last Comic Standing||Himself||Won the title of most Comic Downloaded.|
|2008||America's Prom Queen||Himself||Panelist.|
|2008||Live at Gotham||Himself||Season 3|
|2008||Reality Bites Back||Himself||One-season series where a cast of comedians improvise their way through faux reality show episodes. Also, cast were Donnell Rawlings, Bert Kreischer, Amy Schumer, Mo Mandel, and Chris Fairbanks. The series was hosted by Michael Ian Black.|
|2012||Yahoo's TV recap show, Primetime in No Time||Host||Most watched daily show on the internet, replaced former host Frank Nicotero.|
|2012||The Half Hour||Himself|
|2013||InAPPropriate Comedy||Mountain Climber||Hit theaters in March 2013.|
|2013||Inside Amy Schumer||Director||Episode: "A Porn Star Is Born"|
|2013–2014||Deal With It||Himself/Host|
|2015||Why? With Hannibal Buress||Alex|
|2016||No Offense||Himself||Released on Netflix February 26, 2016 where he revealed in his younger days he used to work at a door store.|
|2016–Present||This Past Weekend||Host||Independent podcast where he offers basic life suggestions to men and others in fits of trouble.|
|2017||30lb Bag of Hamster Bones||Himself||Released on March 3, 2017. On March 6 it placed #1 on the iTunes Comedy Album charts and #4 on Billboard.|
|2018–Present||The King and The Sting||Himself||Released on December 26, 2018.|