People to Know 2019: Nick Callas
For Nick Callas—a stand-up comedian who has created short cartoons for Comedy Central—no topic is out of bounds. “It’s sort of the purpose, to go to different places and try to come out the other end with a new perspective,” he says.
When he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6, Nick worried it would make him a target for teasing. It wasn’t until he attended diabetes camp that he began to come out of his shell, bonding with other kids about their shared condition. “We made jokes about everything, including diabetes, just because it was something we all had in common,” he says. “It was unavoidable.”
A camp counselor made a prediction. “He told me I’d be a stand-up comedian one day,” Nick says. And that’s exactly what happened. In addition to acting and writing, the 26-year-old tours the country with a wide arsenal of material. He has bits about relationships, magicians, even one about how silly it is to feel embarrassed by diabetes devices. “People are so obsessed with their technology, when all they use it for is to feel bad about themselves on Instagram,” he says. “Meanwhile, I’m autonomously regulating a hormone creation from my belt buckle.”
But it’s about more than just making people laugh. “Managing [diabetes] becomes easier when it doesn’t feel like the end of your world,” he says. “Good jokes can take the teeth out of anything.”
Benjamin Page is a features writer with Diabetes Forecast. He considers himself very funny, even if his wife does not.