Saturday, December 29, 2007

Comics.

Lots of people call me a comic. I'm not sure if I am. I'm certainly not a stand-up comedian...I can count on one hand the straight stand-up gigs I've had. I might have been good at stand-up if I had given it a serious run, but stand-ups have a strange neurosis that I've never been entirely ready to embrace. They are generally the most depressing people in the world. I might have fit in too well and gone over the deep end. I drifted toward improv vs. stand-up. Improvisers are usually a little more happy - at least they work well with others and laugh at each other more.

Most people don't care to know the difference in an improviser and a stand-up comedian. People under fifty years old often say that I remind them of Ray Romano. I think I might look like him a bit, but it's probably more of my delivery that reminds them of him. I take it as a compliment.



Older people often say that I remind them of Bob Newhart. We don't look alike. So I take that as a huge compliment. I've decided that he is my favorite comic of all time. People ask who my favorite comic is all the time, so I had to pick someone. He's a minimalist. He says the least amount possible to get the most laughs. His classic phone bits are my favorite, because generally he makes himself the straight man to the funny person on the other end of the line. He lets your imagination deliver the silent punchline. He trusts his audience to think funny...risky and revolutionary.

I'm going to work on the minimalist thing more as a storyteller. We'll see what happens. Here's one of Newhart's earliest bits where he considers what Abe Lincoln's press agent would be like. I think it was ahead of its time...

3 comments:

Helen Ann said...

Thanks for explaining the difference between improvisors and stand ups. Agreed...Much more happiness!

When I first saw you I said to my husband "He looks like Tony Goldwyn" (from Ghost, Joshua).Then later I said "he looks like Gary Sinise". :) Now I think you look like Joe Boyd!

ylmurph said...

a touch of carrot top with the emotional depth of a young Gallagher...

someday the name Saget will be used in this description. Some day...

Gregg said...

Of Course, I've always said Hugh Jackman for looks and as for comic style is has to be Jon Stewart. Dry, wry with a touch of sarcasm.