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A Funny, Ordinary Guy
by Diana Salier on Mar 13, 2011
Todd Barry is that quiet dude from high school who didnít say much and probably got picked on a lot, but grew up to be way more famous than you.
The Bronx-born/Florida-raised comedian has the deadpan, slightly self-deprecating, laconic thing down to a tee. The fact that heís credited as ďOrdinary GuyĒ in an episode of Sex and the City says it all. You might recognize him as the insistent bongo player in Flight of the Conchords, Mickey Rourkeís boss in The Wrestler, or the voice of PDA-stealing Romulux from The Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Heís performed standup in the comedy tent of a number of huge festivals and appeared on Conan and Letterman.
Catch him on a three-night stint March 17th to 19th at the Punchline in San Francisco. He spoke with SF Station in a phone interview.
SF Station (SFS): How many times have you performed in SF?
Todd Barry (TB): Iíve probably played SF more than any other city, except New York or LA.
SFS: Whatís the weirdest thing youíve seen here?
TB: The buses are quite entertaining. Itís a seedy city, but in a good way; maybe not always. I think you know what Iím talking about.
SFS: Your style is more on the observational, everyday side of comedy ó do you purposely stay away from politics and current events?
TB: Itís just not my strength. I think when youíre bad at political comedy, itís really bad. I guess being bad at any comedy is really bad, but bad political comedy is especially awful. My stuff seems to be a lot of stuff thatís happened to me lately, like I met some idiot or whatever.
SFS: Whatís your favorite thing to do in SF?
TB: Iíll walk around the Mission and Fillmore Street and drink some coffee. I usually find a couple good places to eat. This is not the most thrilling answer.
SFS: Those are all great things to do in SF.
TB: Thatís kind of what I do in every town, just walk around.
SFS: If you had one piece of advice for 16-year-old Todd Barry, what would that be?
TB: Stand up straight, try to ask women out. Thatís a good one.
SFS: Do you get more dates now that youíre famous?
TB: More than zero? Yeah. And exponentially more than I did when I was 16.
SFS: Do you actually play the bongos?
TB: I play the drums a tiny bit. I force myself on some bands once in awhile.
SFS: Youíre walking in New York and you see yourself on the street. What next?
TB: I would do that thing where you pretend to not see the person even though you both know you saw each other.
SFS: What did you do this morning?
TB: I set up ticket links for an upcoming tour Iím doing with Neil Hamburger. Heís a really funny comedian; get to know him. And then I did some miscellaneous phone calls and ate some Thai food. But that was in the afternoon, the Thai food.
SFS: Are you Meatwad, Frylock or Master Shake?
TB: I guess Master Shake. Who doesnít like milkshakes, right?
SFS: If the world ended tomorrow what would you do?
TB: Iíd probably be checking my email when I died. Updating my Twitter page.
Todd Barry performs at the Punchline on March 17th to 19th in San Francisco. Tickets are $20 in advance.
by Diana Salier on Mar 13, 2011