Going for the blitz
BY KEEGAN PROSSER
Gary Gulman doesn’t necessarily fit the bill of your typical “stand-up” comedian. He’s tall, dark and handsome – and he played football in college.
An alum of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” (seasons two and three), Gulman has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Conan. He’s also released four comedy albums, the most recent being 2012’s “No Can Defend,” – and serves as the host of NESN’s Comedy All-Stars.
Compared to the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Woody Allen, Gulman’s comedy centers on absurd observations about daily occurrences – and his neurotic tendencies.
The Scene recently caught up with Gulman in advance of his performance at the end of the month:
SCENE: You’ve mentioned before that your act is inspired by daily occurrences. Is there anything you won’t address in your comedy?
Gary Gulman: I think everything is fair game to a certain extent. I’m not comfortable talking [about tragedy]. And I don’t like to talk about politics extensively. If I’m in a liberal city I’m more comfortable talking about my politics, but if I’m down in the south or the midwest, I’m not comfortable being controversial like that.
SCENE: Before you started doing comedy full-time, you worked as a high school teacher. How did that come about?
GG: I think I got that job because there was an ad on cable television…I was struggling to make enough money doing just comedy, and I needed something flexible that allowed me to do the comedy thing at night. The kids were, for the most part, really cool and fun. I’ve actually kept in touch with some of the kids, who have families of their own now. Which is crazy.
SCENE: Do yo feel like that experience affects your comedy at all?
GG: I think everything contributes to your creativity. Every once in awhile I draw on that [experience], to tell a joke about being a teacher. I have a tremendous respect and appreciation for teachers, and I think that shows in my comedy. I would say it definitely influences my comedy because it’s a part of me.
SCENE: You named your most recent comedy album, “No Can Defend,” after a quote by Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.” Why did you decide to use that quote as the album title?
GG: I played around with titles for quite awhile. Looking back, it’s too obscure a reference to have a lot of people really understand it. Hardcore “Karate Kid” fans would get it. It’s just gramatically incorrect and odd. A big theme of that album was movies and I thought it would be helpful to have something associated with movies. And the cover [of the album] is kind of a spoof on 80s movie posters.
SCENE: Does your current set include material from “No Can Defend” – or is it mostly new?
GG: It’s all new. Actually, there is some overlap from my Comedy Central special, and I tend to end with something from the album. But I am working on recording a new album in April. So I would say about 95 percent is new.
SCENE: Have you performed at the Parlor Live before?
GG: Yes. I think this will be my third time in the last few years. I actually do shows in the Seattle area a lot. I was just there opening for Louis CK last month.
SCENE: What can fans expect at your set at the Parlor?
GG: If you are a fan, you will be very pleased in the direction my act is going. There are more long stories, but it’s still observational and quirky and neurotic. If you haven’t seen me, I think you’ll be surprised I’m not more famous.
Gary Gulman performs at the Parlor Live Comedy Club Feb. 28-March 2. $15-30, tickets available HERE.