Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
40 years old. Comedian. Born in the Bronx, moved to New Paltz when I was five, moved to South Florida when I was eight, moved to Manhattan in 1989.
Three for You
1. You've done stand-up on tv, animated voice-overs on tv, guest spots on sitcoms, been in films, festivals, home videos, and you've even won awards. So what's next for the comedian who has apparently done it all?
Three for me? I thought they were all for me. I want to release another CD this year, finish writing a screenplay, and make another short film. I made one called "Borrowing Saffron." You can watch it here. But I always want to do stand-up.
2. You just released a new CD called "Medium Energy." Much like recent discussion of Ronald Reagan's standing among great U.S. presidents, how do you feel "Medium Energy" will stack up in the pantheon of live comedy albums?
I did just release this CD. In 2001. Just three little years ago. I'm not sure how it will "stack up in the pantheon," but I think it will definitely carry its weight in the canon. And I plan to record and release a new one this year.
3. Three men -- you, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk -- are traveling with their wives (or girlfriend, publicist's intern, etc) and get to a river. There they found one boat, but it could only carry two people at a time. Since all the men are extremely jealous, no woman can be left with a man unless her significant other is present. So, who's the last comic standing?
Oh my God, Andrew. Great question! And by "great question," I mean worst question I've ever been asked. I don't know, Andrew. Um...David. Yeah, David ! David would be the last comic standing. Man your interviewing skillls are ace. I can see how you scored that exclusive with a Gracious Home stock clerk.
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
I got into a cab headed to LaGuardia Airport. I asked the driver which was the fastest route. He said something like "I don't know...to tell you the truth, I don't even want to take you." I thought, wow, this guy's a ballbuster! I thought he was joking. Then he starts complaining about how he's lucky to make $50 on a good day, etc. I realized he was having a meltdown, so I said, "would you rather I get in another cab?" He said "would you mind? I'll wait for you until you get another cab." I thought, oh my lord, this guy has decided to quit being a cab driver, with me in the cab! So he drops me on First Avenue, and pulls over. I tried to hail another cab, couldn't get one. So I walk up to his window and said, " can you please just take me to the airport?" He took off. I THINK THAT STORY WAS INTERESTING, ANDREW!!!
9pm, Wednesday - what are you doing?
Well, after I finish my sidework, I'd probably head over to my friend Eugene Mirman's Wednesday show at Cinema Classics.
Just after midnight on a Saturday - what are you doing?
Ooh...just after midnight. Very provocative question -- though it would've been more provocative if you didn't just ask me what I was doing on Wednesday at 9pm. But I think I've figured out your style, and I have some questions you can use in future interviews:
Tuesday - between 4 and 6 -- what's shakin'?
5:55 Thursday -- how's it hanging?
Nearly sunset on a Monday -- penny for your thoughts!
What's your New York motto?
I have a two of these:
New York: No free refills on iced tea.
New York: We have shitty street fairs.
Best celebrity sighting in New York, or personal experience with one if you're that type.
I am the the type to have a personal experience with a celebrity, but I'm too classy to bring that up. Let me reiterate: I HANG OUT WITH CELEBRITIES, but I don't talk about it. I've had a number of good celebrity sightings, though. Some of my favorites: The bass player from the Spin Doctors, sitting in Washington Square Park reading BASS Magazine; Henry Winkler on the subway; Adrian Zmed at the post office; Monica Lewinsky at Bed, Bath and Beyond; Morley Safer at 7A. I think I was most starstruck when I saw Joe Strummer walking in the East Village.
Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
I didn't know many people when I first moved back here, and for awhile I thought I'd never have any friends. Now I have more friends than Lizzie Grubman and Chloe Sevigny combined!
Where do you summer?
I split my time between a nine bedroom summer chateau in Litchfield, Connecticut, and a fourteen bedroom summer cottage just outside of Cranberry, NJ. No, Andrew, I don't "summer" anywhere, although I will spend August in Scotland, at the Edinburgh festival. That's not a lie. The thing about the houses was a lie. I lied to you Andrew. How do you feel about that?
Medication: What and how much do you take?
You mean other than "FUNNY PILLS?" Oh man, I'm on fire!
Of all the movies made about (or highly associated with) New York, what role would you have liked to be cast in?
YOU'RE KILLING ME, ANDREW! I wish I'd been cast in EVERY movie about and/or associated with New York. Can you imagine if I'd been in EVERY movie about/or associated with New York? I'd be HUGE! I'd be getting interviewed by Gawker now! Hey, that wasn't cool! I like both of you guys! But speaking of Gawker, how come I'm never in that Gawker Stalker column? I was once sitting ten feet from Vincent Gallo at Schiller's and he got mentioned and I didn't. Is that because the person who saw him didn't recognize me? Please use this opportunity to slam me with one of those bracketed editorial comments.
If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
I used to be mad that the busses didn't take dollar bills. But I've moved on.....You know what? I haven't moved on! WHY DON'T THE BUSSES TAKE DOLLAR BILLS?
The End of The World is finally happening. Be it the Rapture, War of Armageddon, reversal of the Sun's magnetic field, or the Red Sox win the World Series. What are you going to do with your last 24 hours in NYC?
Well....I'd have to spend at least 20 of those hours laughing at your Red Sox joke. Then I'd probably check my email.
Todd Barry will be performing July 7th and 28th at Caroline's as well as hosting the Tinkle Kerry Benefit July 9th at Southpaw in Brooklyn. More info on Todd can be found on his website, ToddBarry.com.
Note: Man, bracketed editorial comments are OUT. Word on the street is New York magazine grand poo-bah Adam Moss HATES them and I like to pretend he's my boss. Anyway, it's all about the end note these days. So for the record, Question 3 was originally "Imagine prostitutes gave receipts. Imagine you go to prostitutes. What do you think your receipt would have on it?" and I received an email from Todd saying: "this is similar to something in my act. can i get a different question? thanks... - todd" See, that was one of best questions ever and it was the first time someone has ever asked for a new one. Todd, and therefore the audience, were punished accordingly. I know, buuuurrrrn.