Brian Posehn at Crackers


Brian Posehn

Where: Crackers Comedy Club, 6281 N. College Ave.

When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and


Admission: $17-$22

Reservations: (317) 255-4211

You know Brian Posehn – if not from Just Shoot Me, where he played the character Kevin Liotta for 29

episodes from 1999-2003, then from The Sarah Silverman Program, where he's Brian Spukowski, one of the wacky gay neighbors.

And if the name doesn't ring a bell, his face certainly

will. The comic/actor is, after all, someone who describes himself this way: "I

look like I'm made of farts. I look like a bunch of farts put a people costume

on and went, 'Let's go out to dinner tonight.'"

Posehn (pronounced Po-SANE) makes his Indianapolis standup

comedy debut this week at Crackers in Broad Ripple, where he'll be telling his

share of fart and weiner jokes. Read this interview and you'll understand why.

Nuvo: Have you played Indianapolis before?

Posehn: I don't think I have. I've been to Bloomington. I

hear good things about the club and I'm looking forward to it.

Nuvo: You're touring behind a new CD, Fart and Weiner

Jokes. First question about that is: Got a

good fart or weiner joke that would work in print?

Posehn: Not really. My jokes are so – even though

they're dick jokes, they're stories. They're harder to tell. I should have one

ready. If I'm going to call my record that, I should have one to throw right at


Nuvo: Any hesitation about putting your jokes on CD? Some

comics think that kills the jokes for the live audience; others think it's like

music – people come out to hear their favorite jokes done live.

Posehn: For me, once it makes it to the CD, it's time to

retire it. If it makes it on the CD, that means I've been doing it already

about two years. Almost all the stuff on the record, I'm working on getting it

out of the act and replacing it with brand new stuff. The act I'm doing now is

partly the record and about 20-25 minutes of new stuff. As I go on, I'm taking

old things, ejecting them and throwing new bits in.

That's more for me. It's to keep it fresh. I know some

people like to hear jokes again. But a lot of the fans that I draw are hardcore

comedy people who watch everything you do and then they'll watch it on the

Internet, so it does kind of kill those bits. And they want to hear something

new when they come to the show.

Nuvo: You've said your interests are comics, heavy metal

and horror movies. So, what are you reading, listening to and watching these


Posehn: My favorite book – it's been my favorite book

for the last couple of years – is The Walking Dead. It fits in with the horror because it's a zombie

book. That's pretty much my favorite thing, so when it comes down on Wednesdays

– Wednesday is new comic day – that's the first thing I read.

There's this book Fables I really like – it takes famous fables as if

they actually exist in our world. It's a pretty cool premise.

And music, I listen to the old stuff all the time. I try to

keep up with what the kids are listening to, heavy metal-wise. I'm an old man

and I'm pretty set in my ways. But there's a bunch of new, great stuff. There's

a band called Skeletonwitch. I like this band Priestess; they're on their

second record. And this band Lazarus A.D. They're all young, but they're playing

the style of music I grew up with. It's interesting that kids who weren't even

alive when thrash-metal was around are playing it. That's cool. That's always

been my favorite genre of heavy metal.

Nuvo: If you had hair, would you whip it around?

Posehn: I used to. Back in the day, yeah. And I had

metal-neck the next day.

Nuvo: Did you start out as a comic or an actor?

Posehn: Comedian. I didn't even have any aspirations to be

an actor, really. I was just doing standup and living in San Francisco when the

bottom of the whole standup industry started to fall out in the early '90s. So

a couple of my friends and I figured we had to go to L.A. If we wanted to stay

away from day jobs, we had to start doing something else besides standup. So I

started writing and acting and it all worked out.

Nuvo: When did you move to L.A.?

Posehn: I moved to L.A. in '94. And I got really lucky. My

first audition, I booked. It was for a sitcom. It was just a walk-on, but that

doesn't happen all the time that the first time you even try, you get one. It

came pretty easy. I was pretty lucky, and I'm pretty lucky to be working for as

long as I have.

Nuvo: says your first job was voice work in

something called Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko.

Posehn: What that is, it's an old movie. I did the voice

like 10 years ago, but the movie is 20 years old. So they're using that as the

original date. But my actual first gig was Empty Nest.

Nuvo: So what was that Japanese movie?

Posehn: Disney redubbed it in English. I never saw the

final version, but among people who love anime, it's really well respected. I

play a fat raccoon. Luckily, I haven't been typecast as that.

Nuvo: You must like voice work. You seem to do a fair

amount of it.

Posehn: It's fun and it's also the easiest job that I have.

You don't have to memorize anything. If you can read, you do OK. I'm apparently

a decent reader. But it's really fun and I love being in the room with other

people who do voices. I'm doing one right now and I have a blast every time I

go in because I've been friends with a couple of the people for years. A bunch

of goofballs standing in a booth talking into these mikes. It's really fun.

Nuvo: Can you tell me more about it?

Posehn: It's from Genndy Tartakovsky, who did Powerpuff Girls and Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network. It's a new show for the Cartoon Network. We're

coming out in the summer. It's called Sym-Bionic Titan. A princess and her guardian and this robot all come

from outer space and land in our world. To fit in, they start going to a high

school. My robot becomes a teenage nerd. It's a lot of fun. I do two voices

– I do the robot voice and then a nerdier version of it.

Nuvo: You also did a voice on Kim Possible. Was she just a little too hot for a cartoon


Posehn: (Laughs) She's still supposed to be a teenager.

I have a little boy right now. He's not quite watching

animation yet; he's only 11 months. But it's going to be nice I can have stuff

I can actually show him because a lot of my sketches and my standup I can't

really show to children – especially my own. He'll have to wait. But

luckily I can show him Kim Possible and some of the other stuff I've done.

Nuvo: The Sarah Silverman Show is hilarious, in part because it's so deadpan. Are

there great outtakes?

Posehn: We definitely all laugh. Sometimes the situation

will be so silly that you can't help it. But we've also been doing it for so

long. It takes a lot to make me laugh and break out of the scene. When I did Just

Shoot Me, almost everybody commented on the

fact that it took a lot to get me to break or forget a line. Once or twice it

would happen and the whole cast would be shocked.

It doesn't really happen a lot on Sarah. But there'll be things where Jay (Johnston),

especially – I've been friends with him for so long and he makes me laugh

harder than anybody – if he improvises something that I don't see coming,

there's really nothing I can do. I will give it up.

Nuvo: I imagine that show is especially fun to work on

because no subject matter is really off limits with her. Do you ever cringe at

some of the ideas?

Posehn: No. I think my standup is like that. It's the

sensibility that we share, that a lot of my friends share. We all came up

together and we're all around the same age and none of us really have any

taboos as far as our comedy. There really hasn't been anything she's done or

said on the show that I've gone, "Really? We're going to do that?" We always get to it in a smart, funny way.

Whatever screwed-up topic we're doing, I think we handle it well.

Nuvo: You might be best known for Just Shoot Me, which may be the most mainstream thing you've done.

Did you like that show, or was it just a nice paycheck?

Posehn: I loved that show. I was actually a fan of it

before I went on it. It was such a strange thing. I was looking for a regular

gig at that point, and I said to my manager and said to a couple of friends,

"This is a show I could see myself on. It's not the worst thing on TV." It had

funny characters and sharp writing. It wound up where I did one episode and

they told me, "Hey, we'll probably bring your character back." I'd heard that

before, so I said, "Yeah, all right. We'll see." And they did bring me back for

30 or 40 episodes.

Nuvo: Anything else you're working on now that you want to


Posehn: I have a new video that should be everywhere on the

web in a week or two – it's called More Metal Than You. It's on my record. I did an animated video for it.

I just saw the final product and I'm really happy with that. And I'm just

staying busy. I'm on the road all the time and I'm doing a pilot for Comedy

Central that, hopefully, if we don't go back to Sarah, I'll be working on this show for a while. I'm more

behind the scenes. I'm writing and directing it.

Nuvo: I read where you were quoted as saying you thought

Sarah's show was done.

Posehn: Yeah, we all kind of have a bad feeling. Our

ratings aren't doing very well, and that's super important. Our last episode is

tomorrow (April 15), and I think that might be our last episode ever. I hope we

get to do more, but I'm pretty realistic most of the time. I think it would

take a lot for them to bring us back.