Every Friday, Ryan Carey takes a look at who and what's giving Philly the giggles. This week he talks to comedian Todd Barry, performing tonight at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 S. Ninth St.).
: Thanks for taking time in between filming to speak with me today. Can I ask what you're working on?
: Today I was filming an episode of Louie
, here in New York.
: It seems like you've been doing more acting as of late. Where does that stand on your attention-grid?
: I really don't pursue acting as a priority. I got in some pretty high-profile films like The Wrestler
and Road Trip
, but I tend more often to play myself on TV shows. I'd probably consider doing a long shoot if it was a good script.
: What does your Philly resume look like?
: I've played World Café Live, Helium, The Khyber, The Troc, and I've performed twice at First Unitarian Church opening for bands. Once with Yo la Tengo and once with Mates of State.
: You're known for doing those unusual band shows, how did that get started?
: I have musician friends, and I'll help them out. When people hear about you doing that, they're more likely to ask you. It's not really the ideal situation for comedy, but I like to help people out.
: I saw you handle a heckler pretty hilariously a couple of years ago. I was surprised, because you had seemed like more the joke-writer than a funny-off-the-cuff type. Do you do a lot of crowd work?
: Yea, I like to do crowd work. Usually I get a little bored with my material, so you try to get something goin' with the crowd just for the challenge of it. Sometimes, if I have a shorter set, and the crowd's rowdy, it'll be like, "I guess I'm not telling any jokes tonight" and I'll abandon my act all-together to have fun with the crowd.
: How many Twitter
followers do you have?
: I have over 85 thousand. It's definitely beyond being a fad ... but then again, look at Myspace. It's a great way to promote, but I think the key to getting so many followers is some people only use it to promote shows, and people get tired of it. But if you put funny content on there, and it gets enough re-tweets, it starts to catch on. I don't test jokes out on Twitter, and when I think of something I have to wonder whether I should save it for my act or put it on Twitter. Some comics use their tweets in their act, and it's not like a large percentage of the audience would be like, "Hey wait a minute..." But I generally tweet those one-liners that don't really lend themselves to fleshing out in joke form.
: Who are your favorite tweeters?
: Well, I know I'm forgetting some but John Daly
, Rob Delaney
, Patton Oswalt
, Boobs Radly
, I'm definitely leaving people out.
Tonight's shows at Connie's Ric Rac (1132 South 9th St.) are at 8pm (sold out) and 11:pm (tickets still available). Visit Todd online at www.toddbarry.com, and on twitter at http://twitter.com/toddbarry/