Although you probably don't think you know it, you know Todd Barry. The actor/comedian has been seen on Chapelle's Show, Sex and the City, Dr. Katz, and The Larry Sanders Show, as well as in such fine cinematic works as Road Trip and Pootie Tang—not to mention an upcoming DVD release on Sub Pop. Part of the new generation of comedians who fit better in the confines of a rock venue than a comedy club, Barry's dry wit and measured-tone delivery are a perfect fit for all of us who are dorky enough to be obsessed with indierock, but don't mind laughing about it.
Todd Barry performs at Berbati's Pan with Love as Laughter and Sam Champion on Thurs Oct 27
I imagine most people are familiar with your work by way of Comedy Central, but how often are you out on the road performing? Have you performed in Portland before?
I'm probably on the road about four months out of the year. I don't really have a set touring routine. I performed one time in Portland in September of 2003, at Holocene. It was kind of a secret show. You can interpret that anyway you want.
A lot of modern/good/non-prop comedians would rather perform in rock clubs than in generic comedy clubs with bad names. Do you have a preference?
I like doing both actually. First of all, there are several good comedy clubs that have a lot of history to them—and really, you can really have a good or bad show anywhere, regardless of the venue. It's about what's happening on stage. But I've really been enjoying the rock clubs lately. I like the "one night only" aspect of a rock club. Many comedy clubs make you pound out a few more shows than necessary. And I also like that people stand at rock clubs. My jokes make people want to dance.
If you had to take your pick between having a bad band open for you, a bad comedian, or a bad joke band (Bloodhood Gang?), which would you choose?
Hmmm, because of my work I've seen more bad comics than bad bands. So I'd pick a bad band.
Can you tell me about Tinkle? Is Sub Pop releasing it?
Tinkle is a variety show that David Cross, Jon Benjamin, and I do from time to time in New York. We also did a couple of shows this year in Seattle. The status of the DVD is currently up in the air, but it will [eventually] be released by Sub Pop.