Brian Posehn is a weird, weird-looking weirdo. • Hey, don't shoot the messenger. It's all right there in his act. • "I'm not a guy you would want to see coming out from the woods carrying a bag," said the comic, actor and writer, who stands a beefy 6 feet 6, with thick glasses and a ruddy lumberjack's beard. "I used to have a joke: 'I'm 6-foot-6.6 — the height of the beast.' "
Posehn's unconventional good looks haven't stopped him from landing a steady stream of gigs in Hollywood, from David Spade's oddball sidekick Kevin on Just Shoot Me to gay pal Brian on The Sarah Silverman Program. But like Ferris Bueller, his fan base spans all scenes, from alternative comedy (Mr. Show With Bob and David, Patton Oswalt's Comedians of Comedy) to heavy metal (he has performed with Mastodon) to stoners (he'll freely admit he smokes pot).
This weekend he'll be at the Improv in Ybor City. He'll also be signing copies of his upcoming CD, Fart and Wiener Jokes — yes, that's the real title, and no, he's not 12 — at Tampa's Vinyl Fever on Saturday afternoon.
Posehn called the Times from L.A., where he lives with his wife and 11-month-old son, to chat about his appearance, Mr. Show and the Tampa metal scene.
You get a lot of mileage out of your looks. At what point did you realize your appearance could be the basis for a standup show?
I didn't used to do that. I used to frown on people that would open with, "Hey, don't I look like this guy, or this guy and this guy put together?" Some of that stuff is easy. But I've found that as I've become more real onstage, it is a part of me. I've gotten great jokes out of it, jokes that I love telling. It kind of comes from being picked on as a kid. I always felt I was way better at making fun of myself than anybody else. You're just going to find the obvious things, but there are other things that are deeper that are way funnier that I can make fun of.
Tampa, as I'm sure you know, is a breeding ground for death metal. Do you have any particular knowledge of the scene here?
Oh, for sure. I was working at a record store in 1990 when I first started to hear of bands like Obituary and Cannibal Corpse. It was strange, because at that time, I had never been to Florida, and I remember thinking, "Why does all this stuff come from there? Why is Florida the breeding ground for the darkest metal?" Florida you think of as where Disney World is. But once you go there, you maybe see how growing up there, you might have a different point of view.
Bob Odenkirk has talked about doing another Mr. Show tour at some point. But none of you are as young as you once were. Is that something you'd consider doing?
I would love it. I have so much fun being around those guys, and I don't get to much anymore. David's been in New York for a while. I would jump at any opportunity to be in a room with them. It just depends on how long the tour is. Being an old guy, being married and having a new kid, that makes it a little tougher. I'm where Bob was six years ago, when he had new babies.
Mr. Show Babies — there's a show that writes itself.
(laughs) Yeah! Hilarious!