STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Todd Barry

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Todd Barry. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Todd Barry’s new special, Super Crazy, debuted this past weekend on Comedy Central, followed by the release of the extended and uncensored DVD and CD today via Comedy Central Home Entertainment – and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Super Crazy is Barry’s fourth special, and offers audiences Barry’s trademark deadpan delivery and observational humor that fans have come to love, as the comedian reflects on his history as a germaphobe, gives important travel tips, and explains what you’re really paying for when you order spaghetti at a restaurant. Filmed before a live audience at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, Super Crazy is a delightful romp through Barry’s slightly-off view of the world.

“Never been to prison, decided where I want to go to prison if I ever go – Belgium,” Barry explains. “If you escape from a prison in Belgium and they catch you….they bring you back. But they don’t give you additional jail time. That is so wonderfully relaxed. ‘We totally get why you did it…this place is terrible, yuck.’”

Barry’s ability to take the otherwise mundane and make it jocular is uncanny. His flat stage presence lends itself to the comedy equivalent of being on the edge of your seat – you simply never know where Barry will take you next.

“One was called ‘It’s Just Lunch’ – they set you up on little lunch dates, which you can do even if you’re busy,” Barry states, describing dating services for busy people. “I realized there’s a market for this so I started a couple of dating services for busy comedians. One is called, ‘It’s Merely a Handjob’.”

A huge part of what makes Barry successful is his down-to-earth, often self-deprecating attitude, which results in the comedian being obscenely likable regardless of subject matter. He’s not trying to prove he’s better than you in any way, rarely jumping on any ethnic or other stereotype from which to draw humor. For Barry, the low-hanging comedy fruit is his own self.

“When I first started out [in comedy], everything about it excited me,” Barry states. “I used to call up comedy clubs after they were closed just to hear my name on the outgoing message of upcoming events…’August 1st and 2nd we have Chris Rock – no free passes. August 8th and 9th we have Jerry Seinfeld, another special event. No free passes. August 15th and 16th we have Todd Barry. Friday is gum wrapper night. Bring a gum wrapper or a piece of paper roughly the size of a gum wrapper. You and your entire party get in free.’”

The comedian has previously made multiple stand-up appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and two “Comedy Central Presents” specials. His resume also includes appearances on such hit TV shows as Louie, Tim and Eric, Chappelle’s Show, Sex and the City, Sesame Street and many others. Barry has earned the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival’s Jury Award, praise from Ricky Gervais as one of the best comedians of 2009, and accolades from The Onion’s A.V. Club, which declared his first album Medium Energy one of the best comedy albums of the decade.

The extended DVD features over 15 minutes of material not seen in the broadcast, and contains bonus features including Barry’s uncut full performance from “The New York Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase,” and Barry on “Giggles, Wiggles and Giggles with Gordy.” The special also is available on CD/digital album and in HD exclusively on Xbox LIVE and Sony PlayStation Network, and in SD on iTunes and Samsung Media Hub.

Do yourself a favor and pick up Todd Barry: Super Crazy today. Like, right now. You’re still here? Why? Go do it already. You’re welcome.

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