Unlike lots of standups who are frenetic loudmouths, Todd Barry is a soft and gentle sip of vinegar. A card-carrying member of alt-comedy's inner circle, Barry has mastered a delivery that's famously low-key, though his working life is anything but: He's done film, festivals, lots of stuff in animated TV, was briefly the Third Conchord in Flight of the Conchords, and has played sleigh bells for New Pornographers. He'll be at the Firebird on Friday. Daily RFT
: So you recently moved out of your apartment of some 20 years? Why, and how did it go?Todd Barry
: I did move. I should've done it 15 years ago. The apartment was shitty, small, and had mice, but it's just so much easier to just sign a lease than look for an apartment in New York. The move was a bit of a nightmare because I'm kind of a pack rat/low level hoarder. No dead animals or anything, just lots of accumulated paper (mainly posters of myself).In "The Wrestler," you were very convincing as a petty-tyrant middle manager who used his authority over Mickey Rourke to make him feel small. Any real-life inspirations?
I think we've all had mean, bully bosses, so it wasn't too hard to
imagine what that guy would be like. Also, I'm like that in real life.Side question: Did you hang out with Mickey Rourke?
hung out constantly and became fast friends. He's looking over my
shoulder as I write this. But seriously, there wasn't really much time
to hang out. He's also a pretty shy guy, and so am I, so we didn't chat
much. But he was nice when we did.I heard you recently played a vampire in a film (I think with Sigourney Weaver). What was that like?
It's a movie called "Vamps
" that was directed by Amy Heckerling
who directed "Clueless" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" among
others. It's sort of a modern day Vampire comedy. That's probably not
the best description. But I got to some pretty heavy makeup for some of
it, which I've never dealt with before. And yes, I did a scene with
Sigourney Weaver, which was sort of surreal.Your pal Louis C.K. is physically bigger than you. Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Louis and I usually get in about 20-30 fistfights a year. I win the majority of them.What TV show do you wish you could be in (or wish you could've been in)?
This sounds like a "joke answer" but I'd love to be a defendant of plaintiff on "Judge Judy
." Just to see how mean she'd be, and how I'd react.Have you ever eaten anything scary?
I tried raw oysters many years ago. I know lots of people find them the "opposite of scary" but not me.Do you like children?
to the extent that I want to have any, but if I see a cute one on the
street or something, it will make me smile. And I will make a stupid
face to try to make it laugh. I never should've admitted that, because
it probably makes me look less "edgy," but it's too late to delete.