You're credited as being one of the most influential "alt-comics." How do you feel about that label, and how do you feel about all the hacks who give themselves that label?
I don't have a big problem with the label in a practical sense, because it allows people to easily conjure up that you're in category A as opposed to category B. But once you move past that, category A is really vague and broad, and a lot of those people don't seem to me like alternative comics. It [the label] was created when people started developing stuff in comedy that wasn't in clubs. When people thought of stand-up in 1987, they thought of a guy with a skinny red tie and a jacket saying, "What's the deal with blah, blah, blah?" It took comedy a little bit away from that — it became personal and more club-friendly. But if you're funny, you're funny, and if you're not, you're not, and that applies to every single type of comedy — even clowns.
What kind of show are we going to get in Boston? What particularly agitates you these days? Do you have any idea what you're going to bring this far ahead of time?
I know what the set is — I'm not going to go on a 25-city tour doing an hour-and-a-half show and wing it. It's been five years since I've toured, and I've been accruing bits here and there. But unless you've been at the clubs and festivals where I've dropped in, then you haven't heard any of this. There are other elements to the show beside stand-up, too, but I don't want to give too much away.
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