Adieu, a little

Barry Crimmins’s comic relief
By SARA FAITH ALTERMAN  |  May 30, 2007

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Barry Crimmins

From the page to the stage, humorist Barry Crimmins has served as one of America’s most notorious political watchdogs. For more than 30 years, Crimmins has funneled his sharp observations (and unapologetic disdain for the Bush administration) into stand-up comedy acts, political essays and columns (many for the Phoenix), the 2004 book Never Shake Hands with a War Criminal, and fervent activism. This Saturday, June 2, at 7:30 pm, Crimmins will appear at Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway Theater to bid farewell to performing on stage.

Sort of.

“This could very well be the last show,” says Crimmins over the phone from his home in upstate New York. “I’ve been thinking this over for years. If there’s one place I’m going to do a final show, it’s in Boston, because that’s my artistic hometown. Maybe I’m just buying myself some kind of reasonable buffer zone so I can have the time and space I need to see what I can do with writing. But it’s very likely someone will see me speak into a microphone again, at some point.”

Crimmins, revered among Beantown stand-up comedians for being one of the founding fathers of the local comedy scene, opened the renowned Ding Ho comedy club in Inman Square, in 1979. He also spent decades touring with fellow comics such as Steven Wright and musicians such as Jackson Browne, Billy Bragg, and Dar Williams.

Now he wants to shift gears. “There’s a thing where a house painter would paint for years and be fine and then they would open up a can of paint and just start throwing up,” he says. “It’s called the painter colic. I’ve got the campaign-trail colic. I just can’t be near the idolatry. I want us to have public servants and not leaders. I think dopes need leaders. It’s embarrassing to meet people who pick their candidates and turn them into icons.”

  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Entertainment, Performing Arts, Ding Ho,  More more >
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