David Cross

David Cross

No, I won’t give you his number

Due to a misunderstanding of time zones I missed my scheduled phone chat with David Cross, but his lovely assistant gave me his home number. I am so uncomfortable doing interviews, knowing that my subjects, all things considered, would rather be hang-gliding naked in Hawaii, probably over a volcano, than having to answer questions from a stranger. Especially in their own home.

David got his big start as a writer on the beautiful but doomed The Ben Stiller Show in 1992, and has since done Mr. Show, the doomed but beautiful Arrested Development, and is currently working on a cartoon for Comedy Central called Freak Show, premiering October 4th. His standup is legendary for it’s biting cynicism, with nothing – not even September 11th, the Virgin Mary, or abortion – considered off limits. He is a comedy god. A beautiful, doomed, lava-loving comedy god.

ONLY: Can you tell me your favourite abortion joke?
David Cross: Can I tell you my favourite abortion joke?
ONLY: Are you asking me? Of course you can!
DC: I think it’s my favourite of all time. It was conceived and orated by Brian Posehn. And he said, “You know everybody talks about the miracle of birth, how come nobody talks about the miracle of abortion?” And I think that’s really, really funny. Funnier than any of my abortion jokes. Although I like mine, too.
ONLY: We all like our own abortions best, don’t we?
DC: That’s what Thomas Paine used to say.
ONLY: Is there any hope for the world?
DC: I think there’s hope for the World Wrestling Federation. I hear they’re kind of on the upswing, trying to retool what they’re doing. There’s not hope for the World Health Organisation. There is hope for the W.O.R.L.D., which is an acronym, and there isn’t hope for The World According to Garp. And they made that into a musical.
ONLY: What’s all that noise in the background, have I caught you during lunch?
DC: No, no, I was putting something away, and the last person who cooked apparently didn’t put things away very well, and stuff’s just fallen out. It was a pot.
ONLY: A pot fell out.
DC: Yeah… I’m only human…
ONLY: We’ll forgive you. Russ Leiber, how did that come about?
DC: Uh, y’know, Stephen (Colbert) called me, we were talking, and he goes “I got this idea, what about doing it?” It was right when the show started… That’s it. No exciting story.
ONLY: You have a lot of issues with the Right in America, and you’ve created this arch-left wing character.
DC: Yeah, sure we did that, HEY!
ONLY: Hey!
DC: Ollie!
ONLY: Oh, sorry. Thought you were yelling at me.
DC: Get out of there! Sorry. I got a puppy. Yeah, so I got equal disdain and contempt and impatience with the Left. And I’m talking about the silly parts. There are plenty of people who are right wing that can construct some intelligent, interesting things to say…
ONLY: Such as?
DC: Like they– what?
ONLY: Who are the intelligent people on the right?
DC: Oh, uh, you’ve put me in a tough position. Okay…Um… Let’s see… There’s gotta be somebody, right?
(Long, long pause. Outside of Cross’s home can be heard dump trucks and police sirens.) Patricia Heaton! (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Path to 9/11) A brilliant woman. Kurt Russell (The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Follow Me Boys!). A brilliant man.

The Vancouver International Comedy Festival runs September 19-26 at various venues around town. Go to vancouvercomedyfest.com for info, and Ticketmonster to have your tickets monstered. David Cross appears twice; at Twinkle, a variety show co-hosted with Todd Barry and Jon Benjamin on the 22nd, and then at The Best of the Fest on the 23rd, with a number of other comics, hosted by Janeane Garofolo.

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