by Josh Sheppard
VANCOUVER – Very few of us can resoundingly say we’ve followed our hobbies and had them turn into a successful career. Brian Posehn is one of those lucky people who has done so while also staying true to his innate sensibilities. The comedian is doing a stand up tour as well as promoting his new book, a memoir full of heartfelt anecdotes regarding his formative years and experiences with his heroes.
In the flurry of changing and shifting landscapes, the comedian, actor, and writer has been able to have a consistent output of projects that feel true to his sensibilities as an artist. Despite being involved in basically every sitcom from the ‘90s, Posehn is still able to recollect the best moments of being in a good writers’ room.
“Being a 20-something and getting the chance to work with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” says Posehn. “Bob was the true show runner of ‘Mr. Show’ – he is one of the only people I would call a comic genius. He would see the potential in all of our ideas, whether they worked or didn’t, and this helped me learn about the process. ‘Mr. Show’ is still one of my favourite projects that I’ve worked on.”
Having an unabashed interest in the “nerdy,” Posehn doesn’t care what you think – he’s going to do projects that interest him.
“I have been involved in a huge number of differing subjects. I’d say I’ve had a dream life in regards to the people I’ve met and had the pleasure of working with. Just to name a few, I’ve worked on the Deadpool comics as well as working with Rob Zombie in The Devil’s Rejects where I got brutally murdered. I’ve worked with Spielberg and even had the late great Ronnie James Dio come to my house.”
Fantasies are sometimes best defined by the hobbies we choose to live through. Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most creative and immersive activities, brimming with unlimited potential. Stand up likewise retains similarities as a storytelling outlet. The individuals involved must create their own narrative with a certain dynamism that always contains different variables at play.
“The unlimited potential and imagination of it all is very enriching to create what could be described as pure fantasy. The storytelling aspect really does have a connection with stand-up in that you can go anywhere with it.”
Having your niche hobbies directly tied to your showbiz persona for many could be seen as a pitfall, potentially too alienating for a mainstream audience. But Posehn’s ability to continue to work on mainstream sitcoms while still being able to reach a dedicated alternative audience shows that you must be fearless in what you enjoy.
Catch Brian Posehn November 15-17 at the Comedy Mix.