By Zenith Wolfe and Charlie Senack
After reigniting his stand-up career in the United States, Paul Reiser is bringing his comedy show to Canada for the first time in years.
On Mar. 21, the beloved Hollywood actor, television writer, and producer will perform a stand-up act at Meridian Theatre in Ottawa. It’s the third in a series of four events he’s hosting while on a Canadian tour.
“The cost of bringing Ottawa to me was really prohibitive, so I thought it was easier to go to you. We looked into it, believe me,” Reiser told Kitchissippi Times.
Reiser was a stand-up comedian for years before he had his breakout performance in Barry Levinson’s 1982 film Diner. This led him to many other roles, including Jim Neiman in Whiplash, Martin Schneider in The Kominsky Method, and Dr. Sam Owens in Stranger Things. He also played Paul Buchman in Mad About You, a 90s sitcom he co-created that won four Golden Globes and 12 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Reiser’s goal was to pursue stand-up comedy when starting his career; acting “came unexpectedly,” so he said it’s a joy to make people laugh in theatres again.
“To me, nothing is more fun than actually being on stage and making people laugh,” he said. “You don’t have to wait eight months to find out people like something. They’ll tell you right there.”
Reiser’s extensive filmography means both younger and older generations know who he is. He said this attracts various audiences to his stand-up shows, but he doesn’t tailor his act to accommodate anyone.
He said his jokes are based on personal experiences with family and friends, adding that people like this content because they can relate to the stories he tells.
“When you share something that’s really personal, it always turns out to be the most universal. Everybody’s got a family (or) relationship of some sort,” he said.
Later this year, Reiser is publishing a film he wrote and produced called The Problem With People. It’s a comedy about a pair of estranged cousins who meet for the first time in Ireland. Reiser doesn’t know if he’s returning to the set of Stranger Things any time soon, so he’s forging ahead with his comedy tour in the meantime.
“Have you ever seen Cirque du Soleil? It’s the opposite of that,” Reiser said. Though viewers may be disappointed if they’re looking for Cirque du Soleil, they can expect a “good hour and a half of laughs.”
Tickets for Reiser’s stand-up show in Ottawa can be purchased here. In April, his show will visit California, Wisconsin, Illinois. In May, it’s heading to New Hampshire.
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