Interview: Todd Barry

Feb 2003.
KP Issue XXIII: Duck Lady Needs A Taxi


I asked Todd's Tinkle co-hosts to let me in on some secrets: what is Todd Barry really like?

Jon Benjamin: Todd Barry, to me, is like that coat you bought years and years ago that has been sitting in your closet, all moth-eaten, but you refuse to throw it out, probably just out of laziness, but maybe a little bit of sentimentality. That's Todd to can never throw him out.

David Cross: What nobody knows about Todd is that he is an awesome ventriloquist. Really! He doesn't like to do it onstage (for obvious reasons) but if you ever see him in the street or at a restaurant, you've got to make him do a little bit for you. It'll blow you away. He's amazing.

Jon Benjamin: Todd’s neat.

kittenpants: Who are your comedy heroes?
todd barry: 
I don't like that question.

kp: Okay. Tell us about TINKLE - what do we have to look forward to?
Well, I have since seen you at Tinkle. It's a comedy show started by David Cross, me and Jon Benjamin. It features a wide variety of acts for all tastes and seasons.

kp: Have you heard this joke before? Q: What's white and goes up and down in a crib? A: My ass.
No, but that shows how a joke can be SUPER POLITICALLY INCORRECT while still being SUPER HILARIOUS.

kp: Do you ever look yourself up on the internet? 
You clearly are not aware of my one-man-show called ICKY. It's about a woman who trashed me on Do a search on [replaced by Google] and find out all about it!

kp: I was sort of aware, but I guess I'll go find out more now. Do you have any plans to work with Clint Howard?
Plans? Try "dreams."

kp: Are you related to Fred Berry? Can you at least dance like Re-Run?
Am I related to a black man who spells his name differently than me? AHAHAHA! LOL! That's a funny question, KITTENPANTS!!! WOOOOOO!

kp: What is the first record you ever bought?
I don't know what my record purchase was. But my first "cool" records were "London Calling" by THE CLASH, and "Repeat When Necessary" by DAVE EDMUNDS, a guy who you probably don't know about.

kp: First concert?
It may have been BOSTON at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Hollywood, FL. My first "cool" concert was BLONDIE, with opening act ROCKPILE at the Sunrise Musical Theatre, in Sunrise, FL.

kp: What instruments do you play?
I play drums. I'm the best drummer in the country right now.

kp: Your website said you are currently reading White Noise, by Don DeLillo. Is that up-to-date?
I finished that book. I'm now reading a book called The Unexpected Salami by Laurie Gwen Shapiro. It's about a rock band. I also bought a book about prostitution called Brothel. I haven't started it yet.

I've read over 500,000 books because I'm a serious intellectual.

kp: What song gets stuck in your head?
"Complicated," by Avril Lavigne.

kp: What's the best tattoo you've ever seen?
I know a woman who had a tiny rose on her shoulder. CRAZY SHIT!

kp: Once on 6th Avenue I saw a 500-lb guy wearing a t-shirt that said "ARE YOU GOING TO EAT THAT?" He had really embraced it, you know?
I once saw a 100 lb woman wearing a t-shirt that said: "ARE YOU GOING TO EAT THAT? GOOD, BECAUSE IT'S YOURS AND I WANT TO RETAIN MY PERFECT FIGURE.” She embraced it, too.

kp: Have you ever gotten any crazy fans, or scary fan mail?
I've had a handful of people who appreciate what I do more than they should. But I'm a GIGANTIC, HUGE star, so it comes with the territory.

kp: Are there lots of comedy-groupies? How much ass do you get?
I get some ass, but I could always use more. Thanks!

kp: I have a brother named Todd. Coincidence?
Astonishing, mind-blowing synchronicity.

kp: What is the cheesiest showbiz offer you've received?
Ten million dollars to write and star in a movie. NICE TRY!!!

kp: What is the best kind of pie?
Any pudding-based pie. Fruit pies suck, except for Key Lime, which is more like a pudding-based pie. Key Lime pie is great. And real Key Lime pie should have a yellowish tint rather than green.

kp: You are the first person to ever get that question right. Describe your feelings on the following subjects in two words:

  • Boobs: oh yes.
  • DEVO: good band.
  • the David Cross CD: good CDs.
  • sarcasm: yeah right.
  • sports bars: they rule!
  • Nicolas Cage: he rules!
  • email interviews fun FUN.
  • kittenpants: awesome FUN!

kp: Do you want break the tie? Michael Showalter and David Wain say SuperTramp is better than SuperChunk. David Cross disagrees...
I can't answer this question because I'm very good friends with both bands.

kp: Will you sing karaoke with me? Can we sing "Peaches" by THE STRANGLERS?
I will not sing karaoke with you, even though you have "hip" musical taste.

kp: Who gives the best blow job in Hollywood?
I'd hate to single anyone out. Let's just be diplomatic and say "I love all the blowjob givers equally!"

kp: Do you have any questions for kittenpants?
How many people are in your organization? Is it just you? Where are your offices located? Do you have a dress code?
kp: It is not just me. Okay, it is mostly me. We are in NYC, and you've seen me, so you know there is no dress code.

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