Comedian Stephen Lynch Kicks Off New Tour in Boston
Comedian. Musician. Lover of Internets. Hell, the guy even got nominated for a Tony. Funnyman Stephen Lynch launches the tour for his fourth album "3 Balloons," at the Wilbur Theatre on Friday, February 27. (Shows at 7:30pm and 10:30pm, buy your tickets here.) We got him to sit still for a few minutes to answer some questions. VIA HIS BELOVED INTERNETS.
Why kick off this tour in Boston?
I've always had great success in
Boston, from my first few shows at Club Passim to the Roxy, the Orpheum and now
the Wilbur. The audiences are fun, enthusiastic, smart- it's always one of my
favorite places to play. Plus, I loved "Good Will Hunting."
You’ve described yourself as “a musician trapped in the body of a comedian.”
Can you draw parallels between writing jokes and writing music? Is there a
unique cadence to each process, or do they mimic each other?
really know anything about writing "jokes." My focus is on writing lyrics. I
would imagine they are similar in terms of paying attention to rhythm and
structure and word choice and alliteration and assonance, but I give myself the
added difficulty of having to confine them to established melodies. In the end,
the goal is the same: to tell a (funny) story or create a mood or feeling. Some
people are great at both, like Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, and R. Kelly. Ok, maybe
not R. Kelly.
What do you count as your biggest professional regret?
Biggest professional triumph: 4 self-produced,
independent albums. Biggest regret: My Lionel Ritchie covers
Why record “3 Balloons” in a studio, instead of a live
I wanted the chance to be more creative musically, to try
different things then change them when they don't work. Recording live you have
one or two shots at it, then you're stuck with what you've got. I'm sure some
people will be bummed out that it's a comedy record with no audience laughing on
it, but I'll take that chance. If you need an audience to know when to laugh,
then the material must not be very good to begin with.
story behind the album’s title?
It's from a song about my penchant for
bringing new and exciting and illegal things into the country via a certain body
cavity. I'll let you figure it out.
You attributed the success
of your European tour, in part, to YouTube. What impact does such Internet
technology have on comedy? On the arts in general?
Praise YouTube, my
own personal new Jesus. It has been the single greatest help to my career, in
terms of what used to be called a "grassroots movement." It's the fastest form
of word-of-mouth, and it crosses continents. I attribute the success of not only
my European tours, but those here in the States to the internet, and file
sharing and illegal downloading and viral video. I love it all.
Who makes you laugh?
The guy from "Summer Heights
High," Christopher Guest, Kenny Powers, my wife, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Mitch
Hedberg, hilarious babies, and Karl Pilkington.