Rock Star

According to Judah Friedlander, who begins a four-night comedy run here tonight, there are some similarities between his standup stylings and Frank Rossitano, the trucker-cap-wearing character he portrays on 30 Rock, the funniest sitcom on television — but there are important differences, too. He concedes that his on-stage material is “a little more twisted and a little dirtier.”

That’s a bold statement considering that during 30 Rock’s second season, Frank spent much of an episode musing philosophically about the difficulties of producing a pornographic video game — a hurdle overcome by Tracy Morgan, as the fictional Tracy Jordan, with his creation of Gorgasm: The Legend of Dong Slayer. Then again, Friedlander’s enjoyed exploring the bizarre ever since his college days, when he made a short film called Aaron Acne and His Uncomfortably Colossal Zit. (“There’s a happy ending,” he insists.) These days, he’s become a familiar movie face who’ll be seen in next month’s Eddie Murphy flick Meet Dave playing “a one-inch-tall guy,” he reveals. But while he enjoys acting, standup remains his first love because of its immediacy. Films take a long time to make, and only after screening it for an audience does anyone know whether or not “it’s actually funny,” he notes. “When you do standup comedy, you know that second.”

Friedlander takes the microphone at 7:30 p.m. at the Denver Improv, 8246 East 49th Avenue, #1400, in the Northfield Stapleton complex, and performs at the club through Sunday, June 29. Tickets are $17 to $19. Learn more at 303-307-1777 or www.improvdenver.com — and read an extended Friedlander Q&A at blogs.westword.com/latestword.
July 30-31, 2008

 
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