When you produce and star in a successful television show, you can pretty much do whatever you want. This is how Paul Reiser has been living his life. In the early 1990s, his Mad About You was one of the most watched — and critically acclaimed — shows on TV. And now? Well, now Reiser likes to stay low at home and enjoy being a father. A typical day in his life includes getting up, helping the kids get to school, working out, looking in the mirror and saying “I should’ve worked out more,” eating bacon, writing, playing music, and, eventually, turning in for the night. And as Reiser put it, it rarely gets old. “I am very much a homebody,” he told us via phone from his Los Angeles home last week. “I like staying home — and that’s an understatement. My friends can’t get enough of traveling; I can’t get enough of home. And the thought of an ‘empty nest’ makes me really sad … because then you have to talk to your spouse.”
Between Reiser’s comedy, acting, writing, and music, we were curious to know which came first. “The chicken,” Resier laughed, before admitting that he picked up music first. “I didn’t know about comedy, about stand-up, as a kid.” As an adult, though, comedy was Reiser’s first love. “I started doing television and movies, but I always wanted to get back to stand-up,” he explained. “For some reason, it’s just taken me 20 years.”
This Friday, February 14 (aka Valentine’s Day), Reiser returns to the mike for a night of comedy at the Lobero Theatre as part of his ongoing tour. It’s a seed he says was planted two years back after he got the bug and took to the stage at a comedy club. Reiser says he’ll be sharing his comedic take on life and ideally hopes to solve all the world’s problems — including world peace — in the span of an hour and a half.
“But if people leave saying they enjoyed themselves, I’ll be all right with that, too,” he said.
As far as nerves go, Reiser says growing older has helped mellow his stage fright. “I realized everything resonates with the audience because we all go through the same things,” he said. “They age the same as I do. It’s a refreshing treat simply because it’s like meeting with some friends.”
And Resier’s no stranger to Santa Barbara. He’s frequented the red carpet of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on multiple occasions and recalls coming to see songstress Julia Fordham play not that long back. “Santa Barbara is kind of like my backyard,” he said.
And as for evolving his stand-up routine for the new millennium, Reiser says he’s not too concerned. “What I love about stand-up is that it’s technology-proof,” he says. “The media has changed exactly the same way it did for me as it did for you, but in comedy it’s immune to changes in technology. … I’ve been forced to tweet, but I can’t do it; it’s torture.”
Paul Reiser performs stand-up at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) on Friday, February 14, at 7:30 p.m. Call (805) 963-0761 or visit lobero.com for tickets and info.