Los Angeles-based comic Brian Posehn, making his Victoria debut, is happy to be performing in Canada.
That’s partly because Rush, the rock band, hails from this country.
And Posehn is a mega-fan.
“I’ve talked about heavy metal forever in my career,” he said from his home. “But Rush is a couple of rungs higher than all the other bands. They’re my all-time favourite band.”
Comedy fans may know Posehn — a tall, balding, red-bearded 47-year-old — from playing Brian Spukowski on The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central. He was also on the cult television hit Mr. Show with Bob and David (starring Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk and Arrested Development’s David Cross).
He’s a devotee of horror films (he had a role in Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects) and comic books, something that surfaces in his stand-up comedy. But rock music — in particular, metal — plays a huge role in his life and career. His first album Live In: Nerd Rage included a song, Metal by Numbers, mocking bands who are heavy-metal posers. At the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods Awards, Posehn performed More Metal Than You with Scott Ian of Anthrax and drummer John Tempesta of The Cult.
“They made me look good,” said Posehn, who admits to being not much of a singer. “I did what I could.”
He and his pal Ian are now writing a metal comedy album to be released by Megaforce Records (also Metallica’s label early on).
As a kid, Posehn was an oddball who later came into his own in high school. A friendless nine-year-old, he’d hang out in the school library. One day another student played the Kiss song, Detroit Rock City, which was an epiphany for Posehn. Soon he graduated to hard-rockers such AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Eventually, Posehn emerged from his shell. He wrote for the school newspaper and was the school DJ. Classmates realized he was the “funny guy who was really into music.” At a time when kids were into Madonna and Michael Jackson, Posehn blasted Anthrax and Metallic through the hallways. And Rush.
“At school I played side one of [the Rush album) 2112 one day. We wanted to go to 7-Eleven, me and a friend, so I just left the record on and took off.”
As much as he loved Rush’s virtuoso power-trio rock, Posehn also liked the band’s attitude — especially their sense of humour. His favourite member is vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee.
“Geddy’s always the guy I wish was my uncle. I remember being in high school and reading [articles by] Frank Zappa. And wishing Frank and Geddy Lee were my uncles,” Posehn said.
“They seemed like the coolest dudes in music.”
Brian Posehn performs on a double-bill with Mike Wilmot at Hecklers at 9:30 on Thursday. Tickets are $25.
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