By Alison Tracy
February 25, 2016
David Cross is easily one of the biggest names in comedy today, but it didn’t come without years of work on the road and stealing the show in smaller roles on-screen. If you ask most people about Arrested Development, one of the first things you’ll hear is “I just blue myself” or a reference to the over-the-top, closeted Tobias Funke– a testament to his comedic presence, and his ability to play to the absurd.
It’s a well-honed gift he has, whether he is doing an elaborate onstage bit or writing and directing a whole series about what happens to dull-witted compulsive liars, his material and commentary never ceases to be biting and creatively cynical.
It’s been six years since the release of his last comedy album, Bigger and Blackerer, though die-hard fans were rewarded last year with return of Mr. Show, now just W/ Bob and David on Netflix. Cross is currently on the Making America Great Again! tour, and has a couple of stops in North Carolina this week. He graciously answered some of our ludicrous questions while he was in Charlotte.
CLTure: Have you ever been surprised at American culture mirroring the absurdity of sketches or bits you wrote years ago?
David Cross: Oh sure. And there have been so many examples. A little while ago somebody put together some site called, “Mr. Show predicts the future,” or something like that. And it had, the last time I looked, which was quite a while ago, 14 different examples. Some were a bit tenuous but others were spot on. Pretty crazy.
CLTure: Is America getting the political shitshow they deserve?
David Cross: Yes. At least for half of America they are. The other half did nothing to deserve this.
CLTure: How does Ted Cruz have both the comedy and tragedy mask on at the same time?
David Cross: He made a pact with the devil, but he thought it was with God, so he got tricked once again. By both of them.
CLTure: Are you bringing any bands as your opener for this tour, or are there any bands you’d like to tour with in the future?
David Cross: No, it’s just me. I’m in bigger theaters now and sometimes doing two shows a night so I am keeping the whole show to an hour fifteen or an hour and a half. It’s not like that rock’n’roll vibe that there was in 2002. Plus I’m old now! That’s a younger man’s game. Although having said that, yes, I would like to tour with either Lez Zepplin or Mini Kiss.
CLTure: Are you planning on releasing an album or a special anytime soon?
David Cross: Yes, taping a live special in Austin in April. Should come out around end of July when the tour is over. Will release a slightly different version on CD as well.
CLTure: What’s your favorite character you’ve ever played over the years, or which one was the most fun?
David Cross: Well certainly Tobias is up there, and the latest iteration of Todd Margaret was fun to do (to be able to be that cutting and dry and sarcastic) but I think Ronnie Dobbs is my all-time favorite. Certainly the one closest to my heart.
CLTure: What’s the one thing you’d do to make America great again?
David Cross: Get rid of the Electoral College is the serious answer. The jokey one is get rid of cell phones for one month, make people actually talk to each other again and relearn how to engage in lateral thinking.
Check out the trailer for David Cross: Making America Great Again! on Netflix