Oh and Barry agreed to one “standard” question, and here it is, the one we ask everybody:
CraveOnline: What comedians inspired you? What are some of the comedians you came up with? What comedians are you watching now?
Todd Barry: When I was younger I liked a lot of the people that everyone likes: Steve Martin, George Carlin, etc. But i also really liked watching relatively unknown comics on the various talk shows. I saw people like David Letterman, Bill Hicks, and Dennis Miller long before they got more famous. When I moved to New York in 1989 I got to know a lot of comedians before their careers took off; people like Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Sarah Silverman, Louie CK. As for comics I like now: Doug Stanhope, Ron Funches, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, and many others that I'm blanking on.
You have a very conversational and dry style, which is amazing, but very different from a lot of other comedians. When you first started developing this style was it hard to bring audiences along with you? Before you were established did you have to go more traditional in smaller rooms?
I've never consciously worked on my delivery; it just evolved after doing so many shows over the years. I don't have the strength or patience to dig up really old cassette tapes of myself, but if I did, I'm sure I'd hear a difference.
What’s more satisfying, doing your pre-written jokes and having it kill, or having things go south and bringing it back?
It's certainly satisfying to turn around a show that isn't going well, but given the choice, I'd rather have it go well from the get go.
What other disciplines are you interested in? If you couldn’t do comedy what would you do?
Well, if I'm just fantasizing, I'd be a singer/songwriter. That seems like the ultimate job. You can be funny or serious, play alone or with a band, take time off when you want. And you get to write and sing songs. But I don't know how to write songs. I play the drums a tiny bit, but not so well. Here, judge for yourself:
This is your 4th album. How have you changed from disc to disc? Do you listen to your first release and still feel like that’s your “style”
I haven't listened to any of my albums in years. Maybe a joke or two if I needed to remember it for a TV show or something. So I can't really say if I changed my style. I'm guessing I haven't.