Paul Reiser may have come into most of our lives via his hit 1990's TV show "Mad About You" that earned him accolades like Emmy and Golden Globe nods but before all of that, Paul actually became a sensation by starting his career on the stand-up stage. Fast forward 20+ years and Reiser is at it again making yet another successful run as a comedian. And whether you know him from TV, movies, his books, or even from the music he's made, this weekend at the Brea Improv (February 21st and 22nd) he'll be once again showcasing his wise and witty take on life. Since we've been long time fans of his work and have never had the opportunity to talk with him before, we jumped at the chance to do just that and found out about the challenges of getting back into the swing of stand-up, how it's changed for him personally, and of course, we had to find out if a possible spinoff of "Mad About You" could ever be in the works. (Fingers crossed.)
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I know I'm aging myself by saying this but, I was obsessed with "My Two Dads" when I was a kid. Any idea if it'll ever get released on Netflix?
Paul Reiser: Oh my god really? That's…well OK, alright. [Laughs.] I have no idea about Netflix so your guess would be as good as mine. With those things there is often some legal handcuff of something. I get asked all of the time now about specific seasons with "Mad About You" on DVD but I don't know what to tell them. Sometimes there is just no real reason why something isn't released and maybe they just forgot to do it. I actually called the head of, well, whatever that is called, the head of DVD's or home videos guy to find out and they said they'd get back to me. Literally the next day, I saw that the guy I talked to was stepping down and I was like, I hope it wasn't because of my question! [Laughs.] You just reminded me that I need to call them back to get an answer. I try to keep the people happy.
Wow. I can't believe you made that guy quit because of your question…
[Laughs.] Yeah so brutal! I would've been much nicer!
Well clearly everyone loves "Mad About You" so is there any chance of a reunion or spin off?
Ehhh I don't think so. Part of the reason that we did the finale where we jumped ahead two years, five years, 10 years, and 20 years was to give people a little sense of where their lives went. We thought it'd be a fun way to get out but also, it was a way to put to rest any possibility of coming back. I'll tell you, one of the nice perks of going out and traveling with stand-up is chatting with people and invariably, someone comes up with a story about an episode that meant a lot to them or a running gag that they do with their wives now. It's very heartwarming because it's something that I wouldn't know about. When someone tells you face to face that they love what you did, it's always nice to hear.
Are you working on developing any new pilots that you'll act in?
I'm just about to start writing a new one actually and yeah, I'd be in it. I'm not smart enough to write for somebody else, I'm not imaginative enough to write about anyone who isn't me. [Laughs.] It's really unformed in my head but it'll be very different than anything I've done before. It wasn't actually something I was actively looking to do but someone brought me something really funny and I was like, let me go see if I can write that. I guess it if happens it'd be on next year.
That's awesome! I'm sure you're going to have a phenomenal time in Brea but with this break in stand-up, I'm wondering how your material changed since you last go round.
Yeah, the Brea Improv is a really nice club. That club is actually the first gig I did when I started doing this return to comedy. I hadn't done stand-up in years and then I spent about a year doing local clubs with increasingly longer shows. The first time I thought I'd try doing a longer show, I did it at the Improv in Brea so I have a soft spot in my heart for the club and the people now. It's interesting because of course the material is all new. I feel like with the people who know me, nobody is going to be shocked. They won't be like, 'that's not the guy I was expecting at all!' I've kind of been writing about what's grown out of me all along. "Mad About You" grew out of my stand-up in the first place and the books grew out of "Mad About You." It's really been sort of a continuing line. The perspective in your fifties rather than your thirties is certainly different because you get more set in your ways, you have children, and you have all of these life experiences. It'll still just as funny and as much of a challenge but it's a different perspective. Certainly being closer to eighty years old than to twenty changes the way you go. [Laughs.] I have say that when I go out now, it feels like getting together with old friends. There is such a connection with going through the same things and it's like we're all checking in with each other.
Paul Reiser performs at the Brea Improv February 21st and 22nd, 120 South Brea Blvd. 92821, (714) 482-0700. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. You can get more info on his website www.PaulReiser.com and let's try to get him tweeting again by following him on Twitter: @RealPaulReiser.