Comedian Brian Posehn to headline Otto’s Friday


Brian Posehn, who has made a career in film and television as a “that guy” and developed a large fanbase as an underground comedian, will perform stand-up at Otto’s this Friday.

By Troy Doetch

You know Brian Posehn.

You may recognize his distinct features as those of the absent-minded mail clerk from the sitcom Just Shoot Me, or as belonging to a variety of small characters in a variety of syndicated television shows. Whether it’s as Kramer’s acting peer on Seinfeld, or as one of the mutants from table nine in The Wedding Singer. You’d recognize him anywhere for his towering height, thick-rimmed glasses and disheveled red beard.

And this Friday, citizens of DeKalb may get a chance to know him as that guy they saw at Otto’s, 118 E. Lincoln Highway, when he’ll take the stage to perform stand-up comedy.

What separates Posehn from his contemporary “that guys” – actors who you know but don’t know you know — is his stardom in the world of comedy.

You’ve probably seen him as Sarah Silverman’s gay friend on The Sarah Silverman Program, or on the HBO series Mr. Show. More notably, you may have seen him doing stand-up on Comedy Central Presents, or in the Patton Oswalt-helmed film Comedians of Comedy.

His humor is often more goofy than crass, as evidenced by his second, somewhat appropriately-titled stand-up album Fart and Weiner Jokes.

“It’s a lot more than that,” Posehn said. “It’s something I say at the beginning of my act like ‘take off your thinking caps because all I brought are fart and weiner jokes,’ but it’s not all I do. It’s a little clunkier to say ‘fart and wiener and also material about my wife and my baby and heavy metal and life and my mom.’”

Posehn’s obsession with heavy metal is apparent. 

His album cover is a late-seventies metal inspired painting of a muscular Posehn brandishing a sword, one presumably used to slay a generation of comedians.

Posehn, however, is far from just “the metal comedian.”

“I never wanted to just be ‘the metal comedian’ because I felt like that is super limiting, so I don’t just talk about just that on purpose,” Posehn said. “It’s more about who I am as a person than my act. I feel like it’s in there and everything is filtered through who I really am, which is this man-child that still likes all the same stuff I liked when I was 15. I haven’t really grown up even though I’m kind of forced too now that I’m going to be a dad, but when you really look at my act I don’t really talk about heavy metal that much.”

His work on The Sarah Silverman Program has also made him an unlikely advocate for the homosexual community. 

Posehn’s portrayal of Sarah’s atypical gay neighbor can be seen on Logo, the lesbian and gay network from MTV.

“I’ve had a lot of guys who look like me come up to me and go ‘thank you for portraying this other type of gay guy that actually exists,’” Posehn said. “I was in San Francisco, performing at Cobb’s, one of my favorite clubs, and after the show this guy comes up to me. He looks like me; he’s a tall guy, a little heavy, balding, and wearing a Slayer black T-shirt. And he goes ‘hey man, I play video games, I love heavy metal and this is my husband..and we love what you’ve done on The Sarah Silverman Program.”

Catch Brian Posehn at Otto’s at 9 p.m. on Friday.