In addition to an extensive acting and stand-up resume, Brian Posehn has forged a unique career path for himself by taking on projects that deal with things he truly loves. From Dungeons and Dragons to Anthrax (the band, possibly the substance as well) to Comic books, he's turned nerdiness into an art form -- or several different art forms, actually.
Among other things, I chatted with Brian about his various projects and his passion for Metal (the music, not the building material.)
Matt Conty: I can't really explain why, but I spent roughly 82 minutes listening to Episode 12 of the Nerd Poker Podcast. I have to admit that was far more entertaining that I would have imagined it to be. Sort of a constantly updating Books on Tape, with smartass remarks! Can you talk about the concept behind it, and how's it doing?
Brian Posehn: I'd been approached about doing a podcast by a couple different networks but I've been friends with Scott Aukerman from Earwolf since before Mr. Show. He and I talked, I didn't want to do the same thing that every comedian does. I had played D and D with this same group of friends for over ten years. We broke up our game four years ago when three of us got our wives pregnant, which I think was a D and D first. I thought it would be an entertaining show. I guess I was right. People are digging it and it's doing really well.
Besides death, is there an actual end to a game of Dungeons and Dragons?
No. Quests end but the game never really ends. If you die, you just roll up a new guy. If everyone dies in your group, you all start over and you fire your dungeon master.
Is there anything comparable to D and D that has come out in the last 30 years?
There are a lot of RPGs in the dice and card world and the video game world but I still love D and D because of the social aspect. It is nerd poker.
I understand you have a son, now three or four years old? Do you still tour as much doing stand-up as you did before he was in your life?
He's almost four. I do more stand-up now actually. I have to pay for action figures, Disneyland trips and pre-school. Oh, and food.
I read that you feel like your act has evolved to be more about your life in general. Does your son or parenting in general now make it into the act?
Yeah, but I'm real conscious of not doing too much to lose people who don't have kids or hate them. And it always has to have my spin on it.
Was the decision to talk more about your life on stage a conscious one, or did it just happen with time and a developed level of comfort needed to go there?
The latter. I've just sort of organically become more of a storyteller in the last ten years. I also enjoy comics where their act comes from their life like Louie and Patton.
Now that you have had a fair amount of time spent Marajuana-free, what's your overall take on what the difference, if any, there is in your creative processes? Better/Worse/Indifferent? I'm way more present onstage now. I think I'm a lot stronger. I actually worried that I wouldn't be able to tap into the absurd or silly but it hasn't been a problem.
Any weird reactions from friends or fans about your decision to stop smoking? For example, I stopped drinking for six months and some of my friends here in St. Louis- a town in many ways built on beer and alcohol, were actually mad at me.
Not too bad, I got a little grief online in the beginning. People boo me every time I mention that onstage but I love it. Some guys don't know and are disappointed when I won't smoke with them. My friends have all been really cool and supportive. They're all grown-ups.
Your Marvel Comics Deadpool project looks set to release Issue #5 this week. From everything I've read about you, I would imagine this project is as close to a "Dream Come True" as it gets for you.
Totally, I'm having a blast and I'm still stoked to see my name on the cover and my jokes inside.
Now that you're in the grind, what have you learned?
It's a lot of work.
Is it still fun? Has it just become work?
It's both. It's fork.
Any other Comic related projects coming up?
Just more Deadpool. I'm also writing an online exclusive for Marvel, Deadpool Infinite.
Are you trying to pair Comic Book Shop appearances with your Stand-Up Road Dates every time out, or is this a unique thing you are doing during this trip to St. Louis?
I'm trying to do that with every gig. Star Clipper will be the fifth one I've done.
You're known to be huge fan of Metal. (At 6'7" of course) If you're cast away with nothing but a record player and giant speakers, what three metal albums are coming with you?
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast. Metallica: Ride the Lightning and whatever won the metal Grammy that year. Just kidding, Anthrax: Among the Living.
Any other projects, appearances, creative endeavors we didn't mention in this interview you would like to mention?
Yep. My first hour long special, the Fartist will be available on Netflix very soon.