Sept. 12--Update: Bill Burr's El Paso performance has been postponed, according to the comedian's Twitter account.
The performance was originally set to move to the Plaza Theatre from the Abraham Chavez Theater, but has been postponed "due to loss of power at the venue."
Update: The venue for the show has changed to the Plaza Theatre at 8 p.m., according to Bill Burr's official Twitter account.
Bill Burr may not be the best known comedian around. But his face is becoming increasingly familiar.
The 45-year-old Massachusetts native, who performs at 8 tonight at the Abraham Chavez Theatre, has been popping up in a lot of high-profile places lately.
He plays Kuby, one of the bad guys on "Breaking Bad," one of cable TV's most acclaimed and buzzed about shows, now in its final season on AMC.
He also appeared as one of Melissa McCarthy's argumentative brothers in the summer box-office hit "The Heat."
Burr's debut El Paso performance, originally scheduled for Aug. 3, was delayed a month so he could wrap a five-week shoot in New Orleans for "Black and White," a custody battle drama starring Academy Award winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, due in theaters next year.
Those who don't know Burr's cutting style of observational humor from his stand-up shows or weekly podcasts
may recall his appearances on Dave Chappelle's groundbreaking but short-lived Comedy Central show.
Despite a growing and increasingly visible acting career, Burr said stand-up always will be his first love.
"I'm always gonna be a comedian. I still have many, many goals for my stand-up career, but as far as the acting stuff goes, if you keep your stand-up tight, go out and give people a quality show, they'll come back and see you," he said by phone
from Los Angeles.
"As long as you're doing that, you have options at the next level. You don't have to jump at everything and you can still put Fruit Loops on the table."
These are salad days for Burr, known his dark, often cutting observational humor. He's been doing stand-up for a little more than 20 years, taking on a small but growing number of TV and film jobs as his reputation grew.
Burr's playing a lot of places he's never been before, including El Paso, as part of what he calls his "Red State Tour," which will take him to far-flung places such as Idaho and Oklahoma. "I hope to do this every other year or so," he said.He's got a reputation in the comedy industry as a comedian's comedian. Britain's Chortle said in a 2011 review: "The best comedy makes us tacitly acknowledge life's dark side and laugh in its face, this is where Burr ... is in his element."
Of course, his growing rep as an actor may change that element. Burr plays Patrick Kuby on "Breaking Bad," which is in the second half of its fifth and final season on AMC. Kuby is a relatively minor low-life, a henchman for Bob Odenkirk's Saul Goodman, the lawyer who represents Bryan Cranston's Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned drug lord around whom the show revolves.
"Despite the fact that he's in that world, he's winning in life," Burr said of Kuby. "I feel like he's a happy guy, a fun-to-play guy who's doing underhanded stuff but seems to be having a good time."
Burr debuted on the show's fourth season. He's impressed with the surprises show creator Vince Gilligan and its writers have come up with on a weekly basis. "I'm astounded at their ability. I don't think I've ever guessed anything right on the show," Burr said with a laugh. "What are the top 10 things you'd guess about the way the storyline would go and (it's like they say) 'Let's do the complete opposite.'"
He sounds just as impressed with his "Black and White" co-stars Costner and Spencer, who "set the tone" on the set of the low-budget drama, written and directed by comedian and actor Mike Binder.
Burr said Costner put up half the budget for the drama about a grandfather who gets involved in his granddaughter's custody case. He told the cast he would do everything he could to make sure everyone had a "great experience" during the 27-day shoot.
"When the lead dog is gonna be rolling up his sleeves and working, it all falls into place," Burr said, who also appeared in "Stand Up Guys" with Al Pacino and Christopher Walken.
Spencer often stuck around to watch filming after she was done with her scenes. "She was like a gym rat, a Larry Bird hanging out after practice," the comedian said.
He also has high praise for Dave Chappelle, who infamously quit his hugely successful sketch comedy show early into production of its third season in 2004.
"I think what he did was cool," Burr explained. "I understand why a lot of people didn't understand it. They wanted him to keep doing it. He wasn't happy."
Burr appeared in five episodes. He also went on tour with show regulars Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings after Chappelle left.
The show and tour helped propel Burr's career to new levels.
"I got to get into A-room clubs that weren't booking me at the time," he said. "They saw me do my thing and straight across they board they'd bring me back."
Doug Pullen may be reached at 546-6397. Read Pullen My Blog at elpasotimes.com/blogs.
Who: Bill Burr.
When: 8 p.m. today.
Where: Abraham Chavez Theatre.
How much: $25, plus service charges, at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000. The Chavez box office opens at 5 p.m. today.
Information; 231-1100, elpasolive.com.
(c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)
Visit the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) at www.elpasotimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
Most Popular Stories
- SoCalGas Reaches Record Spend on Diversity Suppliers
- Senate Dems Pull All-Nighter on Global Warming
- Senators Reach Deal on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
- GM Recall Poses First Major Test for New CEO
- Deborah Hersman Quits NTSB
- Swedish Journalist Nils Horner Shot Dead in Kabul
- Dianne Feinstein Accuses CIA of Spying on Congress
- Job Openings Less Than Expected in January
- Bob Crow Remembered as Shrewd Champion of Union Workers
- El Empleo Rebota: La Columna Cohen