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David Alan Grier Interview for 'Comedy You Can Believe In'

by Katy Kroll, posted Jun 24th 2009 6:00AM
With the stand-up special 'Comedy You Can Believe In,' David Alan Grier is planning to bring the laughs to TBS on Sunday, June 28.

David will host an array of raucous comedians like Mark Curry, Bruce Bruce and Marina Franklin during the network's Very Funny Festival in Chicago.

The funnyman talked one-on-one with AOL TV about the special, how he helped Chelsea Handler land her own show and why he'd never want to be on 'Dancing With the Stars' again (unless they follow his rules, of course). -- By Katy KrollWith the stand-up special 'Comedy You Can Believe In,' David Alan Grier is planning to bring the laughs to TBS on Sunday, June 28.

David will host an array of raucous comedians like Mark Curry, Bruce Bruce and Marina Franklin during the network's Very Funny Festival in Chicago.

The funnyman talked one-on-one with AOL TV about the special, how he helped Chelsea Handler land her own show and why he'd never want to be on 'Dancing With the Stars' again (unless they follow his rules, of course). -- By Katy Kroll


Why did you decide to host 'Comedy You Can Believe In'?
TBS moved the comedy festival to Chicago, which was something I was really excited about. I also wanted to try to break this hosting thing out of its form. Keeping in mind that we have five performers and trying to balance the evening, because there's nothing worse than a host that won't get off. [Laughs] Sometimes you want them to, and sometimes you don't. I would much rather leave people wanting more.

In general, who makes you laugh?
I think Chelsea Handler is the funniest woman. She's an old friend and someone I've worked with for a long time. We actually pitched a show together, which is how she got 'The Chelsea Handler Show.' We went into E!, and our pitch was that we were going to be an interracial porn star duo with kids. [Laughs] None of the kids looked like me, and we were leaving porn and moving to a small town in Arizona to restart our lives. This was our show. I'm not kidding. [Laughs] It was called 'There Goes the Neighborhood.' We walked into E!, they told me to go home ... but they loved Chelsea, and the rest is history. That's how she started doing her first show, and the show she's doing now ['Chelsea Lately'] is really funny. She makes me laugh a lot. And Mark Curry also makes me laugh.

David Alan Grier Photos

    (L-R) Comedians Bruce Bruce, David Alan Grier, Marina Franklin, Mark Curry, Ralph Harris, Aries Spears and Jo Koy pose on stage at the "Comedy You Can Believe in with David Allen Grier" show during TBS presents A Very Funny Festival: Just For Laughs on June 19, 2009 at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. 18463_0057.JPG TBS Presents Just For Laughs Chicago - Comedy You Can Believe in with David Allen Grier The Vic Theater Chicago, IL United States June 19, 2009 Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage.com To license this image (16845665), contact WireImage.com

    Barry Brecheisen/WireImage.com

    CHICAGO - JUNE 19: Bruce Bruce, David Alan Grier, Martina Franklin, Mark Curry, Aries Spears and Jo Koy performs in TBS' Just For Laughs comedy festival at the Vic Theatre on June 19, 2009 in Chicago. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bruce Bruce;David Alan Grier;Martina Franklin;Mark Curry;Aries Spears;Jo Koy

    Getty Images

    CHICAGO - JUNE 19: Bruce Bruce, David Alan Grier, Martina Franklin, Mark Curry, Aries Spears and Jo Koy performs in TBS' Just For Laughs comedy festival at the Vic Theatre on June 19, 2009 in Chicago. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bruce Bruce;David Alan Grier;Martina Franklin;Mark Curry;Aries Spears;Jo Koy

    Getty Images

    Comedian David Allen Grier headlines at The Stress Factory Comedy Club on June 4, 2009 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. David Alan Grier Performs At The Stress Factory Comedy Club - June 4, 2009 The Stress Factory Comedy Club New Brunswick, NJ United States June 4, 2009 Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage.com To license this image (57605852), contact WireImage.com

    Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

    HOLLYWOOD - MAY 20: Actor David Alan Grier arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Dance Flick" held at the Arclight theaters on May 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Alan Grier

    Getty Images

    HOLLYWOOD - MAY 20: Actor David Alan Grier (R) and wife Christine Y. Kim attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Dance Flick" at ArcLight Cinemas on May 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Alan Grier;Christine Y. Kim

    Getty Images

    HOLLYWOOD - MAY 20: Actor David Alan Grier (R) and wife Christine Y. Kim attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Dance Flick" at ArcLight Cinemas on May 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Alan Grier;Christine Y. Kim

    Getty Images

    HOLLYWOOD - MAY 20: Actor David Alan Grier attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Dance Flick" at ArcLight Cinemas on May 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Alan Grier

    Getty Images

    HOLLYWOOD - MAY 20: Actor David Alan Grier attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Dance Flick" at ArcLight Cinemas on May 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Alan Grier

    Getty Images

    Actor David Alan Grier arrives with his wife Christine Y. Kim at the premiere of Dance Flick in Hollywood, California, on May 20, 2009. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images



When you were on 'Dancing With the Stars,' did you get the feeling that people didn't understand your sense of humor?
Uh ... I get that daily. But you know why? 'Dancing With the Stars' is so Middle America, and people take it so seriously. And that's not really my thing. It was like running for prom king because people vote for who they like or don't like. It's not simply, "Oh, you're a great dancer." It's not the Olympics. It's a cheesy reality show. The audience votes for who they like. If the audience doesn't like you, they're not gonna vote for you. If there's a guy next to you who really sucks but they like him, they vote for him. That's the nature of the show. Everyone who does the show, their career is enhanced ... except for me. I'm the only guy who did the show and had to issue a public apology in order to restore my career.

Because you went off on the judges? Did you honestly think they were too harsh or unfair?
Every professional dancer there would tell me that. Everyone in the press would tell me that. I never watched the show. In fact, I never watched the show when I was on the show. My partner [Kym Johnson] would tell me [speaks in an Australian accent], "They're being very harsh. Very harsh." It was all new to me, but it gets in your head like, "Wow, they hate me." It was very 5th grade. It was very dodgeball: "We'll take you, but not your fat friend."

Would you do it again?
No. That would be like a 'Groundhog Day' that I really would not want. Then again, I might do it again because I was two pounds shy of my ideal weight. That s*** was hard work. I have a new respect for dancers. Ballroom dancing? Oh, forget it. I had no respect for it. It's still strange, bizarre and weird with the spray-on tans and no one looking at each other, but they are not fakin' the funk. I felt like I got in a bar fight every morning. I do want to start a rumor that, for the first time, 'Dancing With the Stars' is doing a celebrity do-over -- and I've been chosen. I'd do it again if the most horrible people came back, just so the judges would be like, "Oh, f***, not him again." Maybe I'd do that, because it would be so evil and perverse.

Aside from 'Comedy You Can Believe In,' what else are you working on?
I just finished writing this book called 'Barack Like Me' that will be out in October. It's all about Barack Obama being elected and my take on the last two years leading up to his election. The end of the book is about 'Dancing With the Stars.' [Laughs] This is my premise: In a lot of ways, 'Dancing With the Stars' is post-race, Obama America. It's one of the only places that no matter what your socioeconomic background, race, gender or age is, you're all on an equal playing field and anyone can win. Asian, African-American, white, everyone has won.

Dancing With the Stars'

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    ABC

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    ABC

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 Tom Bergeron, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas star in the "Episode 811A" - After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 Tom Bergeron, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas star in the "Episode 811A" - After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 Tom Bergeron, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas star in the "Episode 811A" - After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 Gilles Marini, Cheryl Burke, Samantha Harris, Tom Bergeron, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas star in the "Episode 811A" - After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, broke away from the pack and were crowned champions of "Dancing with the Stars" on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

    DANCING WITH THE STARS 8 After ten weeks of entertaining drama, surprises and dazzling performances, Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft have broken away from the pack and earned the right for a chance to be crowned champion of "Dancing with the Stars," on the Season Finale. Airs Tuesday, May 19, 2009.



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