Seinfeld cohort resurrects his true talents in
rare stand-up appearances passing through New York
comedian Larry Miller, whose second career as an actor has placed him in
50 movies and countless TV shows, showed where his true talents lie in a
rare stand-up appearance at Comix on November 13.
Miller riffed masterfully on the spoiled nature of American society,
reflecting the observational style of his colleague Jerry Seinfeld, with
whom he started out in comedy. “Two words,” Miller remarked. “Puffs
Plus. People are trying to live off twigs and roots in other parts of
the world, and we’re [saying] … ‘Kleenex is just too rough for me. I
need the aloe and shea butter’ -- whatever that is.”
From various riffs like this on the softness of Americans, Miller
segued imperceptibly into a take on marriage. “It’s not the senior
citizen couple holding hands in the commercial as they enjoy their new
beach house,” he says. “It’s tough. There’s deep anger. It goes back. …
She’ll think, ‘If I have to watch him eat cereal one more time out of
that stupid Mets bowl, I’ll …” And a sentiment like that is so memorable
and funny at the same time, it will have you doubled over laughing.
Repeatedly, minutes after it’s been said.
Like Bill Cosby [see review 4/6/09], the bulk of Miller’s set was all
relatively new, and even coming from a similar post-middle aged
perspective, but capped with one classic bit at its end, harkening back
to their younger years in comedy. For Cosby, it was the “Dentist”
routine; for Miller, it’s his story of the “five stages of drunkenness”
as a night goes on.
Based in L.A. for many years, and much more visible in television and
movies than on stage, Miller doesn’t turn up on the stand-up circuit
that much, but when he does, he reminds you of just how good he is at
Larry Miller closes his three-night run at Comix on November 14.