David Cross speaks up on ‘Shut Up’

Special to The Times

Being funny ain’t easy. If David Cross’ new live stand-up CD is any indication, the road to comedic success is paved with cruel rejection, bitter embarrassment and painful schoolyard humiliations.

With his partner, Bob Odenkirk, Cross was one of the warped minds behind the short-lived and much-missed HBO sketch comedy “Mr. Show.” As a solo act he’s taken his distinctive brand of humor (misanthrope amusement threaded through with hilarious streaks of righteous indignation) out onto the open road. Performing alongside various bands in rock clubs and dive bars across the nation, Cross recorded his journey for posterity, the resulting double album “Shut Up You

“Opening up for bands is always tough,” says Cross from his home in New York City, “but I’m much more comfortable on those stages than at comedy clubs. It’s more my crowd. The bands that I work with are total Emo-core, shoe gazers, that sort of thing. I try to go out with bands who share a certain aesthetic and affinity for the same sort of stuff. If you like a certain type music, you’ll probably think I’m funny.”

Cross’ act, foul mouthed and razor sharp, doesn’t shy away from vicious social criticism and outright political dissent. He takes shots at everything from the Bush administration to the recent scandals in the Catholic Church to the inherent materialism and shallowness of the city of L.A.


“I don’t hate it, exactly,” says Cross of Los Angeles, “it’s just a bad place for me to live. The things that people talk about being great about L.A. I have no interest in. I don’t like the weather and it’s aesthetically quite ugly. But it does has a tremendous amount of good comedians!”