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Comedian Paul Reiser Returns To Stand-Up

Richard Shotwell
AP Images
Comedian Paul Reiser will be performing at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall on Feb. 19.

Famous for his performances in Mad About You, Aliens, Diner, Beverly Hills Cop, and the new film Concussion, actor and comedian Paul Reiser makes a return to stand-up at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hallnext week.  Reiser joined Essential Pittsburgh to reflect on his life and career and preview upcoming projects.

Reiser got his big break in 1982 in the classic film Diner, a dialogue-heavy piece that Reiser describes as “way ahead of its time.”

“There weren’t a lot of movies that were so soft on story and so strong on characters.”

Well-known as creator and star of the 90s NBC sitcom Mad About You, Reiser says the idea for the show stemmed from his then brand-new marriage and the daily challenges associated with being newlyweds. After collaborating with a team on the project, he realized these challenges were universal.

“It [the show] became a soup of everybody’s issues,” Reiser says.

After a successful career on screen, Reiser is returning to his stand-up comedy roots when he visits Pittsburgh next week.

“I always thought of myself as a comic.  That’s what I started doing, and that’s what I wanted to do,” Reiser says.

Although he has enjoyed his time on the big screen, Reiser says he is grateful and eager to get back to what is most fun in his eyes.

“I’m having a blast,” Reiser says. “As much fun as everything else in TV and movies is, there’s nothing like getting out on stage in front of a live audience.”

For Reiser, the beauty of stand-up is that the audience can see a project and appreciate it live, rather than waiting months or years to see a movie or television show. 

“Stand-up is just so instantaneous, and it’s simple.  It’s not easy, but it’s simple in that there’s no magic to it.  There are no tricks to it.  It’s just you’re onstage talking to people, they laugh, then we all go home.”

Reiser will take the stage at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall on Feb. 19 at 8 p.m.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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