I doubt there have been many
articles about Harland Williams that don’t mention his roles in Half Baked,
Dumb and Dumber, and There’s Something About Mary in the first paragraph…and I see no reason to break that tradition. The Canadian-born comic and character adds unique flavor to
his various creative endeavors, and those happen to be his biggest
Still, Williams is also known by many
as a stand-up maverick of sorts - one of the rare working comics whose
personality alone wins laughs. Add to that his active crowd engagement and
famously detached wit, and he’s easily one of the most entertaining cats in
stage business (not to mention one that’s almost safe for the whole fam).
With Harland coming to the Wilbur
Theatre Comedy Connection this Saturday (10/24) to promote his new DVD, Child Wild, we asked a quick few
questions about his work as a modern renaissance talent. While reading his
answers, just imagine Williams speaking in that odd drunken southern twang of
his. He really talks like that.
You’ve lived in L.A. for a long time, but would you say that
you follow in the great Canadian comedy tradition?
I’m my own man, but I consider
myself to be part of the Canadian talent pool, where I’m proud to rub shoulders
with the Jim Carrys and Mike Myers and Howie Mandells. I don’t know why we’re
all funny, but it’s kind of cool.
Who is the biggest bastard in Hollywood that you’ve
ever worked with that nobody knows is a real asshole?
I think we all know that Dakota
Fanning is a little animal.
What’s the biggest thing that
disappoints people when they see you in person?
A lot of people think that because
you’re crazy in movies you’re going to be super hyper all the time. But I save
the juice for when the camera is rolling. People are always surprised that I’m
not constantly smoking dope, too.
Would you say that who you are on
stage is different from who you are on camera?
On stage it’s all me - Harland at
a party. But in the movies every character I do is different. I love it all - I
feel just as at home in front of the camera as I do on stage. My career is in
You’re also publisher of
children’s books. What makes you different from every girl I’ve ever been on a
date with that has an idea for a children’s book?
The difference is that I can
actually illustrate them, and that I can actually execute and draw the book. I
love to draw and paint. My latest is called The Kid With Too Many Nightmares.
Check it out - you’ll see what I mean.
What will you be doing in Boston? Music? Stand-up? A
little bit of both?
Mostly just stand-up with a lot
of crowd interaction. I love dealing with people who yell out - the opposite of
what other people like. My shows are different. I get adults, families, and of
course college kids from all the stoner movies that I’ve been in.