Interview with Harland Williams (who comes to the Comedy Connection this Saturday, 10/24)


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 platforms.


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 entertainment.


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.

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