CEDAR FALLS — Paul Reiser is always on the move.
Standing still is not an option. He is also motivated by his passions for comedy, theatre, screenwriting, production and musical composition.
And working out is so much fun.
On Saturday, Reiser will take the stage in the Great Hall at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Center for a stand-up comedy show at 7 p.m.
“It’s always the funniest thing I do. When I started, my goal was to be a stand-up comedian. I always consider myself a comedian first. It’s just you and a microphone and people in the audience,” he said.
Voted by Comedy Central as one of the 100 Greatest Comedians of All Time, Reiser is performing regularly to sold-out venues nationwide with dates booked into next year.
People also read…
“Stand-up is old school. It’s as low-tech as possible. There is no app that makes you a better comedian faster. I work at a gentlemanly pace – every weekend or every other weekend.
Reiser describes acting like “a cookie that fell into my lap.”
He currently stars in two hit Netflix shows, “Stranger Things” as Dr. Sam Owens, a role created especially for him, and “The Kominsky Method” by Chuck Lorre. He earned an Emmy nomination and rave reviews as the sweet-but-unhappy Martin Schneider on that show’s third and final season.
Reiser also stars in Hulu’s eight-part sitcom series “Reboot,” and as Stan Lee Parody “The Legend,” an old-school powerhouse actor in the gory, irreverent superhero series Amazon Prime, “The Boys”.
“‘The Boys’ is a very different kind of show for me, but it’s a lot of fun, and I’m just doing very precisely what I was given to do,” Reiser said.
He is currently editing an original comedy feature, “The Problem with People”, which he wrote, produced and starred with Colm Meany and Jane Levy. The film was shot in Ireland.
“I just finished a rough cut and it’s exactly the movie I was hoping for, a really funny comedy with something important hidden inside. It’s the story of two cousins who don’t get along. are ever met, who come together to settle a long-standing family feud. They are people with the best of intentions, trying to get the ball rolling and ending up fighting like the war of the roses,” Reiser explained.
It’s slated for a spring 2023 release.
Reiser’s 40-year acting career began with the role of Modell in Barry Levinson’s comedy ‘Diner’, followed by such films as ‘Aliens’, ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, ‘Whiplash’ and ‘The Thing’. About My Folks,” which Reiser wrote. for her co-star Peter Falk.
Audiences fell in love with Reiser and Helen Hunt in their classic sitcom, “Mad About You.” Reiser co-created the show, which won numerous awards from 1992 to 1999.
It was revived 20 years later for a Spectrum Originals limited run with the couple as empty nesters.
“I’m still learning. If you become complacent and start thinking “hey, I get it,” your work will suffer. Different shows require different sensibilities, and it’s my job to find a way into each character,” the actor explained.
Reiser earned a music degree from the State University of New York-Binghamton and continues to play the piano and compose. He co-wrote the theme song to “Mad About You” and “The Final Frontier” with Don Wash, and in 2010 released an album with Julia Fordham.
“Music is a passion, but mostly for my own pleasure. When I see a movie with good music, that’s something I would really like to do. Music creates such an emotional connection with people,” he said.
But Reiser remains faithful to his first love. “Stand-up is life, it’s like breathing. It’s live and interactive, and I change and change every night and feed from the audience. You never know where it’s going.
His act focuses on relationships, family and everyday life. “The things that are most personal to people are universal – talking about my kids, the serial fights I have with my wife.”
Live comedy can be a bit like “kitten squabbling,” Reiser said with a laugh. “Then we turn into a big cohesive group and everyone goes home happy.
“I like this simplicity.”
For ticket availability, visit the Gallagher Bluedorn box office, call (319) 273-4849 or go to unitix.uni.edu.
Phelps Melody Park and Phelps Youth Pavilion