Comedy came naturally to David Crowe of Seattle.
Crowe, who’ll perform Thursday in Olympia, describes it as something of a “comedy gene.”
“At open mikes, you can immediately pick out 10 percent of the people who seem to have it, whatever it is, and the rest don’t,” said the comic, who has won both the Seattle and the San Francisco International Comedy Competitions. “It’s like music. Some people can take piano lessons for years and they can play, but then someone else sits down that has that music gene and they are way better.
“I don’t have the music gene, but I seem to have the comedy gene – meaning it’s easy for me.”
The comic, whose special “Crooked Finger” has been running on Showtime, honed his ability during those prepubescent years that are so difficult for many boys.
“There’s that time boys go through when their female peers are blossoming – seventh, eighth, ninth grades,” he said. “Some guys are mature then, but there’s this whole sector of skinny, powerless nerds who are still boys.”
That group, he theorized, turns to Dungeons and Dragons, video games, comedy – as he did – or learning to play guitar.
“Have you ever noticed that lead guitar players are always these skinny little guys?” he riffed. “They are all about 5 feet tall and weigh about 105 pounds.”
Crowe describes his humor as “highbrow comedy with lowbrow delivery” — a little bit of Steve Martin mixed with a little bit of Bob Newhart.
“Crowe delivers a brilliant combination of saucy intellectualism and physical buffoonery,” wrote BBC critic Jacqueline Houston. “The result is a totally original style of brain-bending jocularity.”
“At first glance, he seems like just another unassuming balding white guy comic,” wrote Sean L. McCarthy, editor of The Comic’s Comic (www. comicscomic.typepad.com). “Once on stage, though, Crowe gets the crowd’s attention immediately and often through a series of routines that uses his many accents and act-outs to great effect.”
Crowe said his comedy is about one-third about his own life, one-third about current events, and one-third random – “jokes that start ‘Dogs have 100 facial expressions,’ something you read somewhere.”
And the punchline for that would be?
“One for aggression, one for submission, and 98 for ‘Uh, are you going to eat that?’ ’’
On life in the Northwest: “People always wonder if it’s depressing there because it rains all the time, and I’m here to tell you that it does rain all the time and it is depressing. We have a low murder rate, though, because people tend to kill themselves.”
On the Olympic Games: “You can’t tell how good the athletes are because they’re all fantastic. We need perspective athletes. Ten guys are running the sprint. Right before the race, grab some random yahoo: ‘Come on down here, sir. You’re going to run in lane 11, representing the rest of humanity. That way the viewers at home can see how fast these other freaks of nature really are.’ ”
On gasoline addiction: “If there was ever a Gasaholics Anonymous meeting, every story would be the same. It would be like: ‘I’m an American. I’m a gasaholic. ... It began a long time ago when I started burning wood. For heat, really. Everyone was doing it. You could grow it yourself. I had no idea it would be a gateway fuel to the harder stuff.’ ”
On the migration of jobs to Third-World countries: “People complain about jobs being outsourced to other countries; they complain about immigrants coming here taking jobs. I have a solution: Why don’t we just legalize the insourcing of illegal immigrants? ... Say you get 50 grand a year for your job, but some guy in Mexico will do it for five grand a year. No problem. Why can’t you just hire that guy to show up and do your job for you?’ ”