May 11 2016 12:10 AM

Actor/comedian Brian Posehn brings comedy show to the Loft

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Brian Posehn has no qualms about wandering through the gutters of comedy. His latest comedy album, 2013’s “The Fartist,” includes tracks like “Strippers and Stripping,” “Do Not Punch My Baby,” and “Um … My Farts.”

Sporting a bushy red beard and thick rimmed glasses, Posehn, 49, is also known for his nerd humor. He loved the original “Star Wars” trilogy, but “The Fartist” includes an extended rant about the prequel trilogy. He also loves heavy metal music, but never really considered going into music as a career.

“I tried to play drums as a kid, and I’ve been trying to learn guitar most of my life. That’s not going that great,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I went into comedy. I couldn’t do these other things, so I thought, ‘Alright, I’ll tell jokes.’”

He has included some heavy metal tracks on his comedy albums. His 2006 track, “Metal By Numbers,” makes fun of cookie-cutter metal bands. Scott Ian and Joey Vera of Anthrax and White Zombie’s John Tempesta provide the backing tracks, and Posehn provides the vocals.

“I can sort of fake the death metal thing, but I would never take that seriously,” he said. “I wasn’t blessed with those talents.”

The comedian has also appeared in several television shows, including a four-season run on NBC’s “Just Shoot Me” and recurring roles on Fox’s “New Girl” and Comedy Central’s “Reno 911.” His favorite experiences, however, are his shows with fellow comedians.

“The top two would definitely be my work with Bob (Odenkirk) and David (Cross) on ‘Mr. Show’ and ‘W/ Bob & David’ and ‘The Sarah Silverman Program,’” he said. “They’re my sensibility — it’s what I find funny. And they’re all my friends.”

Posehn also had dozens of bit parts on television shows like “Seinfeld” and “Californication.” He recently played a nerdy character on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” a casting he jokingly called “totally against type.”

“I’ve had a bunch of great experiences,” he said. “But getting to play a nerd on ‘Big Bang Theory’ was the most recent and most fun of those.”

Posehn was married in 2004. The couple had their first child a few years ago. The experience of adjusting to life as a father has found its way into his set.

“It hasn’t just changed me as a comedian; it’s changed who I am,” he said. “I’m not the guy I was when I started comedy, where I didn’t have any responsibilities. I have a crazy huge responsibility now.”

But Posehn is careful about using material about his son in his show.

“I talk about him, definitely, but I try to do it in my way,” he said. “I never have more than one or two jokes about him. And it’s not like, ‘Hey, kids are crazy.’ I never do it in that way — that hacky, cliché way.”

Posehn enjoys touring, taking advantage of what different cities have to offer.

“I hit record stores in pretty much every city,” he said. “I’m a big vinyl collector.”

While on the road, Posehn takes culinary tips from an unlikely source: Guy Fieri.

“I follow that ridiculous show, ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,’ and that’s been pretty useful,” Posehn said. “I put in wherever I’m going and see if there’s restaurants they’ve been to.”

Brian Posehn

With Brad Wenzel
8 p.m. Thursday, May 12
$25/$20 adv.
The Loft 414 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing
(517) 931-0103,