Brian Gaar is huge on Twitter. He’s an accomplished standup who has been entertaining Austin audiences for several years but it was his tweets that introduced him to a larger audience. A much larger audience. At the time of this writing, he has over 70,000 fans on the social networking site, an impressive celebrity following – he’s a favorite of comedy big shots like Will Arnett and SNL head writer Alex Baze – and he’s just getting started.
When he released his album Never Gonna Be Famous earlier this year, it quickly rose to #2 on the iTunes charts where it sat alongside albums from heavyweights like Jim Gaffigan. He’s taping his first standup special on Saturday night at the Spiderhouse Ballroom and tickets are on sale now.
I chatted with Gaar about his early video game experiences, meeting fans at the urinal, and what we could expect from his first special.
You’re known for being a bit of a video game head. Tell us about your first (or an early) gaming experience.
My best memory was a Christmas in the mid-80s when my parents bought me the Nintendo Entertainment System. I played all night and for the next year, my sisters and I fought over who’d get to play Super Mario Bros. One time, I was playing in a squatted position and my sister ran up and kicked me in the balls. Our mother told her, “Because of YOU, Brian won’t be able to have children, now!!” Sadly, she was wrong.
You have a pretty rabid Twitter following. What’s the weirdest interaction you’ve had with a fan?
I wouldn’t say anything has been particularly weird, but you do meet people in random places.
One time I was at a bar, in line for the bathroom. A guy in front of me finished at the urinal, turned around and goes “DUDE! I love your Twitter!” And he wanted to shake hands. He was cool, though, he came over to our table and bought me shots.
I’ve also met people at the grocery store with a baby strapped to me and in line at the LEGO store. Everyone has honestly been really nice — a few people show up to my shows wearing Toad t-shirts, but I always have security throw them out.
How has your comedy changed over the past few years and what can folks expect from Saturday’s show?
I’ve tried to write more political stuff. When I started, it was all video game and fart jokes, but now I write more high-brow stuff like, “How about that Obama? What’s his deal?” And “Congress?? More like CLOWN-gress!!” This stuff murders on NPR.
Saturday’s show will be a combination of greatest hits and some killer new stuff that I’m working on. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy” is gonna get “cut down” to size. (I do an impression of Groot screaming “I am Groot!!” in a high-pitched voice because he caught his balls in a chainsaw.)