Comedian Dave Coulier Appears at Macomb Center on Jan. 29
Coulier talks with Patch contributor Tina DeBord about Michigan, humor and undergarments.
Comedian, producer and voice actor Dave Coulier will bring his stand-up routine to the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 29.
Coulier, a St. Clair Shores native, is best known for his role as funny guy Joey Gladstone on the sitcom Full House. We recently spoke with him via e-mail about his current projects, his ties to Michigan and his preference for underpants.
Patch: Your impersonations are well-known. When and why did you start using your voice as a comedic tool?
Coulier: I was a hockey player growing up. With 20 guys in a locker room, there's always a built-in audience–a place to try out impressions of coaches, teachers and teammates. I realized at a very early age that mimicking people and doing voices could get big laughs.
Patch: It's easy to read an audience according to how much or how little they laugh. Are there any other “cues” you try to pick up on while on stage?
Coulier: I've always compared stand-up to playing jazz or sports. Some nights you're going to get in a groove and feel like you're indestructible. Other nights, there's nothing you can do that will change their collective energy as a group. You have to just feel your way through it and go by instinct. From what I've experienced, every audience is completely different. I can't just go onstage and switch to autopilot with a set that worked the previous show. I make small adjustments with energy and delivery.
Patch: Your stand-up routines are family-friendly. How does that quality tie into your comedic philosophy?
Coulier: When I was 19 years old, Jay Leno said to me: “Coulier, if you work clean, you can work anywhere.” I never forgot that. It turns out, Jay was correct. I've performed my stand-up from the Tonight Show to Radio City Music Hall. I don't really have a steadfast clean agenda. I just think that funny is funny, and doesn't need f-bombs to force the audience into nervous laughter. I always want as many people to laugh at my stuff as possible, so if it's clean material, everyone gets to share the experience.
Patch: What's your joke-writing process? Do you brainstorm or does your material grow out of everyday observations?
Coulier: I never try to force the joke-writing process. I've learned to just trust that some days I'm going to have floods of creativity and other days my brain is like a dry lake. On those days where it's flowing, I just have to be disciplined enough to write it all down.
Patch: You grew up in Michigan. Do you return often? If so, what's your favorite thing about the region?
Coulier: My family still lives in Michigan so I try to get back as often as possible. I grew up in St. Clair Shores and love spending time on the lake. I think it's probably my favorite spot on the planet.
Patch: Who's the funniest person you know?
Coulier: My brother Dan is the funniest person I know. He can make me laugh really hard.
Patch: What's in store for the future?
Coulier: I've always got several projects going at the same time. I have a production company (Cumulus Entertainment) and we're here in Los Angeles pitching projects and producing. I have some heavyweight producing partners who are really great. I'm also pursuing directing. I started as an ad copywriter when I was just a teenager and I've always loved commercials. So this past year, I decided to create my own commercials for my commercial directing demo reel. You can see all of them at: www.davecoulier.net
Patch: If you could choose a question to be asked, what would it be?
Coulier: Dave ... underpants or underwear? To which I would answer: underpants. The word “underpants” just sounds really silly to me.
Patch: Will you tell us a joke?
Coulier: A guy walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Excuse me sir, what do you have under there?” The guys says, “Under where?” The bartender says, “Nope. The answer I was looking for was underpants.”
Tickets to Dave Coulier, 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, are going fast. Reserve your seats today by calling the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts box office at 586-286-2222.