Comedian David Cross embarked on his “Make America Great Again Tour” in the middle of the 2016 Presidential campaign, and two years later, he considers it a rousing success.
America, in his opinion, is great. Great fodder for comedy, anyway.
“It’s amazing the leaps and bounds we’ve made, we have this Utopian society where everyone loves one another, and the people in charge are good and decent and not polarizing in any way,” said Cross, 54. “Everything is so (expletive) fantastic, we should just turn off the news and leave well enough alone.”
Cross, best-known for his role on the twisted sitcom “Arrested Development,” will bring his current “Oh Come On” tour to Portland’s State Theatre Tuesday.
Cross said he learned a lot from his tour two years ago, adding, “Please trust me that none of the valuable lessons I learned will be applied.”
Cross said his shows on this tour will be less political than the tour he did while then-candidate Donald Trump was battling Hillary Clinton for the highest office in the land. He also has a daughter now, with his wife, actress Amber Tamblyn. So his comedy is about all aspects of life, not just how wonderful our country is.
Cross said he moved constantly as a child because “my father got fired a lot,” and found that being funny was his way of fitting in. It was also self-defense for a “nerdy, sensitive (expletive) with broken glasses” who was often harassed.
As a youngster he loved watching comedians on TV like Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Steve Martin. He also was a big fan of sketch comedy, “Monty Python” in particular. He he moved to Boston for college in the 1980s, which had a thriving comedy scene that included people like Steven Wright and Denis Leary and, later, Janeane Garofalo. He became known for his stand-up comedy, and by the late 1990s, he’d starred in his own specials on HBO. He had also helped create the HBO sketch comedy show “Mr. Show” and appeared on various TV shows, including “Just Shoot Me,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “NewsRadio.” He played Tobias Funke on “Arrested Development” on Fox beginning in the early 2000s, and more recently on Netflix. The show focuses on a dysfunctional family dealing with the imprisonment of their father. His character is an off-the-wall psychoanalyst whose speech is littered with sexual undertones.
Cross thinks the show has remained popular because of the “cleverness” of the comedy.
“It rewards patient, observant people who are willing to do some work, to find the different levels of comedy,” said Cross. “There is no familiar cadence, they don’t do the same joke over and over.”
WHERE: State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 19
HOW MUCH: $35 to $45