GREG BEHRENDT presented by NXNE and Empire Comedy Live at the Paintbox (555 Dundas East), Friday (June 14), 9 pm, and the Comedy Bar (945 Bloor West), Saturday (June 15), 8 and 10:30 pm. NXNE wristband or $20. nxne.com.
Stand-up Greg Behrendt co-authored the bestselling self-help book He's Just Not That Into You and was a consultant on the hit TV series Sex And The City. He often gets recognized on the street, but people don't quite know where to place him.
In fact, his last comedy DVD was called That Guy From That Thing, the title riffing on the fact that he frequently gets mistaken for well-groomed dudes from reality shows like Queer Eye For The Straight Guy or some celebrity chef.
"I think my next special," he says from his home in Irvine, California, "is going to be called I'm Sorry: Who Are You Again? We've Got A Lot Of People On Our List."
At his two shows Saturday at the Comedy Bar, Behrendt won't be confused with anyone else, especially since he'll be sporting a full mohawk. He admits it might be a way of fighting off his age (he turns 50 next month), but ever the metrosexual, he adds that it's also easy to maintain and gives him a half-punk, half-military look.
Oh, and there's a musical influence behind his cut, too.
"My favourite guitar player growing up was this guy named Matthew Ashman from the group Bow Wow Wow," he says. "Once you got past the fact that they were sort of a cutesy, 80s new wave band, they were incredibly musical, and Ashman [he died in 1995] was unbelievably cool. I was fascinated with him. He played a Gretsch white falcon, and so do I. So it's me paying tribute to an obscure guitar player."
He's pleased that his show is being co-presented by NXNE. After all, one of his best jokes concerns whether or not you can be too old to rock out.
"Usually when I do music festivals, I'll open with that because it's an icebreaker," he says. "It's a classic. But then again, I might dive into something wildly brand new, so it's not just me doing the oldies."
You can also expect Behrendt to tell jokes about raising two daughters (ages eight and 11), getting older and hating young people.
"Part of me also knows that this generation is the least racist and most pro-gay, so that's great," he says. "But they have a real lack of gravitas. And they have no taste in music. Vampire Weekend? Can we play some music, please? Can we rock out for a minute? Where's your Metallica?"
Behrendt's consulting on SATC led to He's Just Not That Into You. He got that first gig through nepotism, he laughs, since he used to do stand-up with producer Michael Patrick King, and the show needed a straight guy to give them ideas.
"As the show evolved, I got married, had a baby, and that happened to some characters on the show. So every season I gave them new information that was pertinent."
The book became a massive bestseller and eventually inspired a star-studded movie. Was he happy with it?
"Sure, because they made a movie out of a book that wasn't supposed to happen," he jokes. "There were some mistakes made - they sort of botched the end. I think the girl should have told the guy to go fuck himself at the end, because that's what the book would advise. I got a couple of nasty emails or people called me a sellout.
"And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can't hear you. The window of my new car is closed.'"