By Erin Free

“I’m constantly writing, so I’m not totally sure yet,” Brian Posehn replies when FilmInk asks if the set for his upcoming Australian tour is already locked in place. “I did a TV special in July of last year, so I’ll be doing stuff from that, but I’ve generated about forty minutes of new stuff too. Also, I’m sure that all of Australia will be disappointed, but my last two records were called Fart And Weiner Jokes and The Fartist, so I feel like I’ve exhausted fart and pee-pee jokes…unless a brilliant new fart joke hits me before I get to Australia…or unless I get there, and I realise that that’s what everyone wants. If that’s the case, I’ll do a whole hour of fart jokes!”

Fart jokes are, of course, the universal language of comedy, but Brian Posehn has plenty of other stuff to talk about. Despite his towering 6”7’ frame, Posehn has a gentle, slightly befuddled, but cuttingly intelligent presence, stealing his scenes with ease in movies like Sex Drive, The Five-Year Engagement, and Knights Of Badassdom, and taking a rare lead in last year’s indie comedy, Uncle Nick. Television has also been a good fit for Posehn’s brand of comedy, with the actor nailing it as Sarah Silverman’s gay buddy, Brian Damien Spukowski, on The Sarah Silverman Program, and forming part of the writing nucleus that created the much loved sketch comedy series, Mr. Show With Bob And David.

It is, however, as a stand-up comedian that Brian Posehn truly shines, offering sly, self-deprecating discourse on everything from the dangers of hanging out with fans after shows, to the perils of talking about your kids on stage. “I talk about my kid, but not too much,” Posehn laughs. “He’s six-years-old, and he’s the best thing to ever happen to me, and he’s out of his mind. He’s awesome, but I don’t talk about him too much. I don’t want to scare away people that don’t have kids, or that don’t like kids, or that aren’t interested in them. So with any of the subjects that I touch on, I don’t do them for too long.”

Posehn also talks about his relationships, which was initially a mild sore point for his wife, Melanie Truhett (a producer and manager), to whom he has been married since 2004. “In the beginning, my wife was bothered by some of the things that I said, but it’s different now,” Posehn says. “We’ve been together now for eighteen years, and we’ve been married for eleven of those, but there have been a few things where she’s gone, ‘You are not talking about this on stage!’ But everything else is fair game. Things have happened in our relationship, and I’ve gone, ‘You know that I’ve now got five new minutes of material, right?’ She just shakes her head, and tries not to get too embarrassed when she’s in the room.”

Though stand-up is core focus, Posehn’s profile as an actor has been building too. “Acting is really important to me,” he says. “When the part’s right, I go for it, but I don’t sit around thinking about it too much. The last year has been great. I did my first lead role this year in a film called Uncle Nick, and to be honest, that is something that I’ve been sitting around waiting for. I’ve been thinking for a while how much I’d love to do a lead role. I’d always wanted to be the lead in an indie comedy, and now that I’ve done that, I want to do a different kind of part next. I don’t want to do the same thing in that area.”

In Uncle Nick, Posehn plays the relentless misanthrope, Nick, who turns up at his family’s traditional Christmas with the aim of getting plastered, huffing his way through a carton of smokes, and seducing his disturbingly youthful (and equally disturbingly compliant) step-niece. “I was really nervous about doing Uncle Nick,” Posehn says. “I loved the script, but then I looked at the script again, and I was like, ‘Oh, man! I’m on nearly every page! I’m not gonna get any time off!’ I’m so used to sitting around on movie sets waiting for them to bring on the dumb guy to say something dumb, so to be in every scene like that definitely brought pressure with it. I knew that I was gonna need some help, so I hired an acting coach before production started. There wasn’t much in the budget for her, so I did it on my own dollar. Then I talked with the director about it while we were shooting, and we got another one of the actors to come work with me and the acting coach. I just felt like I couldn’t go in and wing it. I knew that I had to be prepared. I loved working with the acting coach. It was definitely humbling. There were days when I left her place thinking, ‘I am the worst fucking actor that’s ever tried to act.’ I felt terrible, but then there were other days when I felt really encouraged. She totally got me ready for the production.”

The 49-year-old is also a renowned figurehead in the world of “geek culture.” A lover of sci-fi (his famed comedy bit about Star Wars “being his Vietnam” is profoundly hilarious), superheroes (he was a regular writer on Marvel’s Deadpool comics), Dungeons & Dragons, and all things genre related, it’s a sweet time now for Posehn, whose favoured interests were far less popular when he was a kid. Does he ever look at today’s tidal wave of superhero movies and TV shows and say, ‘Where were you when I was thirteen?’ “Oh, absolutely,” Posehn laughs. “Yeah, it kind of stinks that we didn’t have as many cool things as the nerdy kids do now, but you can’t dwell on it. You can’t be like, ‘It’s unfair, you young nerds! You have everything! I had nothing! I had to make my own Spider-Man movie on Super 8 in my backyard!’”

Brian Posehn will be touring Australia from April 12-19. For all ticketing and venue information, head to For more on Brian Posehn, head to And for FilmInk’s previous interview with Brian Posehn, head here.


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