Comedian Eugene Mirman offers helpful hints and reminisces about summers in N.H.
Eugene Mirman just wants to help. The Massachusetts-via-Moscow native, who currently provides the voice for the perpetually, loudly enthusiastic Gene Belcher on “Bob’s Burgers,” uses his stand-up comedy talents for the power of good — even when his efforts are unappreciated.
Mirman, who will bring his dry comic timing to 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Friday, April 3, has offered words of wisdom to everyone from mall food court staple Sbarro to corporate behemoth Time Warner Cable. On his 2013 album, “An Evening of Comedy in a Fake, Underground Laboratory,” Mirman generously offered a new slogan to Sbarro, the Ohio-based pizza chain:
“Hungry? Stop by Sbarro. Great Italian food . . . if you’re a raccoon!”
As of press time, Sbarro hadn’t taken Mirman up on his offer. He fared far better with his uproarious response to Time Warner Cable’s multiple missed appointments to install cable and Internet when he moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn a few years ago. Not content with just writing an angry screed online, Mirman devoted over 500 words to full-page ads in local New York City newspapers in which he detailed the company’s abusive neglect before wishing a variety of insane and foul plagues upon their board of directors, including uncontrollable bowels and the never-ending smell of hot buttered popcorn.
TWC’s response to Mirman? Jeff Simmermon, the then-director of digital communications at TWC, responded by saying he thought Mirman was, “really, really funny,” had “good points,” and that he counted himself as a “big fan” of his comedy. Maybe Mirman’s comedic attempts at helping are finally being appreciated.
“New Hampshire is where I learned how to hunt with my bare hands.” — Eugene Mirman
We’ll have a better idea if Mirman’s still railing against unpaid gas bills and the inanity of the Christian Mingle online dating service when he releases his next album later this year. Though Mirman already recorded the album in Seattle, he’s using the upcoming show at 3S to test out new material before filming the album’s accompanying television special in Tucson the following week.
Mirman, who grew up an hour south of the Seacoast in Lexington, Mass., spent many summers as a child at Camp Tohkomeupog in East Madison.
“I’ve actually spent a lot of time in New Hampshire,” he says. “My family would travel there often. New Hampshire is where I learned how to hunt with my bare hands.”
Mirman was roommates in Somerville, Mass., with Brendon Smalls, the co-creator of the animated cult TV show “Home Movies.” He leaned on one of his more memorable New Hampshire experiences when he made one of his first appearances on the show.
“In one of the first episodes I was in, I pee in Coach McGuirk’s canteen, which was based on something that happened to me at summer camp. Someone peed in my canteen,” he recalls. “I mean, I washed it out first. But still. They peed in it.”
After playing Eugene on “Home Movies,” Mirman went on to play the role that many fans first discovered him in: Eugene the landlord in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords.” In 2009, he reunited with his “Home Movies” co-star H. Jon Benjamin (also the voice of TV’s most hilarious spy, Archer Sterling) and writer and co-creator Loren Bouchard for Bouchard’s new show, “Bob’s Burgers.”
“Bob’s Burgers,” arguably the most consistently funny show currently on television, was recently renewed for a sixth season.
“It’s very good to know that we’re going to get to keep doing the show,” Mirman said. “I work with a bunch of my friends. We record together, which is fun because we get to play off each other.”
“It was really fun recording with John Hamm
as a talking toilet.” — Eugene Mirman
A season-three episode of “Bob’s Burgers,” titled “O.T.: The Outside Toilet,” retold the story of “E.T.” with Gene as Elliott and a futuristic toilet playing the lost, new best friend that Gene bonds with. When told it was this writer’s favorite episode of the show, Mirman agreed.
“‘O.T.’ is definitely one of my favorite episodes. It was really fun recording with Jon Hamm as a talking toilet,” he says.
After learning that he’s one of a handful of artists who are among the first to perform at 3S, he laughed. “I’d like to say that, yes, I’m often asked to christen most new buildings in New England,” he says.
Mirman’s helpful advice to those coming to the show?
“I think they should prepare themselves for a nice evening out,” Mirman says proudly. “I think there may be some very Portsmouth-specific things that will be part of the show. In general, the audience should be wearing nice dungarees. Wait . . . I don’t want to have accidentally created a weird costume thing. Let’s just say the audience should stick to clean and comfortable.”
Eugene Mirman will be at 3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth, on Friday, April 3 at 9 p.m. Andrew Donnelly opens. Tickets are $18 and are available at 3sarts.org.