Behrendt gets a little Q n’ A

18 Feb



Greg Behrendt and Hot Damn

Though a successful, working comic since 1989, it was the co-authorship of He’s Just Not That Into You that thrust Greg Behrendt into national attention.  His own talk show and appearance on Oprah pretty much cemented Greg as a new millennium relationship guru.  As it’s explained, that book got born while he was a writing consultant on the wildly popular Sex and the City series when he was counseling one of the ladies about a relationship she was in.  She needed a point of view and advice about why her love interest wasn’t calling all the time.  Instead of being a nice guy, he gave it to her straight.  And that’s his appeal.  You know that awesome gay guy friend that we girls have that can give us man-like advice over a latte in the food court while we’re on break from retail therapy?  Well, Greg is that guy, but he’s not gay and his man-like advice comes from manly experiences.  He doesn’t talk a problem to death; he’s succinct.   And I think that women find it both alarming and illuminating after having spent years analyzing their hook-ups with their chatty and catty chick friends.



Old school magician

While Behrendt does take his time explaining the whole thing about being expected to dispense advice to strangers during his set at the Laughing Skull Lounge, he has more.  Dude loves cake and pudding and magic.  Well, who doesn’t?  But as much as he likes magic, Greg’s not such a fan of magicians.  His point was completely valid.  Exactly when did magicians make that leap from wearing a tuxedo shirt, bow tie and cape to looking like they are excommunicated members of 80s hair bands?  And why are they all too cool as shit to be impressed by their own magic?  If you could make a bird fly out of your sleeve could you hide your excitement?  Would you?


Holy six pack

I loved hearing a man rattle on about his body issues.  This is old hat for women, and when men talk about the topic, it usually feels pretty forced and unfamiliar.  However, Greg has recently dropped weight after seeing a fat ghost in the mirror then felt sorry that his wife had to snuggle it.   He’s dieted and that means that he’s actually been in the trenches.  Greg’s man-body-ideal is Mathew McConaughey, who he says has a ripped abdomen like Jesus.  That caught me off guard, but I know exactly what he meant.

Honestly, the set may have run a bit long, but I think his fans they got what they came for.  The audience was heavily weighted with women.  When Greg spent time doing a Q&A session there was a river of questions: Why are men intimidated to ask me out?  How do I start dating after a divorce?  Where can I meet men?  I felt like he actually enjoyed dispensing helpful, pragmatic advice like “Don’t freak people out with your need” or “If you are doing something stupid, you should stop.”  But he also fielded questions about his comic process, his daughters and who his favorite comedians are.  I certainly left with a pretty good sense about who and how he is.

The set ended with a great bit about the oft discussed game of “hypothetical free sex pass”.  You know, when you and your partner have a fantasy list of someone either one of you’d be allowed to shack up with for a night.  That game works out pretty well in my house because it’s fairly certain that George Clooney and I will never cross paths.  I can’t imagine when Big Daddy would ever get the opportunity to try his game out on Christy Turlington.  We’re safe.  But the Berendts live in Los Angeles and Greg is in the entertainment industry.  Celebrity crushes have a pretty high likelihood of actually turning up in your proximity.  He reenacts a great story about a real life competition between him and his wife’s imaginary dream lover, John Krasinski.

If you are looking to get a lot of Hollywood dish or hear some juicy Sex and the City set dirt, you’re going to be out of luck.  Behrendt’s act is more about his own experiences, doing the right thing and having  good, clean fun.  After the show we talked and I asked him his thoughts about Sarah Jessica Parker’s recent comments in the press that she would like to do another Sex in the City movie.  My take was that it shouldn’t happen and they need to leave behind a good-looking corpse of the franchise.  He was a bit appalled, thinking that I meant that the “girls” were too old to be having shennanigans.  That was only sort of what I meant, just because of the context of the story line.  He assured me that they were all lovely people and he would not ever make jokes at their or anyone else’s expense.  Using other people as a punchline was low, cheap and uncreative.  He’s a nice, loyal guy with a fierce sense of what is morally appropriate for him and what wouldn’t let him sleep at night.  Good for him, it’s refreshing.  No, really, I mean it.


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