If you go see comedian Rory Scovel this weekend at Liquid Laughs, don’t be surprised if the man on stage winds up being a progressive German. Or any easygoing Southerner. Or effeminate.
Scovel, 34, is just trying to keep himself entertained — and audiences on their toes.
“I don’t like going up and having it be exactly the same every night,” he explains in a phone interview from his Los Angeles home. “I like it when people leave a show and they feel like genuinely there were moments in tonight’s show that won’t ever happen again for whatever reason.”
On one of Scovel’s multiple appearances on TBS’ “Conan,” he delivered his entire routine with a convincingly heavy Southern accent honed by his childhood in Greenville, S.C. It was hilarious — even more so if you discovered afterward that he doesn’t actually speak like that. For comedians less comfortable with experimentation, that sort of approach might be risky. But it’s just another tool for Scovel, who was influenced early by David Cross and describes his own style of comedy as “pretty silly and loose.”
“Sometimes I’ll go out and start my act as a German guy, just to mess around, and if the crowd’s super into it, I’ll keep doing that the whole show,” he says. “When you’re up there and doing the German voice, it kind of changes your delivery of the joke. When I go up with a German guy doing the same material, I’m almost allowed to be more politically incorrect. They are like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t know. He isn’t from here so he doesn’t know that we don’t really say that.’ You can get away with stuff.”
It also occasionally flops, Scovel admits with a laugh.
“Oh my god! There’s been times I drop it in less than a minute. ‘OK, the crowd is not into it. Moving on!’ ”
In a comedic world plagued by sameness, Scovel’s roll-with-the punches style has the potential to pay higher dividends than a tightly written and rehearsed act. Especially for a comedian who admits that he isn’t a prolific writer and enjoys changing the order or approach to his jokes on stage.
“I oftentimes am trying to remember in my head what I should do,” he says, “so I stall, and sometimes that stall leads to a golden moment of 5 minutes of improvising something.”
Scovel, who co-starred in the now-defunct TBS comedy series “Ground Floor,” actually aspires for more of the structured world of acting. He loves dark comedy, and he’s landed another acting role playing a vice-principal on the soon-to-air truTV comedy series “Those Who Can’t.”
With he and his wife expecting their first child soon, being on the road less wouldn’t be a bad thing, either — even if living in spendy L.A. means that keeping the paychecks flowing is paramount.
“She’s an actress. We’re both kind of all in on this thing,” he quips. “We hate money.”liquidboise.com
Begin your good-times bender Wednesdays at Alive After Five, which kicked off earlier this month. It starts at 5 p.m. each week and rolls through Aug. 26. Next headliner: Americana roots band Dead Winter Carpenters. Online: downtownboise.org.
Fake your way through work Thursday, then head to Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park in Meridian. A new series called Kleiner Park Live begins June 18 with local cover band Simple Ruckus and continues most Thursdays through Aug. 13. It’s a family-oriented event with food vendors and a beer garden. Kids activities start at 5:30 p.m. Bands begin playing at 6:30 p.m. Best of all, there’s grass. Online: kleinerparklive.com.
Rather stay in Boise? If you wait a month, Thursday Thunder kicks off July 16 at the Boise Spectrum with seven weeks of outdoor concerts from local bands, raffle drawings for movie tickets and more. It gets going at 6 p.m. Online: boisespectrum.com.
Sneak a catnap Friday afternoons in the office break room, then grab a beer at The Village at Meridian’s Rock the Village series. It starts July 10 and continues Friday evenings through Aug. 28. Hours: 6:30 to 9:45 p.m. Online: thevillageatmeridian.com.ZZ Top Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
Michael Deeds’ entertainment column runs Fridays in Scene.