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Barry alive 

Comedian Todd Barry is a pro and you will cower in his presence, goddamn it. Cower and laugh, that is.

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"I've never been to Halifax and up until a few months ago, I thought it was in western Canada," says comedian Todd Barry. As a comic, actor and voice actor, the Manhattan-based funny guy has appeared on all of your/my favourite things: Wonder Showzen, Chapelle's Show, Bored to Death, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Sarah Silverman Program, Comedy Central specials, Conan O'Brien, even Sex and The City.

He's also got The Todd Barry Podcast up and running with everyday topics like food and travel. "I like visiting new cities, especially ones I might not travel to otherwise," he says. "It's nice to show up to a city you've never visited and find out you have fans there. And my tip for frequent flyers is to get your frequent flyer miles, but they probably know that already." Fresh off The Crowd Work Tour: Round II on the west coast, Barry scoots down the eastern seaboard after his first-ever set at HPX on Friday. Luckily he's a pro at this.

His credits bespeak his versatility, his dry, deadpan stage persona and his longevity. Next to Seinfeld, one of his favourite '90s sitcoms was The Larry Sanders Show, "because it was funny and I was on two episodes of it." Barry says he doesn't usually watch a lot of sitcoms anyway, probably because he tours a lot. But he's been a comedic guest on The Late Show with David Letterman since 1994.

"It's a combination of exciting and nerve-wracking," Barry says of Late Show. "You start thinking about the number of people watching at home, plus David Letterman is sitting 25 feet from you. I haven't had a lot of interaction with him. He usually just says 'Good job' or 'Thanks.'"

By all accounts in the industry, Barry is a comedic genius and one of the most underrated. He attributes his successes to persistence. "I think it's hard work and not giving up. And whatever talent I may have," he says. His latest comedy album, Super Crazy (2012), is a hearty drink of the best bitters.

Even with his dark sarcasm, he's excited come to Halifax for the first time. "I've been reading a good number of tweets about my appearance," he says. "Some people are looking forward to it."

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