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David Cross in Conversation with Someone Who Loves Him

[COMEDIAN/ACTOR/CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE]
“IF PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH ME AND WANT TO ARTICULATE IT, THAT’S NOT ONLY THEIR RIGHT BUT ALMOST THEIR OBLIGATION.”
Things to love about David Cross:
Smugness
Hostility
Satiric bile
header-image

David Cross in Conversation with Someone Who Loves Him

[COMEDIAN/ACTOR/CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE]
“IF PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH ME AND WANT TO ARTICULATE IT, THAT’S NOT ONLY THEIR RIGHT BUT ALMOST THEIR OBLIGATION.”
Things to love about David Cross:
Smugness
Hostility
Satiric bile

David Cross in Conversation with Someone Who Loves Him

Eric Spitznagel
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I am a nerd for David Cross. My fanboydom began in the mid-’90s, when I discovered Mr. Show with Bob and David and developed a comedy crush on “the bald one.”

Around the same time, I was working at the Second City theater in Chicago, and plastered the walls of the box office with publicity shots of David, so that it resembled the bedroom of a very confused teenage girl. One fortuitous evening, David Cross came to the theater for a show, and when he was coaxed into the office by my fellow employees, he was confronted by dozens of tiny reflections of himself. “Now I know how Leif Garrett felt,” he said, eyeing me nervously.

I spoke with David by phone. He was at a dog park in New York City. To get the full effect of this interview, you should have at least six to seven dogs barking in the background. At one point, David noticed a used condom deposited on a nearby bench. This disturbed him, for obvious reasons, and he wondered aloud at the sort of person who would have sex in a dog park. “Where can I fuck a dog?” he asked in a rednecky accent. “Oh wait, I know, the dog park. They’ve got plenty of dogs over there.” I don’t often get sentimental, but ten minutes of David Cross riffing on dog-fucking made me wish I was a kid in Chicago again, hanging on his every word.

—Eric Spitznagel

LOVER: I should probably admit up front that I’m a fan.

DAVID CROSS: Really? Whatever, man.

LVR: I liked Mr. Show, but I was blown away by your first album, Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! It came out in 2002, shortly after 9/11, and I remember being shocked that anybody would talk so honestly and brutally about Bush. Did it feel, at the time, like you were saying something that nobody else had the balls to say? Or were you just frustrated and needed to vent?

DC: More the former than the latter. I’d say that it’s probably—no, I take that back. More the latter. Wait, I—OK, let’s say it’s 51 percent one way, 49 percent the other. I didn’t feel any sense of obligation. That’s never been the impetus for my comedy. It’s just Bush and 9/11 were at the forefront of my consciousness virtually every moment, especially living in New York. So the album was an extension of what I was going through personally, and the conversations and arguments I was having.

LVR: Did it ever cross your mind that it might be too soon to be making jokes about 9/11?

DC: It was never calculated....

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