Comedian Bryan Callen has never considered himself to be a joke writer per se. Instead his standup is based on, as he describes it, "The idea that being a man comes with all kinds of responsibility. Mainly it comes with dashed hopes of who you thought you were going to be versus who you really are." He explains how that applies to his life: "Every boy growing up thinks he's going to be the dude in the movie that is shooting the bad guy and rescuing the innocent. I'm actually the extra in the movie running for cover, and that's something every man has to come to terms with." Indeed. Callen started out as an actor, but at the behest of a former girlfriend he tried standup. Eventually he wound up on MADtv. "That was more a boot camp in how to get things done," he recalls. "I was thrown into this world with very experienced people who were just really talented. I always felt I was in over my head." He insists that he's not being falsely modest. "All those guys came from the Groundlings, and they had done tons of sketch. I had a good audition, was a silly goose, and could write stuff." It did provide valuable experience. "Sitting there and learning how to think about that stuff was what gave rise to my standup career."
Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 25. Continues through Feb. 28, 2010