John Kerry is a five-letter word for "cat"

David Cross: "Where does gas come from? Penguins? I don't know."

"I'm getting olderish now and about half my friends have kids and I think that's...rude," spouts David Cross. Well, that's one way to make sense of the title of this comedian's 2003 stand-up CD Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!. Perhaps Cross just isn't in touch with today's youngest listeners anymore: Though that CD received a Grammy nomination, it lost out to teen heartthrob Weird Al Yankovic's Poodle Hat.

Cross is perhaps best known for Mr. Show, the sketch comedy classic that lasted for four seasons on HBO and has had a new life on DVD. More recently, Cross whined his way through a small part as a bickering spouse in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And he plays Tobias Funke on Fox's critically lauded Arrested Development, where he regularly appears wearing perilously short cut-off jeans.

Cross is an idiosyncratic and hugely droll comedian: It's hard to say whether the most unusual thing about his appearance on a celebrity poker show a few months ago was his seeming drunkenness, his shrewd play, or the bathrobe he inexplicably was wearing. Cross's new Sup Pop CD, out last month, is titled It's Not Funny--though, of course, it is. In a recent phone conversation, Cross proved able and willing to riff on practically any subject--including his nasty feelings about Dutch royalty. On Shut Up!, however, Cross cops to being occasionally tongue-tied by intoxicants.

"I can't communicate," he says. "I don't know things anymore...I couldn't tell you how to spell banana, what it looks like, what it feels like. I could point it out in a lineup...Where does gas come from? Penguins? I don't know."

City Pages: Who is your least favorite member of the Bush administration, other than the president?

David Cross: Laura Bush. I think she is really the secretly evil one. I think those other guys are actually pretty sweet. Dick Cheney and her husband and Ashcroft and Condoleezza Rice. But it's really her. She's got that wicked librarian thing going and you just can't trust a librarian.

CP: Who do you plan to vote for in the upcoming presidential election?

Cross: I don't really pay that close attention to politics. Between you and me, it's a little boring. It just makes me sad. No, really, I'm going to vote for Kerry, not because I'm a big fan of Kerry. In fact, I don't like him. I'll say that. I think he's like every other politician. He's been duplicitous. I think he's a pussy. But I'm just extremely opposed to Bush.

CP: Do you think if Kerry becomes president the rest of the world is still going to hate us?

Cross: I think we'll take measures to right that. I totally believe that and that's in part why I will vote for him.

CP: Do you think torturing people is ever okay?

Cross: I believe that if it's in the name of Uncle Sam and if the torture leaves a red, white, and blue bruise in the shape of a proud bald eagle, then yes.

CP: Who was the most obnoxious audience member you've ever seen?

Cross: That would have to be Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who came to a show about eight years ago in Boston and was really embarrassingly drunk, falling over stuff. It was quite a scene. There was a lot of press there and she was heckling me and called me a Jew. "Say something else, Jew!"--stuff like that. And I had not even said one thing about being Jewish.

CP: Who was your most clever heckler?

Cross: I guess that would have to be Stephen Hawking. He would follow me around and just give me shit with his electronic box. It was the same sort of stuff that Queen Beatrix said, like, "What else, Jew?" I mean, he was a clever man, but his heckling was not clever.

CP: What is the worst thing about kids?

Cross: I know that it was supposed to be this real groundbreaking movie and it's about truth and honesty, but I was just kind of bored and I thought it was sensationalistic. I'm not a huge Larry Clark fan.

CP: How do you feel about dogs and cats?

Cross: Again, I thought the movie was overrated. I thought it was purported to be this real groundbreaking, honest thing and I just found it sensationalistic. I'm sorry. That's just how I feel.

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