Teen Wolf's Orny Adams on Standup: "If Everybody Gets It, It's Not a Good Bit"

"A lot of comics talk about world issues or the big picture," says comedian Orny Adams. "I focus on the little things that drive us nuts. I want people to say, 'Is he that worked up over ceiling fans?' And the answer is yes."

[jump] Indeed, when Adams is on a rant, he feels it in his bones.

"Bob Dylan used to say, 'I don't sing certain songs because I don't feel connected to them anymore.' I remember thinking when I was younger, 'How can you not be connected to a song? It's just a song.' Now I get it."

For Adams, there has to be a foundation of truth to what he's talking about.

"Absolutely," he concurs. "My heart is pounding, I take myself physically to the edge when I do a show. I'm sweating and I'm worked up. I have to do that, or it wouldn't work for me. I just couldn't get away with talking about the things I talk about if I didn't feel that way. Apparently a lot of people don't and I'm a spectacle, which is fine with me."

Adams has enjoyed success overseas, and travels to other countries now as part of events surrounding MTV's hit series Teen Wolf. "Most of the time when I'm in other countries, I'm doing Teen Wolf conventions, and I'm on stage doing a Q and A, but I'm also dropping things in."

Despite the ubiquity of American media, some foreign audiences don't always get the joke. "When I was in Germany last weekend, I just kept yelling at them. 'You watch our TV, you watch our films. How do you not get what I'm saying? How are you missing the humor?' Eventually, they get the brash, abrasive American personality I that I put forth."

Not that he's what some overseas audiences might call the stereotypical American, but if that's what they enjoy? "I'm proud to be an American. I would never throw America under the bus in another country to go over with the audience. I'm the loudest representation you're going to get: red, white, blue, loud, and in your face. And I have something to say."

That being said, Adams doesn't change his set much when performing in other countries, or other cities in North America, but on occasion he will. "Sometimes when I go back to a market, someone will ask, 'How come you don't do that bit anymore?' Because you're the only person who liked it."

But if even just a few people enjoy a certain bit, he's happy to oblige. "Sometimes a bit isn't meant to speak to a great number of people, it's meant to speak to one person or two people. I love a bit when I know only certain people are getting it. If everybody gets it, it's not a good bit."

As Dennis Miller once said: "Sometimes you have to play to that 10 percent." Adams agrees.

"Yeah, it takes lot of courage as a performer to say, 'I'm going to alienate 90 percent of the audience in order to build that 10 percent,'" he says. "That takes the kind of courage I'm not sure I have. I have the courage to attack ceiling fans."


Orny Adams

18+; 21+ later shows.


7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets, call 952-858-8558 or visit