Tom Wilson

Though he doesn't mind being recognized as Biff from Back to the Future, actor-comedian Tom Wilson is also occasionally associated with another role: that of Coach Fredricks from the canceled—but not forgotten—cult classic Freaks and Geeks. "It never ceases to amaze me that a show that filmed 18 episodes, was canceled, and now only lives on DVD can generate so much pop-culture recognition," he says. "If you want to cut 10 percent into that Back to the Future deal I'm happy with that—just to have a few people yelling 'Coach Fredricks!' at Denver Airport when I'm changing planes rather than 'Hey, butthead!'" Known to bust out a guitar during his set, Wilson is always adding new material to his act. But the balance between songs and storytelling remains consistent. "I would say it's about 20 percent music," he estimates, "and it's the same themes. Since it's an autobiographical act, I can't go way out on tangents like I did many years ago. It's sort of like I've built a big house. I make additions and I remodel the kitchen, but it's the same basic house." Sometimes Wilson has a hard time deciding whether an idea will work better as a song or simply a funny story. "That happens a lot. It's really challenging to make a song work in a standup comedy environment because the bar is really high. It has to be laugh-out-loud funny, not just, 'Oh, what a clever song.'" 18+; 21+ later shows.
Feb. 17-20, 8 p.m.; Feb. 18-19, 10:30 p.m., 2011

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