By Cornelius A. Fortune
NOVI – Alan Alda once said in a Woody Allen film that comedy is tragedy plus time.
In a bizarre way, he had it right. It often takes the passage of time for a thing to be funny – especially if it was painful to begin with.
Jason Stuart’s love affair with a guy from Michigan didn’t go well, but he can joke about it now.
“I love Detroit men,” he admitted. “I always meet nice guys in Detroit – Detroit and New York – those are the guys that I dig, and then they break my heart. I fell in love. I had a terrible crush on him and he was terrible to me.”
Stuart is a comedian and actor that you’ve seen before (though you probably didn’t notice him), and like the best character actors, he’s essentially played the same role over and over again, not because his range is limited, but those are the jobs he’s been given.
“In ‘Gone Postal,’ I was an assistant office manager; in ‘Easier, Softer Way’ (with Mekhi Phifer) I’m the events manager of a rehab center; in ‘Coffee Date’ (with Wilson Cruz and Sally Kirkland) I’m the manager of a computer office; in ‘Monkey Men’ I’m the manager of a vitamin store, on ‘The Drew Carey Show’ I was the manager of the client’s department; on ‘Charmed’ I was the manager of Quake – I’m always the manager,” he said, amused. “I was once a stage manager in a dream sequence.”
Comedy used to be something he used as a defense mechanism.
“As I kid I used comedy as a way of protecting myself. And now I’ve made an art form out of it and I do it for a living,” he said, “but I’m not that funny in real life anymore…no need. I’m comfortable with who I am. Sometimes I’m funny with my friends, sometimes I’m funny with people, but it’s not something I work on or think about. Other than at work of course.”
Another thing that sets him apart as a comedian is that he’s always been an actor – there wasn’t a transition to face. In fact, he felt right at home acting.
“A lot of comedians like Roseanne and Chris Rock, Tim Allen, and Drew Carey all started as comedians and then they became actors, I am the other way around,” he said. “I’ve always studied acting and I was an actor before I was a comedian. I always pursued both careers.”
His career has been about hard work and dedication, and most of all, persistence.
“I think you have to want it really bad. I think you have to do the work and find out if you actually like the work. Don’t try to make a lot of money at first, and if you really like the work, and you work hard, the money will come.”
Stuart’s “Looking for Mr. Right Tour” will be appearing at Wise Guys comedy club in Novi, Nov. 17-19.
“This is my first time at Wise Guys and I’m really excited about working there,” said Stuart. “In my life, I’ve had a lot of the worst boyfriends that ever lived, and as I get older, what I want somebody – I have a great life, I have a nice career. I get to act, I get to travel. I get to meet interesting people. I have great friends. I’m able to make a living at my chosen field, and I want to add a man to it. How to find him, I don’t know. So that’s part of the things I’m talking about (in the act). Also I want to get married. The new slogan is ‘Come on straight people, if you let us marry each other, we’ll stop marrying you.'”
Any last words for those single guys out there?
“I look forward to meeting Mr. Right,” he said. “And if he’s in Detroit, he has to relocate to Los Angeles in my swanky two-bedroom apartment. If you’re smart and sexy, and you’re a good man and you’re willing to relocate…call me. And if you just want to have a good time come and see the show.”