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Old school: Paul Reiser brings comedy act to Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

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Meldoy Parker September 20, 2022 "Old school: Paul Reiser brings comedy act to Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center"



CEDAR FALLS — Paul Reiser is always on the move.

Standing still is not an option. He’s too driven by his passions for comedy, acting, screenwriting, producing and composing music.

And working is just so damn much fun.

On Saturday, Reiser will be on the Great Hall stage at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Center for a 7 p.m. stand-up comedy performance.

“It’s always the most fun of all things I do. When I started out, my goal was to be a stand-up comic. I always consider myself a comic first. It’s just you and a microphone and people in the audience,” he said.

Voted by Comedy Central as one of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time, Reiser regularly performs sold-out standup at venues nationwide with dates booked into next year.

"Stand-up is old school. It’s about as low tech as you can be. There’s no app that makes you a better comedian faster. I work at a gentleman’s pace – every weekend or every other weekend.”

Reiser describes acting as “a cookie that fell into my lap.”

He currently stars in two hit Netflix shows, “Stranger Things,” as Dr. Sam Owens, a role created specifically for him, and Chuck Lorre’s “The Kominsky Method.” He earned an Emmy nomination and rave reviews as the sweet but ill-fated Martin Schneider in that show’s third and final season.

Reiser also stars in Hulu’s eight-part sitcom series, “Reboot,” and as Stan Lee Parody “The Legend,” an old-school power player in Amazon Prime’s gory and irreverent superhero series, “The Boys.”

“’The Boys’ is a very different kind of show for me, but it’s great fun, and I just do very specifically what I’m given to do,” said Reiser.

He’s currently editing an original comedy feature film, “The Problem with People,” which he wrote, produced and stars in with Colm Meany and Jane Levy. The movie was shot in Ireland.

“I just finished a rough cut and it’s exactly the movie I hoped it would be, a really funny comedy with something important hidden inside. It’s the story of two cousins who’ve never met, who get together to settle a long-standing family feud. These are people with the best of intentions, trying to move the ball forward and end up fighting like the War of the Roses,” Reiser explained.

He’s planning on a spring 2023 release.

Reiser’s 40-year acting career began with as Modell in Barry Levinson’s comedy, “Diner,” followed by films such as “Aliens,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Whiplash,” and “The Thing About My Folks,” which Reiser wrote for his co-star Peter Falk.

Audiences fell in love with Reiser and Helen Hunt in their classic sitcom, “Mad About You.” Reiser co-created the show, which earned numerous awards from 1992 to 1999.

It was revived 20 years later for a Spectrum Originals limited series with the couple as empty-nesters.

“I’m always learning. If you get complacent and start to feel like, ‘hey, I’ve got it,’ your work is going to suffer. Different shows require different sensitivities, and it’s my job to find a way into each character,” the actor explained.

Reiser graduated with a music degree from the State University of New York-Binghamton, and continues to play piano and compose. He co-wrote the theme song for “Mad About You,” and “The Final Frontier” with Don Wash, and in 2010, released an album with Julia Fordham.

“Music is a passion, but mostly for my own enjoyment. When I see a movie with a great music score, that’s something I’d l really like to do. Music makes such an emotional connection with people,” he said.

But Reiser remains faithful to his first love. “Stand-up comedy is life, it’s like breathing. It’s live and interactive, and I’m shifting and changing each night and feeding off the audience. You can never tell where it’s going.”

His act is centered on relationships, family and daily life. “Things that are most personal to people are universal – talking about my kids, the serial arguments I get into with my spouse.”

Live comedy can be a bit like “wrangling kittens,” Reiser said, with a laugh. “Then we turn into one big, cohesive group and everyone goes home happy.

“I like that simplicity.”

For ticket availability, visit the Gallagher Bluedorn box office, call (319) 273-4849, or go to