As a service to the fans giving me inexplicable daily traffic from searching on “Hal Sparks” (voices on Tak & The Power of Juju, Robot Chicken) here’s another monthly round-up of all things Hal Sparksy:
[And just a note of caution that some links and videos do contain adultish content.]
– Hal interviewed August 19th by Pittsburgh’s The Tribune-Review discussing music, acting, and stand-up comedy. Here’s an excerpt:
“We didn’t have a TV until I moved to Chicago. I used to listen to my dad’s old comedy records collection: George Burns, Jonathan Winters, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce,” Sparks says. “I would listen to them constantly and memorize them and repeat them to the family. I didn’t realize you could make a living at it. I figured they recorded these people like bird songs, being a kid on a farm.”
His breakout performance came when he was about 8. At Thanksgiving dinner, he performed Steve Martin’s album “A Wild and Crazy Guy” from memory.
“My grandmother was very upset,” he says. “My aunt and my mom were falling all over the place. That really taught me about the value of laughter.”
– While Hal’s official site is under construction, The Stephanie Miller Show (where Hal is a regular guest) is hosting Hal’s stand-up tour schedule with upcoming dates (through November 2009) in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and Lake Tahoe.
– Quotable Hal (via Twitter August 17th): “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration – if this was true then sweaty people would rule the world. Sweaty people with good ideas.”
– Hal says via Twitter August 8th that he hopes to have his new stand-up CD available for his September 10-13 show in San Francisco.
– Hal co-produced and co-starred in the indie horror-thriller The House That Jack Built, which according to an August 6th post on the movie’s official MySpace site “moves into your theaters and homes in the next few months.” The film also stars Kris Black, Gail O’Grady and Joe Montegna. Here’s the official trailer:
– Quotable Hal (via Twitter August 6th): “Not a good sign when you’re eating out and Gordon Ramsey runs out of the kitchen, pukes in the fireplace and starts swearing at the staff.”
– Hal talks with The Baltimore Sun (August 4th) about how he knew he wanted to be a stand-up comic when he was a teenager:
“I didn’t know that ‘comedian’ was a job that you could do,” Sparks says over the phone from his Los Angeles home. “When I grew up, listening to a comedy album was like listening to an album of bird songs – somebody just captured it. Nobody makes a living doing it, that idea was absurd.
“But then I moved to Chicago, and Chicago, they treat comedy and acting and the arts like a blue-collar profession, like a vocation. You study, you go to Second City, or you go to Improv Olympics, or you go to the Piven Theatre Company or Steppenwolf, and you work on your art and you get better. That changed everything; that was the end of the discussion. At 15, I was like, ‘I’m going to be a comedian and an actor.'”
In 1987, two years after he made that decision, Hal was named “The Funniest Teenager in Chicago.”
– Maximo TV interviews Hal at the August 3rd L.A. premiere of the feature film “Spread”:
– “It’s Just Radical” blogger shares a personal experience story (July 19th) about meeting Hal — of all places, on Seattle’s Space Needle.
– After a stand-up set in Bellevue, WA (July 18th), Hal embarrasses a woman on-stage during her bachelorette party:
– Hal profiled on The BJ Shea Morning Experience.
– Hal interviewed again by Blog Talk Radio’s ScrappleSandwich.com (July 14th).
– Video from a June 17th live radio interview with Hal by the KASE Morning Crew (Austin, TX):
And just for the sheer heck of it, here’s a couple bonus videos:
– Hal interviewed by “The Big Breakfast Show” in Edmonton, Canada:
– RooftopComedy.com featuring Hal Sparks: “I love the theremin”: