Cross on comedy

David Cross doesn’t need another diversion.

The creative brain of HBO’s ingenious sketch comedy program “Mr. Show” and the cut-off-wearing “never nude” Tobias Fünke of the prematurely canceled series “Arrested Development” won’t be condensing his witty repartee into 140 words (or fewer) via Twitter anytime soon.

“I’ve already got so many silly diversions that waste my time; I don’t need another one,” he says by phone while walking his dog Ollie Red Sox in New York. “I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read my unfiltered, unedited opinions or about the hamburger I just ate.”

The bespectacled funnyman’s preferred outlet is through the microphone. But he’s recently taken on a new means of disseminating his signature sardonic jest — through print.

It’s been five years since Cross has done a proper stand-up tour, but Saturday he comes to the stage at the Warfield to promote his new book, “I Drink for a Reason,” published by Grand Central.

The San Francisco show kicks off Cross’ month-and-a-half book tour.

The literary debut combines personal essay, political lampooning, media skewering and religious ramblings — not unlike the comic’s live show. But, he says, there’s a difference between dishing out jokes in the flesh and putting pen to paper.

“With the written word, I can write it, rewrite it, edit it and rewrite it again. I have the luxury of parentheticals, punctuation … whereas when I’m performing it’s much more off-the-cuff, in the moment, but I have the ability to use intonation and inflection and accents,” he says.

One big difference is a chapter in the book called “Ask a Rabbi” where a rabbi answers questions sent by readers about Jews and Jewish customs.

“That’s about as different a way I can present material that I do on stage, but in my voice,” he says. “It’s a good example of similar
material, even some exact lines, but done completely different.”

Asking $35 a head to attend a show in an attempt to get people to drop another $23.99 for a book is something Cross has considered. He doesn’t intend to rehash material verbatim, but he admits the outine will certainly tread familiar terrain.

“I don’t want to say it’s more of the same, but I’ll definitely be talking about Whole Foods, racist psychics, the health care debate, pedophiles and the Bible,” he says.

 

IF YOU GO

David Cross

Where: The Warfield, 982 Market St., San Francisco

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $34.50 to $47.50

 Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
 

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