I’ve interviewed Steven Wright for a couple of different publications over the years and always enjoyed the strange and wonderful twists in the conversation. He’s one of the reasons this podcast and site exist as the Department of Tangents – some of the most fun I’ve had is getting off topic with him. I sat down with him in a conference room at one of Emerson College‘s offices in Boston, and we talked about comedy, music, poetry, and anything else that came to mind. Wright got a lot of the best laugh lines on Louis CK‘s independently filmed show Horace and Pete, and he’s had a brilliant career in stand-up. And yet, it took a very long time for Wright to be okay standing in front of people telling jokes. That’s part of where his deadpan delivery comes from. He would also like you to know that the universe is underrated.
Stick around after the interview to hear “Alabama At Night” by Robbie Fulks, who will be on the podcast June 15, talking about his new album, Upland Stories, the inspiration he drew from journalist James Agee, and classic Universal horror films.