After his first time doing comedy, Rochester native Steve Burr turned a third-place finish in a comedy contest into a 20-plus year career touring the country and beyond. He returns to Western New York Saturday night for two shows at Rob’s Comedy Playhouse in Williamsville.
Burr is one of the co-hosts of “The Threesome Show” with fellow comics Todd Youngman and Marianne Sierk, who Burr used to date. Burr and Sierk lived together for several years in Los Angeles before their breakup. They eventually found their way back to upstate New York, as Burr was performing and helping out at The Comedy Club in Webster and Sierk got a radio show gig in Rochester.
“We didn’t do well as a couple, but we still had this great chemistry,” Burr said. “We could make each other laugh, so we created this podcast to take advantage of it. We threw Todd in because we needed somebody to be our ‘in-between,’ and it just works. We have a ton of fun with it; it’s like we were never even a couple, although you will hear references to us dating while listening to the show.”
Burr uses storytelling and observations in his comedy to create good, clean fun for audiences. Over the past year, there’s been debate as to whether “political correctness” has hampered comedians, with stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock refusing to play colleges because they feel those audiences are too sensitive. Burr notes that college gigs come with a list of restrictions that can have an impact on his performance.
“There’s always that comedic question, ‘is it too soon?,’ Burr said. “When people start putting restrictions on your topic matter, it really does handcuff you. It takes away from the show. I wouldn’t get up there and say something offensive anyway, but once you plant the seed in somebody’s head (where) you can’t misstep, then you’re taking away from what comedy is. It’s a very free form way of expression.”
Burr is ready to follow-up his first comedy album, “You’re Not Recording This, Are You?,” with an untitled release due in the early part of 2016. He admits that traveling the road doing comedy is getting old for him, so he’s hoping “The Threesome Show,” which is available on iTunes, will boost his name recognition so he can take the next step in his career.
“The podcast is my focus right now,” Burr said. “I would really like to develop that into something that can pay some bills and springboard off of that for my career. If I could get (more) known from the podcast, that would make me worth more at the clubs. Right now, I’m the guy that’s at the club the night you happen to go (see comedy). I want to be the guy that’s at the club that makes you go that night.”
Who: Steve Burr
Where: Rob’s Comedy Playhouse, 1340 North Forest, Williamsville
When: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 12.
Tickets: $10, reservations available at 688-1867, Ext. 1