Life Can Be a Funny Thing

Comic Todd Glass gets serious, but don’t worry — it’s temporary

Two months ago, Todd Glass’ life changed. A stand-up comic since he was in high school, Glass, 47, has a résumé any comedian would envy. He tours regularly as a headliner, has two albums under his belt, is a “Last Comic Standing” alum and hosts his own podcast.

But there was one thing Glass hadn’t done, and it had nothing to do with comedy. This was about his life, about something that his family and close friends knew but the world didn’t: Glass is gay, and he was finally ready to come out with it.

Glass turned to his friend Marc Maron, host of the popular “WTF” comedy podcast, and told the world his story in an intense and deeply affecting hour on the air. The broadcast wasn’t always what you’d call funny, but it was exactly what Glass needed after a lifetime of guarding his personal life — years of making jokes about “girlfriends” — in a business that makes so much public.

“I always knew inside I was healthy,” Glass says. “From a young age — I remember saying this at 22 — it wasn’t making me feel like a bad person. I just knew that I was a 100 percent fine person in a world that was having trouble with this, so I chose to hide it.”

Two months later, after being met with lots of support by fans, Glass says it feels like a weight has been lifted. He’s turned his full attention back to funnier matters, onstage (he opened for Jim Gaffigan when he taped a soon-to-air special at the Warner Theatre last month) and on his own, with his weekly podcast, “The Todd Glass Show.”

Glass has such a wide appeal because he has the ability to riff on pretty much anything: infomercials, department stores, bad hygiene. But one of his greatest talents is his knack for deconstructing his own work. On his podcast, Glass will often begin a bit by explaining what the bit is going to be. Then, midstream, he’ll break character, tell listeners what’s going wrong, then abandon it all only to analyze its failures. It may sound a bit meta on paper, but in your earbuds, it’s hilariously brilliant.

“My theory is that you can’t go off the beaten path unless you have a beaten path,” Glass says. “So, while we do have an agenda, we just let it go wherever it goes. If we go out there and we get silly, sometimes it’s going to get so silly you’re going to fall off your treadmill.”

DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu.-Sun., see Dcimprov.com for showtimes, $15-$17; 202-296-7008. (Farragut North)
Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.

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Rudi Greenberg · March 7, 2012