The toast of the town

October 16, 2013
Eugene Mirman voices Gene on Fox's "Bob's Burgers." (Right On PR)
Eugene Mirman voices Gene on Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers.” (Right On PR)

Eugene Mirman used to wonder how bands named their tours. Then he started booking his own comedy tours and realized it wasn’t exactly science. “I know now that it is a series of suggestions of which one is chosen as a favorite,” says the Brooklyn-based stand-up. So, if you’re curious as to why his run of dates with friends Kristen Schaal (“Flight of the Conchords”) and John Hodgman (resident deranged millionaire of “The Daily Show”) is called the MirmanHodgmanSchaal Sandwich-To-Go Tour, there you go. “Someone was like, ‘We can put them all in a sandwich.’ And who doesn’t want to go see a sandwich like that?”

The tour, which stops at the Lisner Auditorium tonight, comes just a few weeks after Mirman finished his annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival in Brooklyn, a month after he wrapped up a comedy cruise and in the midst of the fourth season of Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers,” in which both Mirman and Schaal voice characters.

How was the Atlantic Ocean Comedy and Music Festival cruise?
I’d never been on a cruise. I’ve been on boats, but I’ve never been on a boat where dinner is always at 6:30 p.m. and there’s a cup you have to buy to access club soda. It was weird but fine. I think that’s literally the boat’s tagline: “Weird but Fine.”

So, comedy at sea: Yay or nay?
The shows were really fun. If someone was like, “What’s your ideal venue?,” I don’t know that I’d say, “Well, first you go out to sea …”

How are the MirmanHodgmanSchaal Sandwich-To-Go Tour shows going to work?
My guess is we’ll all do stand-up; I think some people weren’t totally sure. We might try to do something together. I think that ends up developing naturally, the way two bands will go on tour and for the encore they’ll do a cover [together]. It’s not like a month out, they say, “What do you like? ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door,’ or would you be more comfortable doing ‘Everybody Hurts?’ ”

What would be on a MirmanHodgmanSchaal Sandwich-To-Go?
It would probably be some type of banh mi with three types of meat. It’d be like shrimp and pate and maybe spicy grilled chicken.

Who is which meat?
I can’t have Kristen reading this interview and be like, “I would obviously be the spicy grilled chicken.” And Hodgman saying, “I’m obviously the shrimp.” So I don’t know who would be who.

You can’t be fighting before the tour even starts.
Exactly, based on my sandwich allocation of ingredients.

“Bob’s Burgers” seems to have found its audience. Why do you think it appeals to both teenagers and adults?
It’s so character-driven, and it’s also a very, very warm show in the sense that it’s funny and the family picks on each other. But you really do get the genuine feeling that they all really like each other — they’re accepting but teasing.

I heard you’re trying to get a travel show made. What’s your concept?
I hide inside a giant wolf traveling around, going to restaurants, scaring chefs and then devouring food in a monstrous way! I wonder if I can make a demo for that show.

The [real] premise is very simple: It’s comedians traveling around, experiencing an area or city for a week and then doing the [comedy] show they intend to do.

Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW; tonight, 8 p.m., $30; 202-994-6800. (Foggy Bottom)

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Marissa Payne · October 16, 2013