Hollywood’s funny man, Harland Williams, to rib-tickle Kirkland again

Harland Williams is coming to Laughs Comedy Spot Nov. 19-21 to woo crowds. But according to the funny man, that is not all he will be doing in Kirkland.

“I think there is an Olive Garden there, so I get to do some bus boy stuff during the day when I have some time off,” Williams told the Reporter from a hotel room in Montreal Wednesday afternoon. “I was (in Kirkland) last year for the first time and I said ‘bring me back.’ The town itself is like a small community and the people came out to see the shows. I really loved it. People appreciate good comedy up there.”

Williams grew up in Toronto where he said he wasn’t a class clown.

“I was kind of like the class sniper,” said Williams. “I would kind of sit in the back and not say much. And then wait for the class clown to play his best card, chime in and try and out do him.”

Williams has made a career out of comedic challenges and his standup act is a perfect example of that.

“I like to talk about everything,” said Williams. “I will even go after Koalas. I’ll go after blueberry elves. I will go after anything – nobody is off limits.”

But Williams describes his act as goofy and tries to stay away from politics and social issues.

“One of the fun elements about coming to see me is that it is not just straight standup material,” said Williams, who also has a new standup DVD titled “Child Wild,” which includes an hour of standup and a half hour of sketch comedy. “People always seem to come back cause I really like to involve the crowd. It kind of puts me out on a wire. People know I can either suck or do some really fun things.”

He started doing standup comedy in 1982 after five years as a forest ranger.

“I will pick on Barack Obama in one bit and then I’ll be talking about the ‘Children of the Corn’ in the next. There is comedy everywhere,” said the 46-year-old, or as he put it: “18 in dog years.”

Williams moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and got his big break in Hollywood with 1994’s “Dumb and Dumber,” acting opposite Jim Carry and Jeff Daniels.

“I just wanted to get into the movies and into the acting you know,” said Williams. “I just wanted to be on a bigger stage where I can really, you know, have an opportunity to do other things, get into voice work and all that stuff.”

Williams acting credits include parts in movies such as “The Whole Nine Yards,” “There’s something about Mary,” “Down Periscope,” and “Half Baked.”

“People love me in a dress – it is no secret,” said Williams of his role as a college student in drag in the 2002 movie, “Sorority Boys.”

“I was really fortunate that I was able to open the door, walk through and have some success. I couldn’t ask for anything else, really.”

He also starred in the 1997 movie “Rocket man.”

During his most recent movie, “My Life in Ruins,” he acted along side Richard Dreyfuss and Nia Vardalos.

“It’s a fun romantic comedy that we shot in Spain and Greece,” said Williams. “It’s a cute movie and it came out well.”

Williams adventures to other countries have not always gone as well.

“I went to Africa about a year-and-a-half ago and got charged by a 500 pound silverback gorilla,” said Williams. “I was the only person there wearing a red baseball cap. Smart move there Har. It was like wrapping yourself in bacon in front of a pride of lions – it’s just not smart.”

When he is not running from gorillas or bussing tables, Williams also does a lot of voice-overs for such animated films as “Robots,” “Meet the Robinsons” and “Madagascar 2.”

The star has also been featured on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien Show” and “Comedy Central.”

Laughs Comedy Spot is located at 12099 124th Ave N.E., Kirkland. General admission is $27. Call 425-823-6306 or visit www.laughscomedy.com for event information.

Editor Carrie Wood contributed to this report.