Comedian Gary Gulman hits the road, Netflix and New Hampshire

Union Leader Correspondent
December 27. 2017 3:02PM
Gary Gilman, a Boston native, likes to say he tried out a football scholarship at Boston College and work as an accountant, barista, doorman, waiter and high school teacher before making a career in comedy. He was a finalist on NBC's “Last Comic Standing.” 

Comedian Gary Gulman is no stranger to New England, despite being on the move for some time now.

Case in point, when he marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” it sold out theaters throughout the country.

But he’ll be in familiar territory Friday night when he takes the stage at the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been years since I’ve performed in New Hampshire,” said Gulman in a recent telephone interview with NH Weekend.

A native of Peabody, Mass., Gulman remembers as a kid discovering the joy he found in making people laugh. He brokered a deal with his mother in which she’d let him get out of bed to watch veteran and up-and-coming comedians on the late-night talk show circuit on TV.

Gulman advanced from making witty comments to his high school classmates to writing down jokes when he got to college. People told him he should do stand-up.

A scholarship football player at Boston College, Gulman was a tight-end, but said after he failed to make many catches he found himself on the offensive line.

“I was inept,” Gulman joked of his work on the grid iron.

He did earn a degree in accounting, though.

“I had a practical side,” said Gulman of his backup career path.

While perfecting his craft, Gulman worked as a barista, a doorman, a waiter, and a teacher at his former high school. All of the jobs provided him with plenty of fodder for his act.

“When you get a positive reaction from the audience there is no better feeling. It’s like making a long-range jump shot in basketball or a reception in football,” Gulman said.

His latest comedy special, “It’s About Time,” is streaming on Netflix. Overall, he’s made three TV specials and three comedy albums.

Gulman remembers being approached by comedian David Brenner, his comedic idol. Gulman was at the Ice House, a Pasadena, Calif., comedy club, polishing up a set for his first “Tonight Show” appearance on TV.

“He was very complimentary,” said Gulman, who grew up revering Brenner as the king of observational comedy.

After late-night talk show host David Letterman (his stint as host of “The Tonight Show” followed Johnny Carson and preceded Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon) suffered a heart attack, Brennan was among the guest hosts tapped to fill in.

Brennan called Gulman to come on the show with him.

“(Brennan) met my parents and gave me a bottle of Dom Perignon,” Gulman recalled. “It was amazing, surreal, a dream come true.”


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