Denis Leary held court recently with reporters to talk up his upcoming Rescue Me Comedy Tour 2, the sequel, with his TV co-stars and longtime friends in Boston comedy — Adam Ferrara and Lenny Clarke — and his band, The Enablers. It kicks off May 22 at The Borgata in Atlantic City and continues through the end of June, wrapping up with two nights at Town Hall in New York City. In between, they'll hit D.C., San Diego, L.A., Vegas, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago and Cleveland.
Leary, Ferrara and Clarke also just uploaded a "podcast" to promote the tour, essentially an informal NSFW chat that turns into talk about kinky sex. And it's a three-camera shoot! Roll the clip:
Now, as for the tour itself, here's what Leary had to say last week: "Parts of it we do by bus because it‚Äôs really a lot of fun, and it‚Äôs much easier to travel, obviously, than having to go to the airport all the time. But, I think most people would be surprised. I‚Äôve known Lenny for 30-something years and Adam for at least twelve now. So, it‚Äôs very funny and it‚Äôs non-stop, constant bickering because all we do is insult each other and make fun of each other. Now, Whitney Cummings, who‚Äôs a young female comedian, who did our benefit in Boston, the Comics Come Home Benefit that we do every year for the Neely Cancer Foundation up there, I‚Äôm desperately trying to get her to do a few dates on this tour, because I think she‚Äôs a fantastic comedian. I‚Äôm hoping that the presence of a woman will calm everybody down. So, we‚Äôll see if she brings any better manners out of it, but it‚Äôs ugly. It‚Äôs really ugly."
Leary also talked quite a bit about how Twitter is his new outlet for joke-writing, as well as his primary source for developing new material.
"I should be honest, it‚Äôs more competitive. I started to see comedians that I know, my wife as well, doing it. I thought, 'I think of funny stuff every day.' Steven Colbert‚Äôs not the only guy. Then I saw (my cousin) Conan go on, and I have to admit when I see Conan doing stuff, I‚Äôm always like, ‚Äúyou know, I can do that‚Äù. I thought his stuff was really funny. I‚Äôm thinking of this stuff anyways, because I‚Äôm not in the clubs, I don‚Äôt work in the clubs, obviously. I‚Äôm busy doing Rescue Me. On the last tour and whenever I do stand-up, which is usually every year I do three or four private charity events; I pride myself on not repeating any material that I‚Äôve ever done before, except for the Asshole song.
"You know, when I go out on stage, I usually have bullet points, and I run off at the mouth from these bullet points that I‚Äôve written down, and I kind of improvise my way through it. Then, after a few weeks, it starts to form itself into a typical set. So, the Twitter, I think, is probably a glimpse into what‚Äôs on my mind. So, that‚Äôs good, it helps me focus on a daily basis on an idea that I might only sketch out. The Twitter might actually be my note page: The Vatican, Ben Rapelessberger ‚Äì as I‚Äôm calling him ‚Äì you know those things are probably things that are going to show up in the show when we get started."
Will Leary also check Twitter to see how fans react to his shows on tour? "Oh, yeah, you bet your ass. I‚Äôm not going to Twitter and not pay attention to what they say. Hopefully, they‚Äôll like it. If they don‚Äôt, I‚Äôm going to turn into Courtney Love and start attacking them personally on my Twitter page. How‚Äôs that for interactive?
"Last time we did it, it was very much like a rock tour would be. We play a city and then sometimes we leave that night to go to the next city. So, you do this great show in front of 7,000 people and you leave. Even if the show went great, you‚Äôre kind of like, ‚ÄúWow, we never even really got to see the papers the next day‚Äù or whatever, the response. I think that‚Äôs one good thing about‚Ä¶what do they call it? That kind of media, whatever they call it, that we‚Äôll be able to find out right away."
Leary said other Boston stand-up friends such as Kenny Rogerson and Tony V will join the tour for a few of the dates. "You never know. I mean, we sometimes get special guest stars if we‚Äôre in certain places at certain times, like in New York or Los Angeles," he said. "You might have a friend who calls up and says, 'I want to come by and do something.' So, I‚Äôm keeping that option open, too."
As far as the tour goes, how much of this is fulfilling his lifelong pledge for full-employment for his Boston friends? "Well, I don‚Äôt think that Lenny Clarke has to worry about it. It‚Äôs almost like it‚Äôs a court order, but I told him where ever I go for the rest of my show business life, you go. I say that for two reasons. One, because I really love hanging around with the guy. Number two, I think he‚Äôs a great actor. So, I don‚Äôt have any problem with him. I just said the same thing to Adam Ferrara a little while ago, when he was saying, ‚ÄúWhat am I going to do after Rescue Me‚Äù? So, I really believe in those guys as actors. But, I‚Äôve got to say, man, we did that tour last year. Not only was it a blast for the audience, because they loved it, but for us to be able to travel the country, four guys who really get along, and you do your set and then you sit backstage and watch the other guys do their sets, helping each other with material, it‚Äôs just a blast. To get paid for doing it and to make money for my foundation at the same time, it‚Äôs just kind of ridiculous. None of us are complaining about it right now."