The comedian — the first to ever sell out Madison Square Garden, despite being banned from MTV for life for his material — told Fox News that the “Mr. and Mrs. America” tour was inspired by the national obsession with political discourse and, occasionally, the alleged policing of comedians’ language.
Clay, 61, and Barr, 66, have known one another for nearly three decades, and the Brooklyn native doesn’t believe the “Roseanne” star truly has a mean bone in her body.
“She’s a comic because she’s wacky. I’ve known her since we were kids,” Clay told Fox News. “When people ask about what she said, I say, ‘She’s a comic!’ We gotta stop policing comedians. This is America!”
Clay performed with Barr in March at The Laugh Factory in Las Vegas.
Barr received a standing ovation from most of the audience in what was her first live performance since ABC canceled the “Roseanne” reboot last May. The firing was famously in response to a tweet Barr posted about President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, comparing her to “Planet of the Apes.” Barr apologized at the time (and initially blamed her remarks on sleeping drug Ambien), but the damage was done. ABC launched a spinoff, “The Conners,” which killed off Barr’s character.
“I was given a little flak about this, a little bulls–t, when I pulled her onstage at the Laugh Factory in Vegas, but we’ve been friends for 30 years,” Clay said.
“America really needs to lighten up and not worry about the words comedians use because it’s all we have. There’s clean stuff and there’s street stuff. I’m a street guy because I tell it like it is,” Clay said. “I’m living it more now than I have for a really long time. My shows have been longer, my material is fresher. With these shows, I can do as long as I want because it’s one show a night.”
As far as Barr’s reputation, he says, “She’s an original I’m an original and people should just stop reading Twitter. Calm down with your political conversations. Whoever is running the country, nobody else’s life changes. We still gotta go out there and make a living. Enjoy your family, enjoy your friends, bang your chicks and make your money.”
The tour is slated to kick off at the Paramount Theater in Long Island, N.Y., on Sept. 19, followed by the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 20. Eleanor Kerrigan, Clay’s frequent opener, will be a special guest on the shows. Tickets for the Long Island and Atlantic City dates go on sale Friday.
More dates will be announced.
“We’re both excited because we both don’t give a s–t what anybody thinks about anything,” Clay said, cracking, “I decided not to run for president because it would be embarrassing for everybody else losing. It would be too easy.”
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