Academy Award-winning comedian Steven Wright to appear at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Steven WrightAcademy Award-winning comedian Steven Wright brings his reality-twisting musings and trademark straight-faced delivery to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Friday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m.

Since the early 1980s, Wright has developed a loyal following of fans who delight in off-hand comments and puns he delivers live, on recordings and on film and television.

"It is a signifying element of Mr. Wright's stage persona that his remarks seem to arise unbidden, conjured up in an unpredictable sequence that makes it seem as if he is constantly being startled by preposterous revelations," wrote Bruce Weber in the New York Times. "If his unshakeable deadpan delivery makes him sound depressively stunned, it's no wonder. After all, with a mind like his, how will he ever fit in with the rest of us?"

One need only view the biography he shares with fans on his website to tap into Wright's otherworldliness.

"I was born," it reads. "When I was 23 I started telling jokes. Then I started going on television and doing films. That's still what I am doing. The end."

In fact, Wright was raised in Burlington, Mass., and is a graduate of Emerson College. He held a bevy of odd jobs before he attended an open mic audition and became a regular performer at Ding Ho's Comedy Club and Chinese Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass.

It wasn't long before Wright got his big break and was booked for his first "Tonight Show" appearance in 1982. Johnny Carson, who hosted the show at the time, enjoyed the performance so much he invited Wright to appear again within the same week, a "Tonight Show" rarity. The back-to-back performances jolted his fledgling career and he was soon performing on "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Night with David Letterman," in between numerous trips back to "The Tonight Show."

Wright has a gift for combining the perfectly reasonable with the absurd. One of his most famous bits centers on his beloved pony and how hard it is for it to not slip on the linoleum - in his apartment. Another story is about the house he bought for a song - because the driveway empties directly onto an interstate.

Wright expanded his career to include comedy albums, film and other television appearances. His 1986 album, "I Have a Pony," won him a Grammy nomination and in 1989, he won an Academy Award for Best Short Film for "The Appointments of Dennis Jennings," which he co-wrote and starred in with "Roseanne" star Laurie Metcalf and Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson. Wright's two HBO specials - "On Location: Steven Wright" and "Wicker Chairs and Gravity" - were hits with audiences and critics alike.

Wright's film career has run the gamut from "Desperately Seeking Susan" and Mike Meyers' "So I Married and Ax Murderer" to Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" and Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs," in which he played the voice of the DJ, K-Billy. Wright's voice work also includes two popular children's films, "The Swan Princess" and "Babe 2: Pig in the City."

This year, he was busy shooting a small role in "The Son of Mask," the sequel to the Jim Carrey hit "The Mask" and he continues to tour extensively in the United States, Canada and overseas.

Tickets are $38, $33 and $27. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 27, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 64