Life and death are some of the subjects bandied about at Rob Little’s shows. The veteran comic, who will return Friday and Saturday to Penguins Comedy Club in Cedar Rapids, will crack wise about marriage and cremation.
“Those are two big topics for people these days,” Little said by phone from his Michigan home. “I recently went to a funeral. It was a celebration of life. It made me think about cremation. I want to be cremated. With a burial, you have to pick a site and a casket. That’s no fun. You can be creative with your ashes. You can be placed inside a firecracker. Now that sounds like fun. And there is marriage. I’m not married. That’s more or less by design.”
The wacky Little is busy. He recently wrote an animated film that garnered notice from Pixar.
“I keep getting asked for rewrites, so the folks at Pixar are still interested, which is a great thing,” he said. “I’m working on a Netflix special. Much of the material I’ll be going with in Iowa will be part of the special.”
Little will be working out some bits, but he’s often living in the moment onstage doing crowd work.
“I love that and it all goes back to how I started in this business, which was at Second City (in Chicago),” he said. “I learned a lot with Second City. I don’t just say, ‘What’s your name, what do you’ when I perform. I go up there and talk to the crowd and weave it into my material. The cool thing about it for me is that every show is different. It’s always something new with a fresh crowd. I love playing off what they say. It keeps me on my toes and that’s the best thing for a comic’s mind.”
Expect him to drop anecdotes from recent experiences, like his Mexican vacation.
“It was an amazing experience in Mexico but it was funny,’ he said. “We rode horses on the beach. That sounds like a good time. It was for everyone but me. Everybody but me was given a normal-sized horse. I’m a bigger guy and they gave me the equivalent of a Clydesdale. It looked like I was on the Trojan horse. Nobody wants to be noticed like that. At least I don’t have a family. No one had to live with the image of me on that massive horse.”
He has no plans for having kids, even though they would be fodder for material.
“It’s way too late for me and kids, which is fine by me,” he said. “I’m way too selfish and I travel way too much. My comic friends who have kids often use them for material, and that’s a great thing. I just don’t know how I would deal with how the world has changed for kids in this politically-correct era. ... It’s getting a little weird for me.”
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When Little arrives in a city, he looks for local attractions for his entertainment and for material. During a recent trip to Dubuque, he visited the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, and left perplexed.
“The museum is all about fish in the river outside the museum,” Little said. “What I don’t understand is why people pay to go in the museum when you could just walk over to the river and see the same fish in the river without paying a fee for admission. When I get to Cedar Rapids, I’m going to look for something to do. Please don’t suggest for me to go to a place like the fish museum over there (in Dubuque). Don’t joke around with the comedian.”
WHAT: Rob Little
WHERE: Penguins Comedy Club, 208 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday (11/30) and Saturday (12/1)
TICKETS: $13 advance, $15 show day; (319) 362-8133 or Penguinscomedyclub.com