As Paul McCartney composed “When I’m 64,” the iconic Beatle probably didn’t think about reaching the edge of senior citizenship, but he eventually hit that milestone. Sometimes singer/songwriters eventually live what they write.
That’s kind of the way it is for Rodney Carrington, who will perform Friday (1/3) at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Cedar Rapids. Nearly 20 years ago, the comedian, actor and country singer/songwriter wrote and recorded “My Grandpa,” which is a funny look at grandparenthood.
“My grandpa got his teeth knocked out in 1932/ a stray foul ball Joe DiMaggio hit, the count was 0 and 2/ I’ll never forget the sound he made when the ball hit him in the lips/He tried to cuss, he tried to swear, but all that came out was this/ uhhhuhuhhuhh.”
Carrington, 51, didn’t lose any teeth courtesy of a foul ball, but he recently became a grandfather.
“It is an amazing feeling, and it’s all about family,” Carrington said by phone Monday from a tour stop in San Antonio.
Carrington is thrilled, and was tied up throughout much of Christmas week due to the new addition. Even though Carrington is a granddad, he hasn’t changed a bit. The star of the sitcom “Rodney” and the film “Beer for My Horses” remains bawdy, unpredictable and amusing.
“I’m not going to change, even though my life has changed,” he said. “Things happen in life. You just have to keep moving on if life hands you a bad hand.”
Carrington, a clever wise guy but also a devout family man, suffered through a divorce in 2012.
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“If you’re all about your wife and kids, a divorce rocks you, but you come back from it,” he said. “The great thing for me is that I have the perfect job to deal with things if it starts going bad.”
It’s common for humorists to be inspired by dark days. Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. are examples of standup comedians who have taken their pain and turned angst into comedic gold.
“That’s what you do,” Carrington said. “You turn the ugliness into something funny. Laughter makes you feel better. There’s no debating that. You heal by laughing. That’s why people see comedy. It’s live, it takes you to another place and it gives you a chance to laugh. Nobody goes to a comedy club looking to cry. You want to laugh. I know I love to laugh.”
Carrington chuckled while dealing with romance at midlife.
“Dating is different in 2020 for sure,” he said. “As we all go through life, new situations pop up that we all have to adjust and deal with.”
Even though in 2016 Carrington wrote and recorded “Vote for Trump” — which he never performs live — his mission is to unite, not divide.
“I tell stores that people can relate to and we all share some common bond with laughter,” he said. “Laughter’s good. We all need not to take things so serious and have some fun.”
When Carrington pops up in the Paramount, expect an inside look at the humorist’s experiences.
“I always talk about life and stories about my life,” he said. “The Cedar Rapids show will be no different.”
Expect to hear some old favorites and some fresh material, as well.
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“I just recorded six new comedy songs in Nashville this summer,” he revealed. “Always a great time when I head into the studio and record the songs.”
If he has a chance for another sitcom vehicle or film, Carrington will consider it.
“I never rule out any acting or performance,” he said. “Right now we are preparing for another comedy special to be coming out soon.”
In the meantime, Carrington is focusing on his live shows and claims to be particularly looking forward to hitting the Paramount stage.
“Iowa fans have always been great to me,” he said. “I have great memories of our shows in Iowa — and more specifically, Cedar Rapids.”
• What: Rodney Carrington Live
• Where: Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
• When: 7 p.m. Friday (1/3)
• Tickets: $44.75 to $194.75 VIP, Paramount Ticket Office, (319) 366-8203 or Paramounttheatrecr.com
• Artist’s website: Rodneycarrington.com