Stand-up comedians often parlay their success into writing for sitcoms, acting and other more glamorous jobs, but veteran Steven Wright enjoys the stand-up part of his career more than anything.
"My favorite thing that I've ever done my whole career is still when I went on the 'Tonight Show' the first time," says Wright, who is famous for his absurd and philosophical one-liners and his deadpan voice. "That was my one goal I had, and my one fantasy was to go on that show. I was 26, and I had only been doing comedy for three years, so it was a really lucky break."
A few years following his "Tonight Show" debut, Wright, now 58, released the Grammy-nominated comedy album "I Have a Pony" in 1985. From there, he popped up in a variety of films and television shows, mostly playing laid-back characters or as himself.
Most recently, Wright appeared on an episode of the Emmy Award-winning FX show "Louie," for which he's also a consulting producer.
"(Louis C.K.) is a genius. He just completely out of the blue asked me if I wanted to be working on the show," says Wright from his home in Massachusetts. "I was very surprised, there was no lead up. It was a great experience."
Wright says his stand-up show, which he'll bring to the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Saturday, is always changing. He calls it "85 minutes of insanity."
"My show is like a painting," he says. "It's never finished, it just slowly changes and we add new things, take things off," he says. "I'll play some weird songs, tell some stories and tell lots of jokes."
Besides the one-liners and quick quips, Wright's show often includes funny songs on the acoustic guitar.
"I play the guitar every day," he says. "I love playing it."
Besides strumming the guitar and writing jokes, Wright likes to ride his bicycle and he's an admitted coffee junkie.
"Coffee is one of my top three favorite things about being alive ... I don't know what the other two are," he says. "It's so powerful. You can just drive to the store and get it. I like Dunkin' Donuts, that's my favorite. If I can't get that, I'll get anything. I have to get something. I'll be in the alley trying to buy coffee off a guy."
8 p.m. Saturday
Royal Oak Music Theatre
318 W. Fourth, Royal Oak
Tickets $32 in advance,
$35 at the door