The current issue of ReadyMade features a short interview with David Cross. It's part of their series called "How Did You Get Your F*&% Awesome Job?"
Here's the interview:
ReadyMade: Hi David. How did you get your f*&% awesome job?
David Cross: I started out in Atlanta, but I wasn't really working regularly until I moved to Boston in 1983. I went to Emerson College, where I was in a sketch group. I dropped out of school almost immediately, but kept performing with them until it got to the point that I couldn't pretend to be part of Emerson anymore and started doing stand-up.
RM: So, did you just saunter in and say, "Hey, I'm funny. Put me on stage"?
DC: I got very lucky. I was coming of age in a place where there was a glut of clubs that needed to fill spots. But it was basically just doing open mics and making friends and connections, until one day you get thirty bucks to drive an hour into western Massachusetts and do some cowboy bar for 15 minutes. Eventually I made a little name for myself.
RM: How did you start working in Hollywood?
DC: When I was in the sketch group in Boston I became friends with Janeane Garofalo, who performed with us occasionally. She went out to L.A., and within a year or so she was on the Ben Stiller Show. Sometime around 1992, I got a call from her that they needed an emergency midseason writer. Initially, I wanted to stay in Boston and do my own thing. But then I took a look around at the New England winter, in my sweats with the oven door open, and I was like, "Fuck this." The next day I flew out there, dumped my shit at a friend's place, and started writing.
RM: How did Mr. Show happen?
DC: I met Bob at the Stiller Show. Alternative comedy was starting to hit, and we started doing shows together. We wrote some material and that became Mr. Show. We never pitched it; we just asked people to come down and see it.
RM: Do up-and-coming comics ever come to you for advice?
DC: Occasionally I run into somebody at a party or a show or something and they'll ask. The advice I end up giving, "Go out and do it, find your voice," is so obvious I always feel kinda lame saying it.
RM: Give us a little taste of your new CD?
DC: Well, there's my 10-minute bit about why dogs sniff each other's asses, but I do it in funny voices, like as if the cast of Will and Grace sniffed each other's asses. I can't really go into it, because I don't have the props for it over the phone. But that's really the bulk of it, getting down to the nitty and the gritty of it.
RM: If you could have any job would it be this one?
DC: Yeah, it's all I know how to do really, and mostly I enjoy it. Sometimes it's shitty.
RM: When is it shitty?
DC: Well, I was just named the 19th most loathsome New Yorker by the Press. Sometimes it's tough. There's always going to be somebody's expectations you didn't meet. But I have to be open to criticism. I dish it out, so I should be able to take it. And anyway, sometimes they're right.