Jeff Garlin on His Netflix Special ‘Our Man in Chicago’ & ‘Curb’s 10th Season
Chicago native and comedy master Jeff Garlin is returning to the Windy City for his latest stand-up special debuting on Netflix Tuesday, November 12.
The actor, who is known for his work in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, marks 37 years in comedy with the day he filmed the show, making it quite the milestone moment. Taking a stroll into his past, the special explores different times throughout his life, including a trip to jail and his rocky relationship with donuts.
We spoke with the comedian ahead of the special’s debut, and as he talks over the phone we ask how his day is. “My day is great, I just shot an episode of Mad About You,” he shares of the upcoming Spectrum revival.
What some may not know about Garlin is that he never stops. “I was literally filming Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goldbergs, and going out at night and doing stand-up,” Garlin reveals.
“I haven’t stopped until like a couple of weeks ago,” Garlin admits, adding, “I felt like I’m doing all this press, I’m filming The Goldbergs, it’s time for a break.”
“People don’t know that I’m a stand-up [comic]. I’ve been a stand-up since 1982,” he adds.
“I’ve been working with Netflix for years and this was always, ‘Someday I’ll do a stand-up special,'” Garlin says of how this project came about. “I’ve been working on it cause I didn’t want it just to be a ordinary special. I wanted it to be special.”
“My thought process was I just didn’t want to do a special for the ego of it all,” he says. “I really wanted to do something that I was proud of and reflected all these years I’ve been doing stand-up.”
“I worked three years writing material ’cause even though most of the time I just improvise, I wasn’t just going to improvise for this.” In case it feels improvised while watching though, Garlin admits, “I shot the first show and then when it came to filming the second show I just sort of let loose, and a lot of that is included in the special.”
Among those letting loose moments is engaging with his unsuspecting audience, walking into the auditorium and being extremely candid. “I don’t plan on anything. I have no plans. I don’t even know what I’m going to say,” Garlin says of his usual standup style.
That same style often drips into his scripted work as well, as he says, “I don’t overthink any of it. When I go to work at The Goldberg‘s or Curb, it’s like arriving at the improv or the comedy store. I don’t approach it any different.”
As far as topics that are off limits? “Not if it’s funny and serves a purpose,” he says. “If it has depth to it and it’s funny, any topic is good.”
When it comes to inspiration, Garlin says, “People who came up before me like Richard Pryor, Jack Benny — I mean, you can go back in time — that’s where my inspiration lies.”
For those hungry for a Curb scoop, Garlin couldn’t say anything about the highly-anticipated 10th season, but did share one statement. “Well, there’s nothing I can say except that it’s my favorite season we’ve ever done.”
Until the show returns in 2020, catch Garlin’s special, Our Man In Chicago, when it streams on Netflix this November.
Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago, Premieres Tuesday, November 12, Netflix