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Gary Owen jokes about his life in black and white

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Dog and a Duck
Comedian Gary Owen

Gary Owen

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 26; 8 and 10 p.m. Sept. 27; 7 and 9 p.m. Sept. 28, 7 p.m. Sept. 29

Admission: $20; 21 and over

Where: Pittsburgh Improv, Waterfront, Homestead

Details: 412-462-5233 or pittsburgh.improv.com

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Matt Wohlfarth
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Gary Owen burst on the comedy scene in quite the unconventional fashion by winning “The Funniest Black Comedian in San Diego” — even though he's white. This catapulted Owen to national fame by landing him an appearance on BET's “Comic View.”

Even though that's how Owen was discovered, don't be confused — Owen's comedy does not discriminate. He makes people of all walks of life laugh.

Owen, who will perform six shows this weekend at the Pittsburgh Improv, may be familiar to you from his roles on “House Of Payne,” or from his role in “Think Like a Man” or “Littleman.”

Coming up, Owen will appear in “Ride Along” with Kevin Hart, which will hit screens Jan. 17, and he just finished filming “Think Like a Man 2,” which will open in June 2014. In addition to that, Owen will be filming his third hour-long comedy special, called “I Agree with Me” in November at the Atlanta Civic Center. He took a moment in between flights to call to answer a few questions.

Question: How do you classify your comedy style?

Answer: Original, I hope. I'm telling the truth. It's basically my life on steroids. Like, people say, “No pot jokes?” I don't smoke pot, so no.

Q: Why do you think your comedy relates so well to an urban audience?

A: I think I've made appearances on black television shows, sitcoms. I'm married to a black girl, so they know I'm authentic (in) what I talking about. I'm not putting on act — I'm just being myself.

Q: How do you balance your comedy career with being a good father?

A: My wife does a good job of being there for the kids. My kids know this is what I do. For a long time, they thought I worked at the airport. This allows me to provide a good living, they go to private schools. ... When I'm home, I'm home. It's weird — I go from performing in front of 10,000 people to volleyball and basketball games.

Q: How do you generate your material?

A: I try to stay ahead of my specials. When it airs, I try to work new bits in slowly so before long I don't have any material on the special in my show. It doesn't happen overnight.

Q: What are you listening to on your iPod?

A: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis — I don't care; I like them. Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail” by JayZ. That's music. As far as television, I love “Sons of Anarchy” and “Breaking Bad.”

Q: Being from Cincinnati, you have a little bragging rights now?

A: Yes, that was great. Oh no, I'm talking to Pittsburgh. That was terrible. The one thing about sports is I appreciate passionate fans and I tell people all over the country that Steelers fans are right up there as the best anywhere.

Comedian Matt Wohlfarth is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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