Mary Lynn Rajskub might be most recognizable to the general public for her years as Chloe O’Brian on “24,” but her background is mainly in standup. The comedian comes to Boston for a three night stand at Laugh Boston starting Thursday, and we chatted with her about life as a working comedian and connecting with all those Chloe fans.
What can people expect from your show?
Well, a lot of full frontal nudity. A lot of bad behavior. You know, I would say my act is pretty personal. My background is comedy and I get a lot people who know me from “24,” so it’s always a lot of fun to do comedy for people who don’t know what to expect.
Do you still get a lot of people who only know you from the show?
Oh, yeah. I mean, almost at every show. I would say the majority of people, especially when I’m on the road. Live shows are weird like that. It’s very grassroots. “24” is and was a huge show. So I’ll always get that couple that comes together. Like, [falsetto]“See, I told you she was funny,” and [man’s voice] “Well, I don’t know, I never saw her smile.”
Were you looking to break into dramas when “24” came up?
No, not at all. In fact, I was trying to not audition for 24, and my agent said they really want to see you. I really didn’t want to go in, because I didn’t really audition for dramas. I knew that I had the ability to act and be serious, but when you go into the room for drama shows and audition for them, the drama room is actually a very serious room. I think I had just auditioned for “CSI” or something at the time. And I went in, and I was like, [cheerful voice], “Hey guys, what’s going on?” And they stared at me like, what is wrong with this girl? … There is a part of me, where in between takes I just really can’t take it seriously at all.
So you found ways to relax on set.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, a lot of us, in between takes, are laughing and having a good time. And there’s a certain amount of that. You just need to blow off steam because the show is so serious. So there is a lot of fun on set, but it certainly is not in any way like doing a comedy. But a lot of that is just trying to reconcile the fact of what my real life personality on the stage doing comedy is, compared to what you see on “24.” The only thing I can compare it to is if I went to a standup club and I saw Walter White on the stage.
You also just did a lot of dancing in a music video for the song “Looks and Money” by sElf, directed by Dave Foley. Was that choreographed, or did you invent the whole dance?
You know, a lot of those moves were my own.
They were Mary Lynn originals?
A lot of those were Mary Lynn originals. You know, I just danced and acted like a nut for an afternoon. It was [a chance to] catch up with Dave Foley. We had some fun. And lended our comedy for their music video. I like that song a lot, too.