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Dana Gould on how New England influences his comedy

The Bay State native is back in Boston this weekend.
Dana Gould
Dana Gould performs at Laugh Boston this weekend. Photo by Getty Images

If you ask any Boston comic about their comedic inspirations, don’t be surprised if they end up mentioning Dana Gould.

The Hopedale native and former writer for “The Simpsons” is a legend among comedy circles thanks to his prowess on stage and work on the small screen. While Gould has definitely left a mark on local comedians, the New England area has been just as big of an influence on the famed comic.

Gould, who performs at Laugh Boston this weekend, tells Metro that his experience growing up with a “stereotypical Massachusetts” family has served as fodder for his stand-up act for decades.

“We had eight people in a three bedroom house and you had to have a sense of humor to keep from going insane,” Gould says. “Everybody in my family is very funny and sarcastic, in that generic New England way. My professional work is really soaked in that stuff.”

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Of course, Gould isn’t the only comedy star to call Boston or New England home, as the region has produced many big names over the years. Gould believes the combination between the area’s bitter cold weather, blue-collar work ethic, as well as its large populations of Irish and Italians are the reasons why its tough citizens have such a distinct sense of humor.

“Irish and Italians have a very dark, cynical type of humor,” Gould says. “Specifically Irish people have a very sort of dark, plangent view of the world, which certainly informs my work and my writing.”

Since Gould has such a deep love for the Hub, he jumped at the chance to return to “The Simpsons” for a cameo in last year’s Boston-themed episode “The Town.” The comedian and writer loved the episode and thought that it really captured the spirit and humor of the city.

Most of all, Gould was glad that he got to show off his Matt Damon impersonation.

“My favorite thing about that episode was the names of stores in Harvard Square,” Gould says. “There’s no other place on television you’re going to get that level of stuff and I just remember being in record trying to mimic Matt Damon saying, 'This is our half,' over and over and over.”

He adds, “I used to live in Allston so I was able to sell it pretty good.”

If you go:

Nov. 16-18, Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., $25, laughboston.com

 
 
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