Even after all these years, Dana Gould still gets a little nervous performing in the Boston area.
Despite his years of stand-up experience and other high-profile comedy gigs, the Hopedale native always feels pressured to bring his best material whenever he has a show in his old backyard. The Stan Against Evil creator, who performs at the Norwood Theatre on Friday night, believes that the Bay State is home to some of the country's best comedy fans–including many who're related to him–so he has to bring his A-game whenever he's in town.
Dana Gould on Boston comedy crowds, 30 years of The Simpsons
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"It's always more pressure," Dana Gould Gould tells Metro. "Inevitably, there are a ton of people in the audience that I know and/or are related to. There's the extra pressure that you really want to do well."
"The crowds in Boston are some of the best comedy audiences in the country," he adds. "It's a smart area and just the socio-cultural makeup of the people. New Englanders are funny. There's a no bull crap aspect to them, and they're sarcastic and funny. There's that added pressure of performing in front of people that know what they're talking about. It's a comedy show I take very seriously."
It's been a whirlwind year for Dana Gould since his last performance in Massachusetts. Following the release of his latest album "Mr. Funny Man" in 2017, the comedy veteran has been working on a new hour of material, much of which is inspired by all the changes that've happened in his personal life.
Gould is back in another relationship following his recent divorce and has basically turned into Mike Brady. His new girlfriend and her 2-year-old triplets have put the comic into baby mode once more, something he never thought would happen again after raising three kids with his ex-wife.
"I'm sort of living two lives at the same time," says Gould. "I find myself in the Brady Bunch."
In addition to his family life, of course, everything going on in the world has bled into his onstage work as well. While fans shouldn't expect any "easy" jokes about the president, Gould notes that he's been inspired to talk about all the ways people break into two opposing camps, no matter what the issue is.
"Everything in the world is the Red Sox and the Yankees," says Gould. "Politics is the Red Sox and the Yankees. International relations is the Red Sox and the Yankees. Relationships are the Red Sox and the Yankees."
The Bay State native's upcoming show also comes on the heels of the premiere of The Simpsons 30th season. Gould, who served as a writer on the show for several years, believes that the series "can go 30 more."
"The funniest line I ever heard about the series' longevity was from Matt Groening who said, 'We'll do the show until we run out of ideas, and then we'll do it for three more years,'" says Gould. "I think because it's animation and the characters don't grow older, that's a big part of it."
"The Simpsons, from its inception, it was just designed perfectly," "Matt and Jim [Brooks] and Sam [Simon] built a beautiful machine. As somebody now who's created a show and runs a show, that's not to be taken lightly. It's really tricky. It's a science. The show was designed brilliantly."
If you go:
Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m., Norwood Theatre, 109 Central St., Norwood, $25+, norwoodstage.com