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DEFEND YOURSELF: GARY PETERSEN

DY_GaryPetersen

Gary Petersen is a Boston comedy veteran who just took over running Grandma’s Basement, a live showcase at the Howard Johnson in Fenway.

He talked to the Dig about horses.

So what exactly is going on in Grandma’s Basement these days?
Every Thursday night, from 7 p.m. to close, is open mic, which is free and open to anyone. Show up, go up. It’s kind of a crazy time because we get people who have been on TV, but we also get people [who] have never done comedy before, and people who are never going to do comedy again after this because the experience is that horrible for them.

Every Friday and Saturday we have shows from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. … Every show has a different theme because we want to expose the audience to variety. The atmosphere is supportive and fun, like a clubhouse. I always feel like it’s the Lost Boys.

Not the Kiefer Sutherland movie, but the Lost Boys from Peter Pan.

The very thought of doing stand-up terrifies me. Do you still get nervous?
The frightening aspect of comedy is really risk versus reward. I’ve done it terrified for enough years, and not terrified for enough years, for it to be worth it for me. If the legend Steven Wright gets nervous, then I guess it’s okay for the rest of us.

Is there any topic you consider to be off limits in comedy?

Horses. That’s where I draw the line.

I really don’t believe in censorship. A good joke is a good joke. People will get offended and I always enjoy talking about what offends somebody. But I don’t care what you do on that stage, as long as it’s in your time and it’s funny. We can box ourselves in, but I really don’t believe in limitations especially with language.

What do you want, a political discussion about semantics? Go to a book club.

GRANDMA’S BASEMENT
EVERY THU-SUN
HOWARD JOHNSON
1271 BOYLSTON ST.
BOSTON
TIMES VARY/21+/PRICES VARY
@GRANDMASCOMEDY
GRANDMASBASEMENTCOMEDY.BLOGSPOT.COM



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