Grier in Gear | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Grier in Gear

In David Alan Grier's forthcoming book, Statistics and the Introduction of Digital Computers, he discusses the... wait -- what the hell's going on? A comedian writing about statistics? Where's the punch line? Oh, whoops -- wrong David Alan Grier. The one we're all familiar with -- the funk-tastically funny actor/comedian -- is busy calculating jokes for his current standup tour. The closest this Grier has come to publishing anything is his DVD The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto. Yes, the title is obviously facetious if not altogether ridiculous. But then again, so is Grier.

In case you aren't sure exactly who this Grier character is, your ignorance is understandable. Though he's been in enough movies and TV shows for even the most behind-the-times ignoramus to recognize him, Grier's still mostly known as "that guy from In Living Color." And it's unfortunate too, 'cause he's one funny mofo -- and a damned fine actor to boot. While his career got its first real jolt from the sketch comedy In Living Color -- most notably his roles as the flamboyant Antoine Merriwether ("Hated it!") and Clavell, the dubious, back-alley salesman -- Grier is a classically trained actor, having graduated from the Yale School of Drama. Grier nearly won a Tony Award in 1982 for his Broadway performance as Jackie Robinson in The First. And all this time you thought he was just some goofball screaming, "Let's get butt-naked" on Saturday Night Live.

Perhaps Grier's thespian background gives his comedy an extra dimension that ordinary standups don't have; you're not going to get any dryly delivered stories about the Waffle House or airline security. Nope. This guy's all about physicality, a trait shared by fellow In Living Color alumni Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx. Call it fervor. Call it zeal. Hell, go ahead and call it soul. Either way, it's the real deal. And it sure beats the pants off listening to some bespectacled nerd talk about computers.