Rob Schneider — star of “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” and about a dozen Adam Sandler movies — is walking me through the creation of the universe over the phone.
I’ve been granted a 10-minute interview — which is ostensibly enough time to gather the kinds of quotes that feed into a suitable promo for Schneider’s upcoming performance at The State Theatre on Saturday.
I’m there to entertain, I’m not there to teach anybody anything, but if I can subvert them to my point of view for laughs, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Instead we’re talking about Adam and Eve, the big bang a life as this immutable force that had to come into existence.
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“In other words, if there is such a thing as compassion and love and beauty and hope and faith it’s because you found it in other people, so it’s systemic, this universe that we come out of,” Schneider concluded.
A few weeks later, here’s what I can maybe-sort of-not quite guarantee about Schneider’s stand up show on Saturday: It will probably not touch too deeply on Buddhism, Camus, why Jesus was always depicted so severely during the Middle Ages or any of the other esoteric ideas bandied about by two perfect strangers over the telephone.
Schneider is aware that he’s taking the stage with something of an expectation on his shoulders and is prepared to honor his side of the deal.
“I’m there to entertain, I’m not there to teach anybody anything, but if I can subvert them to my point of view for laughs, I feel like I’ve accomplished something,” Schneider said.
The comedian has spent the better part of his life telling jokes on a stage somewhere. Commercially, at least, chances are that he’s reaped all that he’s going to from that field — fame, fortune, a Netflix series.
Now it’s about keeping it interesting. Take the show’s title: “An Evening of Lies.”
We as individuals and a culture and a species we end up just lying to each other and to ourselves and I think it’s just an interesting truism and I’m just trying to be more honest about it, you know?
“We as individuals and a culture and a species we end up just lying to each other and to ourselves and I think it’s just an interesting truism and I’m just trying to be more honest about it, you know?” Schneider said.
Questions are worth more than answers to him, which dovetails nicely with his conceit that the good comedians are the ones who break things down and invite the audience to reconsider their own perceptions of the universe.
Gurus and philosophers are upheld to similarly high standards.
“A real guru, philosopher, will deconstruct your view of the universe, make it look silly. While completely remaining calm, he’ll destroy your philosophy of how you see the world. He’ll devolve it and deconstruct it and leave you with nothing. And then you really start over from a better place ...,” Schneider said.
IF YOU GO
- What: Rob Schneider
- When: 8 p.m. Saturday
- Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
- Info: www.thestatetheatre.org