Jordan Strauss / AP
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Paul Reiser hasn’t performed in Las Vegas for three years and like this weekend’s show, his last appearance was at a neighborhood casino, the Suncoast. On Saturday, the veteran comedian and actor you know from TV’s “Mad About You” and “Stranger Things” (and if you’re an ’80s kid like me, from the series “My Two Dads” and blockbuster movies “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Aliens”) will take the stage at Aliante’s Access Showroom for a stand-up set. He’s looking forward to it, he says, since no matter where you go in Las Vegas, “it’s always a little like no other place, in a good way.” Here’s my recent chat with Reiser.
You started out as a stand-up comedian and have done it on and off throughout the years. Does it feel good to be getting back to it recently?
I took a long time off, not intentionally, when “Mad About You” started in 1992. I was off the road, working on the show full-time and content to stay put working and writing from home. It’s only been a few years, maybe five years back doing it. I first started 35 years ago and I’ve always viewed stand-up as my default position, and any acting thing was the sidebar. And that’s sort of how I still view it now and I’ve been starting to book more dates, because for one thing it’s really fun for me, and the more I book it, other things come in and distract from it. I’m not complaining. I try to do it as often as I can.
There’s been a lot of TV talk lately about a possible reboot of “Mad About You.”
I never really wanted to do a reboot because I thought we did a good job of ending it well, we sort of checked off every box and it seemed like the perfect time to land the plane. But this last year people have been talking so much about reboots, we couldn’t not talk about it, and I thought it might actually be fun. So we said sure, we’ll do it, if they can figure out how. We’re on board and the studio is figuring it out how to make it work and if not, I’m more than happy to let what we did stand on its own. Helen [Hunt] and I had so much fun working together and playing off each other, but we also realized it wouldn’t be a reboot as much of a revisiting, or a continuation. The show was always about a couple, and we started the show just as they got married which is an interesting entry point, and now it’s 25 years later so it’s a sort of empty nest, starting over thing. And I’m going through that myself as my youngest son left for college a month ago. It really changes your world and you get to look at marriage with fresh eyes, like, what we were talking about 25 years ago? So this could be a creative spot to jump in.
You filmed an episode of Amazon Prime’s new show “The Romanoffs,” which has a unique premise. What was that experience like?
Very interesting. It’s a new show with eight episodes that have nothing to do with each other except each has a story about someone who is or claims to be descendent of the Russian royal family. It’s like eight different, little movies. But it was great fun and I got to go to Prague. In my episode, Christina Hendricks plays an actress who goes to Europe to make a movie about the Romanoffs and things start to go really wrong and creepy. I play her agent who is telling her, don’t worry, everything’s fine, but then it enters into this dark, surreal place where you don’t know what’s real and what’s her psychosis.
You have some other projects coming that will likely cut into your stand-up time, too.
I’m going to New York to shoot a new series I’m not allowed to talk about for Fox, and I’m gearing up to do a movie I wrote, hopefully shooting in Ireland in the spring, as soon as it gets warm. It’s about a New York guy and his distant Irish relative who are trying to bury the hatchet between two disenfranchised sides of the family. It’s sort of a sweet, fun comedy, but yes, in the middle of all this I’ll be doing more stand-up.
Paul Reiser performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 3 at the Access Showroom at Aliante Casino & Hotel (7300 Aliante Parkway, 702-692-7777) and more information can be found at aliantegaming.com.