David Cross is not coming to Salt Lake City to perform because somebody scheduled him here — he’s scheduled to perform here because he insisted.
“When I was talking to my booking agent about doing another tour, there were a handful of places that I said, ‘I definitely want to go there. Definitely, make sure I go back there,’” Cross said. “And Salt Lake City was one of them.”
He’s performed here several times, including when he brought his “Making America Great Again” to Kingsbury Hall in May 2016. He’ll return to that venue on Wednesday with his “Oh Come On” tour — and he’s clearly looking forward to it.
“I’ve always had good shows there. Always. It’s a fun place with good, memorable fans,” Cross said.
Fans who appreciate his brand of satire and commentary.
“I know I’m probably projecting a little bit, but there might be truth to it. I think they are very appreciative, that I come to them — I go to Salt Lake City, I make my way there — and I do the material that I do. And they’re happy to hear it.
“You just get that vibe that people are very appreciative that you thought of them and you made the effort, and they’re happy — specifically with my stuff and my take on things. They’re like, ‘Please come here and make fun of the people who give us trouble.’”
In other words, he speaks back to authority. Always has, always will. He’s no fan of the current occupant of the White House, and he’s bringing his act to a state where a majority approves of Donald Trump. To a state with a large population of Mormons, who give Trump his highest approval rating of any religious group in America.
“That’s not weird, it’s hypocritical,” said Cross, never one to avoid controversy. “There’s a different psychology to that kind of person. And it’s not just Mormons, but it’s Southern Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics. They’re willing to overlook not a thing. Not a couple of things. Literally, a hundred different examples of behavior that is antithetical to what a quote-good-unquote Christian or whoever believes in.”
David Cross: “Oh Come On”
When • Wednesday, Aug. 22, 8 p.m.
Where • Kingsbury Hall, 1395 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $35 at the box office or tickets.utah.edu
He wants to be clear that neither Trump nor politics take center stage during his standup act. Cross said he addresses the issue of Trump supporters, not Trump himself, and that he's actually edited down the amount of time he spends on the subject since the tour began earlier this year.
“I don’t want to misrepresent the show. It’s not an hour of political comedy at all. It’s not Trump-bashing,” he said “It follows the same formula I’ve always used. Roughly a third of the show is just dumb jokes that have no political leaning. There’s no ideology. They’re just jokes.”
Another third is “anecdotal stuff”; the final third is “current events — Trump, religion, politics, that kind of stuff.”
The biggest change since the last time Cross appeared in Utah is that the 54-year-old became a father for the first time. He and his wife, Amber Tamblyn, are the parents of an 18-month-old daughter. Fatherhood has made a big difference in his life and at least a small difference in his act.
“Well, it’s given me a new source of material, so she’s earning her keep,” he joked.
More seriously, he called it a “life-changing event.”
“My world is altered. My values are different. There’s more of an urgency to the things that I believe — things that I believe need to be done — than I had when I was just railing against things for the benefit of my friends and loved ones and people I’ll never meet,” Cross said. “I don’t get maudlin and any of that s---. But I think this set probably feels a little more complete than my other sets. The material doesn’t seem so disparate because a very slight, almost invisible thread through the show is I’m responsible for this person now. That is part of the feeling of the set.”
It’s not as if Cross is an unknown quantity. He’s been doing standup since he was 17; he co-created, produced and starred in “Mr. Show with Bob and David” (alongside Bob Odenkirk); he starred in “Arrested Development” as Tobias Fünke, just to hit a couple of highlights.
And as much as he’s expecting a warm reception in Salt Lake City, he’s also expecting a few people to walk out.
“There’ll be two to six people who didn’t do their homework, who don’t read this article, who just know me from TV. Or friends of friends got them tickets or whatever,” Cross said. “And people leave because they’re pro-Trump or they’re pro-Nazi, and they don’t like hearing a comic make fun of Nazis. They want to make America great again. And by doing that, [they think] you have to elevate Nazis.
“People leave. And that’s on them. I don’t give a s---. Do your f------ homework. I’ve been doing this for a long time.”