EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 12, 2014

A forward-thinking funny guy

Hal Sparks headlines Laugh Boston this weekend

Hal Sparks says his act has been described as “A TED talk with (dirty) jokes.”

“One of the club owners I performed for in Chicago said a customer had said it,” said Sparks, who headlines this weekend at Laugh Boston,.

Like most TED talks, Sparks said his comedy is largely about the future.

“The best way not to re-tread a lot of ground other comedians are doing is to joke about stuff that hasn’t happened yet,” he said. “There’s a lot of room for social warning. We know, technically, where we’re going as a culture. There’s a lot of room for glitches along the way.”

And that’s the space in which he finds his humor.

“That’s what comedy is, debugging culture,” he said. “(Comedians) act as a B.S. meter.”

Sparks is known not only for his comedy, but also for his strong political support of campaigns like NOH8, AIDS Walk L.A., and the Humane Society.

“When I build my own stand-up act, it’s more social than political, but you almost can’t separate the two these days,” Sparks said. “I believe politics stems from something -- it’s better to go to the roots, dealing with people’s social worries and awkwardness. You can deal with a lot of those problems (that way).”

Outside stand-up, Sparks also holds leading roles in a Disney TV show, and the rock band, Zero 1.

“Every Monday in L.A. at the Dragonfly my band has their own night. It’s called Zero 1derland. We’re on all summer while I’m on hiatus from my show.”

He means his show on Disney XD, “Lab Rats,” not his comedy tours.

“I don’t ever take a hiatus from stand-up. It’s something I do all the time,” he said. “I always perform new material.”

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