Playing a character

It's liberating to perform as a character. As Mike Burns told me, "When you're in character, you can get away with anything."

Had this IM chat the other day on the same topic:

JF: just saw the france thing. why going in that direction?
MR: when you're in character, you can get away with a lot more. sorta andy kaufman/sasha baron cohen mentality.
JF: Just a experiment?
MR: i've been taking improv classes and that pushed me a bit to try out more character stuff.
JF: gotchya
MR: started as experiment but it's gone so well i'm working on more.
JF: easier to get laughs with an accent?
MR: foreigners are funny. anything strange/surprising is easier to be funny with.
JF: definitely. once you push people off balance it's probably easier to get a reaction out of them.
MR: yeah, when people are laughing before u even tell a joke. that's when you've got em. and i see so much standup that i get bored w/ the same ol same ol. fun to do something different. and when u think about it, a lot of great comedy comes from people playing characters...even if it's not obviously that. larry david, mitch hedberg, groucho marx, steven wright, etc. all caricatures.
JF: I can dig that.