Denis Leary, star of “Rescue Me”, signing copies of Why We Suck
Time and locations:
- 12/18/08 7:30 PM at Barnes & Noble – Route 3 East. Clifton, NJ.
- 12/20/08 4:30 PM at Hickory Stick Bookshop – Green Hill Road. Washington Depot. CT.
- 12/20/08 7:30 PM at RJ Julia Booksellers – Boston Post Road. Madison, CT.
Denis Colin Leary (born August 18, 1957) is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-nominated American actor, comedian, writer and director. He is known for his often angry comedic style, and his chain smoking. Leary is currently the star and co-creator of the television show Rescue Me.
Product Description of “Why We Suck”
A hilarious blast of scathing irreverence from the award-winning actor and comedian.
“A pissed off Leary is the best Leary,” says one critic of the writer and comic. In Why We Suck, Dr. Denis Leary uses his common sense, and his biting and hilarious take on the world, to attack the politically correct, the hypocritical, the obese, the thin–basically everyone who takes themselves too seriously. He does so with the extra oomph of a doctorate bestowed upon him by his alma mater Emerson College. “Sure it’s just a celebrity type of thing–they only gave it to me because I’m famous.” Leary explains. “But it’s legal and it means I get to say I’m a doctor–just like Dr. Phil.”
In Why We Suck, Leary’s famously smart style and sardonic wit have found their fullest and fiercest expression yet. Zeroing in on the ridiculous wherever he finds it, Leary unravels his Irish Catholic upbringing, the folly of celebrity, the pressures of family life, and the great hypocrisy of politics with the same bright, savage, and profane insight he brought to his critically acclaimed one-man shows No Cure for Cancer and Lock ’n Load, and his platinum-selling song, “Asshole.”
Proudly Irish American, defiantly working class, with a reserve of compassion for the underdog and the overlooked, Leary delivers blistering diatribes that are penetrating social commentary with no holds barred. Leary’s book will find wide appeal among people who want to laugh out loud or find a guide who matches their view of what’s wrong in America and the world-at-large; and fans of his one-man shows, his many movies, and Rescue Me, Leary’s Golden Globe and Emmy–nominated television show. Why We Suck is the latest salvo from one of America’s most original and biting comic satirists.
Leary was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants. His mother, Nora, was a maid. His father, John Leary (deceased), was an auto mechanic. Since both of his parents are from Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, Leary holds both Irish and American citizenship. He graduated from Saint Peter-Marian High School, in Worcester. Through marriage, Leary is a distant cousin of talk show host Conan O’Brien and has jokingly said on Late Night with Conan O’Brien that, “All Irish people are related.” His name is often misspelled as “Dennis” instead of the correct “Denis.”
Leary is a graduate of Emerson College, in Boston, where he was classmates with fellow comic Mario Cantone, who to this day remains his closest friend. Comedian Steven Wright and actress Gina Gershon also attended Emerson at the same time as Leary. At the school, he and Jodi Haffner Wallace co-founded the “Emerson Comedy Workshop,” a troupe that continues to thrive on-campus to the present day. After graduating with the Emerson Class of 1979, he took a job at the school teaching comedy writing classes and maintained the job for five years. Leary was honored with an honorary doctorate and spoke briefly at his alma mater’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 16, 2005 and is credited as “Dr. Denis Leary” on the cover of his latest book, Why We Suck.
Leary started his career as a comedian in the notorious Boston comedy scene of the 1980s, where he hosted his own show at the underground club “Play It Again Sam”. He also wrote and appeared on a local comedy series, Lenny Clarke’s Late Show, hosted by his friend Lenny Clarke and written by Boston comedy writer Martin Olson. Leary and Clarke both spoke about their early affiliations and influences in the Boston comedy scene in the documentary film When Standup Stood Out (2006). It was during this time that he developed his stage persona. He also appeared in skits on the MTV game show Remote Control, playing such characters as Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, the “brother” of cohost Colin Quinn and artist Andy Warhol.
Leary first became famous through an MTV sketch in which he ranted about R.E.M. Several other commercials for MTV followed, in which Leary would rant at high speeds about a variety of topics. He has released two records of his stand-up comedy: No Cure for Cancer (1993) and Lock ‘n Load (1997). In late 2004 he released the EP Merry F#%$in’ Christmas, which included a mix of new music, previously unreleased recordings, and some tracks from Lock ‘n Load.
In 1993, his sardonic song about the stereotypical American male, “Asshole”, achieved much notoriety. It was voted #1 in a major Australian youth radio poll (the Triple J Hottest 100) as well as reaching #2 in the singles chart in that country. The video also became a staple of MTV’s late-night programming. Due to its explicit and controversial content, however, it received limited airplay on mainstream American radio stations. At the 2004 Comics Come Home in Boston, Massachusetts, Denis performed a new version of the song directed at the New York Yankees, and as the song concluded, Bronson Arroyo walked on stage with the World Series trophy. The song was also used as part of the Holsten Pils series of ads in the UK which Leary was participating in, with adapted lyrics criticizing a drunk driver.
Although he says he is most at home on stage doing stand-up, Leary has appeared as an actor in over 40 movies, including The Sandlot, Monument Ave., The Matchmaker, The Ref, Suicide Kings, Dawg, Wag the Dog, Demolition Man, The Thomas Crown Affair and Operation Dumbo Drop. He has had the lead role in two television series, The Job and Rescue Me. In addition, Leary has provided voices for characters in animated films such as a medium fire-breathing dragon, Flame from the The Agents series, a saber-toothed tiger named ‘Diego’ in Ice Age and its sequel Ice Age 2 and ‘Francis’ in A Bug’s Life. He has produced (and still produces) numerous movies, television shows, and specials through his production company Apostle; these include Comedy Central’s Shorties Watchin’ Shorties, the stand-up special Denis Leary’s Merry F#$%in’ Christmas, and the movie Blow. As a Boston Red Sox fan, he narrated the official 2004 World Series film. In 2006, Leary and Lenny Clarke appeared on television during a Red Sox telecast and, upon realizing that Red Sox 1st baseman Kevin Youkilis is Jewish, delivered a criticism of Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic comments. As a hockey fan, Leary also hosted the National Hockey League video NHL’s Greatest Goals.
In 2003, Comedy Central honored Denis Leary in the Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary. Friend Jeff Garlin acted as roastmaster. Roasters included Mario Cantone, Adam Ferrara, Jim Breuer, Nick DiPaolo, Don Gavin, Christopher Walken, Lenny Clarke, Gina Gershon, Conan O’Brien, Gilbert Gottfried, Colin Quinn and Michael J. Fox.
Leary is now the star and co-creator of FX’s Rescue Me. He plays Tommy Gavin, a New York City firefighter dealing with alcoholism, family dysfunction, and other issues in post-9/11 New York City. Leary received Emmy nominations in 2006 and 2007 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance. For this TV series, he turned down roles in two films: The Departed (Mark Wahlberg got the role after Leary turned down the role) and Bobby, which his close friend Emilio Estevez directed.
Leary recently did the TV voiceover for MLB 2K8 ads, where he used his trademark rant style in baseball terms, and ads for the 2009 Ford F-150 pickup truck. He was also a producer of the FOX show Canterbury’s Law and wrote and directed its pilot episode. Canterbury’s Law aired in the spring of 2008 but was canceled after eight episodes. He is currently working in the Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs movie, which will be released July 1, 2009.
On September 9th, 2008, Leary was the host of the sixth annual Fashion Rocks event, which aired on CBS. During one part of the show, Leary came onstage dressed in a long gold halter dress and wearing diamond earrings and a bracelet; he carried a purse and a pair of high heels. In another segment, he let out a controversial rant about Britney Spears, the birth of Ricky Martin’s twins and David Duchovny going to rehab for sex addiction.
In December 2008, Leary appeared in a video on funnyordie.com critiquing a list of some of his ‘best’ films, titled “Denis Leary Remembers Denis Leary Movies “.
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