Humor Buffet

John Pinette looks for his comedy inspiration from water parks, waiting in line and buffets. His latest special is “I'm Starvin' ” — which gives you an idea where he's coming from after his previous CD Show Me the Buffet. Yes, he's trimmed down his size, but not his attitude.

LA WEEKLY: You're from the Boston area — why are there so many funny people there?

PINETTE: I grew up around a lot of funny characters — funny ha ha, funny strange, funny ridiculous and funny insane. If I didn't learn to laugh at the absurd, I may not have made it. It seems many of the great Boston comics whom I had the privilege of knowing when I started comedy share this point of view.

You used to be an accountant — were you a funny accountant?

I had no business being an accountant. When I graduated high school, my family told me to get some marketable skills. I was not marketable as an accountant. In my brief stint as an investor accounting specialist, my job primarily was to distract the auditors with my humor.

You're an expert on buffets — who has the best buffet? How much is too much to spend on a buffet?

It's a tie between the Wynn and the Bellagio in Las Vegas. When I think of these I can hear the angels singing. I have a different buffet philosophy than I used to. Buffets are for special occasions. Buffets are not an everyday occurrence. I abstain from most buffets, due to health reasons and restraining orders. How much to spend on a buffet? As an individual decision, I prefer quality over quantity. When it comes to buffets, I'm a high roller.

What are your favorite things to do in Los Angeles?

Forty weeks of the year I spend on the road. That's not a complaint. I just bought a condo in Los Angeles, and so I am just beginning to spend more time here. I will have to get back to you on that question. I haven't even seen the Getty.

Do you have groupies?

Not in the strictest definition. Unfortunately my life is nothing like the movie Almost Famous , but I have been a comic 23 years and I do have people all over the US and Canada who have been at my show 10, 20, 30 times. They are the wind beneath my wings.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?

This year I've been to Tampa, West Palm Beach, Poughkeepsie, Toronto and Ottawa. Most of the shows have been sold out; people need to laugh now more then ever. It is sad to travel around and hear about the struggles of so many. Personally I lost about $40,000 in the stock market. You know things suck when you lose $40,000., and you can say “Wow! Is that all? Thank God.”

A ticket to your show is $27.50, plus a two-drink minimum. How much does that come out to per laugh?

It varies on the night; I assure you I consistently strive for the most laughs per dollar.

Thu., Feb. 19; Fri., Feb. 20; Sat., Feb. 21, 2009

LA Weekly