Brian Posehn

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ou might not know Brian Posehn's name, but you probably recognize his face. Over the years he's played everything from a messenger on "Friends" to a store clerk on "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd" to Man at Table No. 9 in "The Wedding Singer."

These days, the comedian is getting much meatier roles.

"I'm just happy to be playing characters with names now, is the way I look at it," said Posehn, who will take the stage Friday and Saturday at Jukebox Comedy Club. "A lot of the things I ended up doing in movies, you know, I'm like the store clerk or the janitor. A lot of these characters I've played, I'm just the guy that says something sarcastic and walks off; my character doesn't even have a name in the script. ... So it's nice to get beyond that and play a guy with a real name and a relationship and you actually see his home life. It's nice to have a back story."

Posehn is probably best known for his role as Kevin the mail clerk in the David Spade sitcom "Just Shoot Me!" Currently, he plays gay neighbor Brian on Comedy Central's "The Sarah Silverman Program," which he'll be taping more episodes for this summer.

Posehn's first acting role was on "Empty Nest," playing the role of "Painted Gut Guy." It was his first audition.

"I kind of thought I made it," he said. "I was like, 'This is awesome. I'm getting paid what?' I didn't have to have a day job. But then I realized how much work it was really going to be. When I booked the next couple of things, I went, 'OK, this is tough.' "

Posehn, who is a fan of heavy metal and is into comic books, says if he could have any super power, it'd be "a thicker skin."

"That's a good one for a comedian, too," he said.

It would certainly help with those pesky hecklers.

"Once you've done comedy, you know that (heckling) is the worst thing you can do to somebody. ... Most hecklers think they're helping, but they never, ever are."

Posehn has been doing comedy for so many years, he likes to think he's got the procedure down, but he admits that anyone can have a bad night.

"When you've been doing it as long as I have, I'm going to have off nights," he said. "There's going to be nights where certain things don't connect or I tell them wrong or I do them with the wrong energy. Even if you have what you think is a bulletproof act, you can sabotage it yourself. If you're not that into the joke that night, the audience can tell. So you've got to really be on yourself to deliver everything like it's fresh and like you love it. Nobody's completely bulletproof."

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