If you attended a midnight screening at Bangor Mall Cinemas between the years 2007 and 2010, you know who Ray Harrington is. He’s the guy that kept the audience laughing as they waited to be the first to see “The Dark Knight” or the new Harry Potter. But, much more importantly, he’s also a rising star in New England stand up comedy. Harrington, a native of Bangor, took his fortunes to the Boston and Providence, R.I., markets two years ago to give a career at stand-up a shop. So far, so good — so good in fact that this weekend, Harrington will record two sets at the Comedy Connection in Portland to be made into a live album of his comedy. Tickets are still available for both shows, which are set for 8 p.m. Sept. 7 and 8; price is $15. We asked him a few important questions last week.
Q: Why was now the time to record a standup album?
A: I honestly hadn’t thought about recording an album until I was invited to record at the Comedy Connection and, after getting some interest and encouragement from a label I love and respect, I thought it was time. My material is starting to evolve and I wanted to mark this time in my comedy. Kind of take a snapshot and say, “Here’s where I was in my head.”
Besides standup, what other things do you do in the world of comedy?
Standup is my first love and where I spend the most time, but I love the creative process of so many other facets of comedy. As long as I’m creating something, I’m usually very happy. I have a podcast called Talking In Circles with another comic and a club owner where we talk about hypothetical questions, two fellow comics and myself shoot some fun sketches as The Go To Guys, I do some characters on NYC radio whenever I can, I’m writing a short film, and I’m thrilled to say that I was part of the 48 Hour Film Festival Providence and won Best Film [for “Relax”] and Best Actor.
Who are your top three favorite comics working today?
Australian musician and comic Tim Minchin can do no wrong and is so incredible, he makes me feel like my smartest jokes are just finger painting. U.K. comic Stewart Lee is unknown here but is doing things with comedy that are really amazing and challenging. His work makes me think it’s OK to call comedy an art form. I was blown away to be able to headline the same club in London that he had. Finally, Kyle Kinane is a fantastically funny comic. I love his approach and casual hilarity. I’m featuring for him in Rhode Island in October and I’m nerding out a little about it. I’m going to try to play it cool.
If you could replace any of your body parts with the body part of another animal, what would it be?
I’ve been told I have to keep it PG-13, so there goes every answer I had. Given such restriction, I would have to replace my hand with an eagle’s claw. A bald eagle. The proud, majestic national symbol of justice and freedom and liberty and justice to swoop in and rip the freedom of the press out of the clutches of the oppressive and back into the hands of the people. People who would allow me to answer this question openly and honestly and graphically. Also, it would be handy for opening bottles.
Who is the most underrated superhero?
My gut response is Captain Planet. The guy’s trying to save the entire planet. Then I realized that he was a man with incredible power who could have saved so many lives, thwarted so many evil-doers. He was practically Superman with a Joan Jett haircut, and all he did was stop a little pollution from time to time. ONLY when a group of children requested his assistance. “Hey kids, go travel the world and call me when there’s a river being spoiled. I’m busy not stopping war or famine or disease or terrorism or MTV.” What a jerk. That said, Aquaman gets a pretty bum rap.