Guy Torry tries to bring light and laughter to the stand-up stage

Comic-actor Guy Torry will present his standup comedy act at Goodnights in Raleigh, NC, Jan. 18-21.
Comic-actor Guy Torry will present his standup comedy act at Goodnights in Raleigh, NC, Jan. 18-21. frankieleal.com

Guy Torry will bring it all, and then some, when he performs this weekend at Goodnights.

“That’s because I’m tri-polar,” Torry says while calling from Los Angeles. “When you see me in North Carolina, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck since you’ll get me, myself and Guy. We’ll bring it together.”

Expect the comic-actor, who has appeared in such films as “Pearl Harbor” and “American History X,” to talk about his career, travel and relationships.

“It’s fascinating going from being married to divorced and then to dating again,” Torry says. “I’ll be talking about how there are so many choices for men. There are a lot of good women around.”

Torry, 49, will joke about his relationships, but he’s serious when he talks about how difficult it is to have a substantial connection with a woman.

“It’s rough because of my schedule,” Torry says. “I’m on the road doing comedy 40 weekends out of the year. When do women like to go out? On weekends. That’s my professional time, but that makes it hard on my personal life.”

The charismatic St. Louis native admits that stand-up comics are not the best mates. “We’re moody,” Torry says. “We’re a strange bag of nuts. We’re dark on the inside, but we try to bring light to a dark situation. We’re dark souls. Some of us hold grudges and do some strange things.”

One of the stranger things Torry has experienced is his rivalry with his older brother Joe Torry, who is also a comic-actor. The grudge, which was smoothed over at a BET event, started in 2004. Torry said issues started after his profile eclipsed his brother.

“It was just one of those things in which I didn’t want to just be known as his little brother and that maybe I’ll be getting opportunities because of that,” Torry said. “I wanted to do things on my own. I wanted to make a name for myself.”

Torry did just that, working his way up from production assistant on the ’90s sitcom “Martin” to a writer position on that show.

“That doesn’t happen often, to go from a PA to a writer,” Torry says. “But (series star) Martin (Lawrence) was so cool about that. He wanted us to rise if we could.”

Torry put the time in by often working three sets a night at three different clubs.

“I had a burning desire to be the best,” Torry says. “My brother taught me a lot of things, and sometimes in life, the pupil surpasses the teacher. If that was the case for me, it was about work. I never dogged it. I worked hard at everything. I did my best to hold my own in acting.”

Torry is pleased that he and his brother are on good terms. “It’s cool that stuff isn’t hanging over our heads anymore,” he says. “I can focus on what matters most, which is comedy. It’s been a really good career. I have a lot to be happy with looking back at what I accomplished.”

Perhaps Torry is most proud of his turn in 1998’s “American History X.” His character turns a white supremacist’s life around when the two are in prison.

“This is what’s so powerful about movies,” Torry says. “After a show I did in Dayton, a white guy comes up to me and says, ‘I was one of those guys you changed. You changed me from being a hateful, racist skinhead to being a normal human being in society, and I want to thank you.’ That blew me away. There’s no reason to hate anyone. We’re all in this together. We can laugh about it all or cry about it all. I would rather laugh.”


Who: Guy Torry

When: 8 p.m. Jan. 18; 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Jan. 19-20; 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21

Where: Goodnights, 861 W. Morgan St., Raleigh

Tickets: $16 and $24, Jan. 18; $21 and $29 Jan. 19; $25 and $33 Jan. 20; and $23 and $31 Jan. 21.

Info: 919-828-5233 or goodnightscomedy.com