But it is his deadpan delivery of hilarious observational comedy that has earned Wright a place in the hard-working world of comedy. Wright plans on delivering his wry sense of humor to audiences at 8 p.m. in the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Saturday.
“That’s just how I talk, so when I’m on stage when I talk, I talk like I’m talking now,” Wright said in an interview with the Sparks Tribune on Wednesday. “Plus, I would concentrate on stage and would have a straight face.”
Wright said his monotone stage presence and stern face earned him the title of deadpan comedian, but it has caught on with the comedy community and even younger comedians have jumped on the deadpan bandwagon.
“I know some younger guys that are influenced by me,” Wright said. “It kind of surprises me because I never thought I would influence anybody.”
Wright’s dismay over being someone’s inspiration shouldn’t be a shock because Wright himself admits to being influenced by the comedians he saw on the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” while growing up in Massachusetts.
Wright wasn’t sure if he would become a comedian so he chose to attend college. He eventually earned a degree in mass communications from Emerson College.
“I thought I would be a guy on the radio,” Wright said. “I never thought I’d be a comedian. I thought maybe I could be funny on the radio. I don’t know if I would be but maybe. I thought somehow if I was funny on the radio I would get to go on stage.”
Taking some time to travel with friends, Wright said he spent some time in Reno before returning to Boston to start performing stand-up.
Although Wright wasn’t sure if his gig would turn into a career, he still performed at the club in Boston. But in 1982, he got his big break.
“So I was doing comedy in Boston for three years and this guy named Peter Lassally from ‘The Tonight Show’ put me on there,” Wright said about his big break. “It was very surreal when it happened.”
Since performing on “The Tonight Show” multiple times, Wright has moved forward with other projects, including the Grammy nominated comedy album “I Have a Pony,” which landed the comedian a follow up album “I Still Have a Pony” in 2007.
Wright also worked on numerous other films, including everything from “So, I Married and Axe Murderer” in 1993 and “Half Baked” in 1998 to “Swan Princess” in 1994 and “Babe: Pig in the City” in 1998.
“It’s kind of funny the contrast of the movies,” Wright said of his roles with a chuckle. “I was in ‘Natural Born Killers’ and ‘Swan Princess’ in the same year.”
Wright played Dr. Emil Reingold in “Natural Born Killers.”
“I was happy to be in a movie that Oliver Stone directed,” Wright said.
While Wright admits he’s been lucky to accomplish his goals, he said his luck came from just trying.
“I would encourage people who have a goal or a dream to pursue it,” Wright said. “You should at least give it a try, if I didn’t try to do this, I wouldn’t have this career. It is better to try and not have it work out than to not try at all.”
Wright performs stand-up comedy on tour about five weekends in the spring and five weekends in the fall. He will be at the Nugget on Saturday at 8 p.m.
“I hope they kind of go on a little ride, a creative ride, a go away for like 80 minutes into this crazy world that I talk about,” Wright said of the show. “I hope they have fun for about 80 minutes, well they can have fun after that too.”
Tickets for the show are $40 and can be purchased by visiting, www.janugget.com or by calling (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300.