VALLEJO — Dave Burleigh has never been to the Fetterly Playhouse for the Arts. On Aug. 31, the comic, who was on the 2012 season of “America’s Got Talent,” stops by the venue.
He likes the idea that the theater is an alley. He also seemed somewhat impressed that the improve troupe Rats in the Alley got its start at the Fetterly.
The Vallejo show is the beginning of a vacation for the comic, who has family in the Bay Area. While in the area, he also plans to take in the San Francisco 49ers’ first game.
Burleigh, who starred as Charlie Sheen earlier this year in “Not Another Celebrity Movie,” will be solo on this gig. He has two bands he performs with – one in the Bay Area, the other in Las Vegas.
“I don’t take them on vacation,” he said of the bands. “That’s probably what broke up The Beatles. They went on vacation together.”
Known for his celebrity impersonations, Burleigh finds it hard to pinpoint the one he does the best.
“I’m constantly working on new (ones) and dipping into old impressions,” he said. Particularly celebrities who are no longer with us and have “gone on to a better place,” he said.
There are two impersonations the audience has come to expect – Christopher Walken and Jack Nicholson.
“They are the ones that are so obvious because of the distinct voices and facial expressions,” he said.
Burleigh is also taking a new approach to impersonations with a bit that combines TV shows such as “ ‘Breaking Bad’ meets ‘Dexter’ meets ‘The Walking Dead’ meets the ‘Big Bang Theory.’ ”
“I’m having a lot of fun with it,” he said. “I find a large portion of my audience watches these shows.”
He has mixed reviews from being part of “America’s Got Talent.” It opened many doors. At the same time, the audition process took a toll, particularly when he and other finalists were in an empty Las Vegas theater at 9 a.m. and the show’s judges were the audience.
“That’s not real conducive to comedy,” he said of the arrangements.
“I really appreciated the experience,” he said. “I’m happy with the outcome and am moving forward.”
Burleigh just signed on with a five-star cruise line with small ships.
“I’ve got to make sure I get into the gym,” he said. “The food is amazing.”
The accommodations are pretty nice, too, as Burleigh said he often gets a suite with a balcony. To top it off, he may only work 45 minutes during the cruise and can bring a guest.
“It’s usually a packed house with standing room only,” he said of his shows.
“But where else are they going to go?” he said, rhetorically.
Burleigh contemplated retiring his sea legs but found the benefits too good to pass up.
“I may be on the ship for nine days and they don’t use me until the last night of the cruise,” he said. “I get to be Tommy Tourist for seven or eight days. It’s a paid vacation.”
Current events provide a lot of fodder for comics, and technology has played a role in that, Burleigh said.
“The media is there 24/7 with computers, cellphones, iPhones,” he said. “It’s constant.”
Sharing about the days without technology seems to go over with audiences, he said.
Topics such as the rotary phone and licking stamps.
“Who licks stamps anymore?” he asked.
Recently, he went camping with his nephews and was asked to tell them a horror story.
“When I was a kid, we didn’t have a DVD player in our Suburban,” Burleigh said he told them. “They ran and screamed.”
They wanted to know what he watched movies on. A VHS player was the answer. His nephews were confused and wanted to know what that was.
Burleigh took the explanation to the next level.
“We didn’t have a Suburban,” he told them. “We had a station wagon with no seatbelts and got tossed around.”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.