City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta native David Cross interview for Tabernacle show October 17

 David Cross

Actor/comedian David Cross left Atlanta in 1982 after high school to seek fresh climes in New York City. He’s never turned back.

“I don’t hate Atlanta,” he said in an interview last week to promote his upcoming Tabernacle standup comedy show and Barnes & Noble book signing Saturday (UPDATE: the book signing was cancelled Thursday, no explanation given.). “I really don’t. I’m just disappointed by it. I think it’s overgrown and traded a lot of its charm for corporate strip malls.”

Cross, best known for his role on the Emmy-winning Fox comedy “Arrested Development,” still comes back to town a couple times of year to see friends and family. He especially likes East Atlanta, which maintains a bohemian, non-corporate feel.

“It feels like a community, a village,” he said. “That’s why I love New York.”

The cover of his book “I Drink For a Reason” features a photo of him looking pensive as he waits to board a plane at the Delta gate in New York before a trip last Thanksgiving to Atlanta.

He had his girlfriend and actress Amber Tamblyn take pictures of him waiting in line to get on the plane to show “how dehumanizing it is.” But he didn’t like those and opted for the more staid shot of him just sitting. Cross, by the way, gives Tamblyn a rather explicit shout out on his author flap bio. “She laughed,” he said. “She told her dad. He laughed even harder.”

He also has a surfeit of “blurbs” on his book cover. He said the publisher Grand Central Publishing insisted on him getting his friends to write blurbs. As a result, some are serious, many are amusingly facetious. The funniest is courtesy of actor Paul Rudd: “One of the funniest books I’ve ever skimmed!”

One blurb even compares him to Sen. Al Franken, a comic-cum-politician. Cross doesn’t rule out the possibility “way way way down the line. It might be something I’m interested in.” But he figures given his Atheist ways, he’d never get elected.

The book is a collection of essays, ranging from pure satire (an imaginary Fox TV executive meeting, a “Top Ten Top Ten Lists List”) to personal commentary (how evil Valentine’s Day is, why he hates Jim Belushi) to political thoughts (why God wants Mary J. Blige to have “bling,” what a jerk Bill O’Reilly is).

The potpourri is a bit like his standup show.

“I did not want to do a memoir,” said Cross, 45. “I didn’t want to do an anecdotal biography about my life in show business. I think that’s for later in life. And my ego isn’t that big either.”

He decided the mix-and-match approach worked best: “I didn’t want to restrict myself.”

The book landed on the New York Times bestseller list last month. “It was very much a surprise and certainly gratifying,” he said. “What’s even more surprising is how low the bar is set for that type of thing. I just naively assumed that it would take 100,000 copies to make it, like CDs. But you get 30,000 books sold and the publisher is [expletive] overjoyed.”

Cross enjoyed Bill Maher’s film “Religulous,” which questions religion. “He’s definitely preaching to the converted, no pun intended,” Cross said. “It was still fun to watch. It’s not like it was going to change my mind. It was funny and enjoyable.”

And while has badmouthed big corporate entities, he reluctantly has to give props to Whole Foods, which recently moved into his neighborhood. “New York is the last place you need a Whole Foods because there’s already a green market, a Polish meat place, a cheese place, all the stuff you need within five square blocks. Having said that, I had to go to a barbecue and popped in to get a bunch of stuff. It was all [expletive] great! I wanted to hate it but it was all good, including the ribs. They have their own in-house smoker! I’m rich so for me, it’s fine. I can afford it. But I still try to frequent the mom and pops.”

What does he think of Atlantic Station? “The idea is cool but the shops in it aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of mixed-use development where people live and can go downstairs to shop. It’s all charmless. There’s no character. I live in a pre-war 12-story building and downstairs I have all I need at my feet. There’s no Fox Sports Grill. There is a sports bar.”

As a teen-ager, he started doing standup at the Comedy Spot and the Punchline in the early 1980s. The Punchline, of course, is still open to this day. “I was so happy to have a stage to start doing [expletive] on,” he said. The space, he added ,”suits Atlanta to a tee.”

And what is Cross reading right now? The 2003 book “Under the Banner of Heaven,” by Jon Krakauer, so “I can have my facts straight” when talking about Mormonism. “He’s a great writer, very very studious. He does extensive research. I love his writing. His imagery is great.”

David Cross
8 p.m. Saturday, October 17
The Tabernacle
152 Luckie Street / 145 Nassau Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 659-9022

Saturday, October 17, 200
3:30 PM
Barnes & Noble
2900 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

101 comments Add your comment

Chief Wiggum

October 12th, 2009
3:29 pm

He’s a hateful, far-left jerkwad. I liked “Arrested Development” in spite of him, I guess. He really does look down on all the unenlightened, stupid rednecks (or so he feels) that inhabit metro Atlanta. We’re not cool and trendy enough for him…that only applies to the Midtown people who get robbed and carjacked.


October 12th, 2009
4:03 pm

geez, get back on the plane tonight and head back to the cess pool.

dilly dally

October 12th, 2009
7:32 pm

That doofus really needs to visit Hair Club For Men.


October 12th, 2009
8:02 pm

GA is like the state that time forgot. Who needs technology when all you need is lots ‘o fried chicken! That’ll make ‘em sing and dance in the streets! It’s cheap for corporations to move here since the people are so easy to please. Churches, chickens, and 80’s party lines (the last of the states to actually still make a profit on them). Yee haw!


October 13th, 2009
10:09 am

…of course, I’m a homosexual, so what do I know????

Stat Man

October 13th, 2009
10:47 am

Fortunately for him AND US – Delta flies northbound too!


October 13th, 2009
10:48 am

hateful jerkwad? Please stop talking about yourself wiggum! And of course he looks down on Georgia, it is a HELL HOLE outside of Atlanta.


October 13th, 2009
10:50 am

By the way, it’s “Under the Banner of Heaven,” not “manner”.
He sounds like an interesting guy but remarkably cold.

Name (required)

October 13th, 2009
10:52 am

Tell him not to worry…..most of us that live here hate it too! :)


October 13th, 2009
10:53 am

He’s right about how the ATL is a corporatized collection of strip malls. @ChiefWiggum – Indeed he looks down upon you because you’re all that’s wrong with this town: redneck who consumes Hardee ThickBurgers while speaking on a cellphone and driving an SUV, pickup or Hummer. @dillydally Sure, the dude could use a weave, but that’s all you are able to come up with? This is about Cross’ criticism about the ATL. And of course @Slim is on the money. It doesn’t take much for those suburban bubbas to be happy with loads of Wingstreet, cheap beer and films like “Stroker Ace.”

What th......

October 13th, 2009
10:54 am

Couple of poor, bitter, desperate for attention right-wingers here. Wow – guys get a (better) life!


October 13th, 2009
11:04 am

The only thing cool about this guy is his 26 year-old girlfriend.


October 13th, 2009
11:06 am

Sad truth is, especially about Atlanta is that he’s right. The truth hurts.


October 13th, 2009
11:07 am

If he’s ok with a comparison to the loony, hateful, moronic Franken, that says a lot.


October 13th, 2009
11:15 am


October 13th, 2009
11:20 am

Well he is right in a certain way. Georgia is filled with hateful right wing douchebags who are obsessed with feeling unappreciated and oh yea…… at a certain college that most of them never attended. Yokels


October 13th, 2009
11:21 am

Sad that people are so short-sighted they think anything past Fulton county is a hell hole . . . there’s some beautiful countryside and wonderful people out there . . . but then again, it’s probably better they stay in this area and don’t take the cesspool to places that are still unspoiled.


October 13th, 2009
11:22 am

Thankfully Delta was ready when he was. Seems pretty clear that he’s a waste of oxygen but we can at least thank him for not polluting the air or the scenery here very often.


October 13th, 2009
11:22 am

I agree that Atlanta is not the town it was 20 yrs ago, but its all the Damn Yankees (being one myself I can say that) who complain about it the most that have screwed it up! To quote the great philosopher Lewis Grizzard, if you don’t like it here, Delta is ready when you are!


October 13th, 2009
11:24 am

New York City has charm?


October 13th, 2009
11:24 am

All of you that are bashing Atlanta and all it’s “redneck bubbas” should move away if it is so bad. I have lived my entire life here and I love it all. I can’t imagine living in a “hell hole” like New York. So there!

Reid in EAV

October 13th, 2009
11:27 am

Funny. I’ve run into Cross twice here in town — once introducing Eugene Mirman at the EARL, and another time checking out The Duhks at Smith’s Olde Bar. He definitely visits more than he lets on, I suspect.

Vick Supporter

October 13th, 2009
11:28 am



Ronnie Dobbs

October 13th, 2009
11:32 am

He is at least partially right. Atlanta in the ’70s was a pretty cool progressive place with Uncle Ted running around throwing Halloween parties and a smart, crazy mayor who talked about the “vapid, jejune trappings” of the middle-class. During the ’80s, Atlanta lost some of its personality due to a rapid influx of corporate transplants from the North and other parts of the South. That accelerated with the Olympic boom. Then Atlanta just wanted to be fancy and developed an unseemly nouveau riche feel. Now it’s this pretentious wine bar town. Growth as rapid as Atlanta’s will do that.

But that original Atlanta is still there and not just in East Atlanta. It’s a shame people like David Cross don’t move back and help foster it.


October 13th, 2009
11:32 am

“New York City has charm?”

It’s like a small village… of 20 million people.

“football at a certain college that most of them never attended. Yokels”

LOL, good to know that an article that has zero to do with UGA football can still bring out the obsessed hateful losers. Keep it coming.


October 13th, 2009
11:36 am

I love when liberals play the hate card. News flash, lefties: you morons practically invented hate and racism. That’s a fact.

Dave H.

October 13th, 2009
11:36 am

OK, so I’m a liberal who lives in the suburbs and like it — good public schools and such. I understand both perspectives here, but I think it would be easier if I were just of one simple mindset or the other. No complex shades of gray — just simple, stark, minion-approved thoughts.


October 13th, 2009
11:37 am

Yea I don’t like it as much as I used to either. With that said I do get a kick how most from NY think they are superior over everyone else for whatever reason…


October 13th, 2009
11:37 am

Jon, if you actually read the interview above rather than trying to force Cross’s comments to fit your own opinions, you will see that he is talking specifically about Atlanta, and not the whole state of Georgia. While I agree with a lot of his take on how Atlanta is “going corporate” I think that his attitude towards the city is condescending. If he dreads coming here so much, maybe he should just stay in New York.


October 13th, 2009
11:38 am

Slim and RJ,

Please leave town then. RJ, Slim, and David Cross with your French élites attitudes. I shall take off my driving gloves and smack you in the face.


October 13th, 2009
11:45 am

For all you idiots that don’t like Atlanta we have I20 going E and W, I 75 & 85 going N & S plus Delta is ready when you are. So get the Heck out of Dodge,knuckleheads!!!


October 13th, 2009
11:46 am

I’ve found News Yorkers to be some of the most obnoxious people around. If it isn’t in New York, it’s lame…or hillbilly….or whatever. Give it a rest. If Atlanta stinks so bad, leave and never come back. You won’t be missed. Really.

F dot Peek

October 13th, 2009
11:48 am

I know why I haven’t had 15 mins to shine, because I would tell everyone about themselves even myself, so no one can say,who are you to judge!


October 13th, 2009
11:49 am

I don’t associate most major downtown cities as having charm..If I want charm, I go to smaller cities..I do think that Altanta is a great place, just like New York is..Would I want to live right in downtown Atl? No, I perfer living more on the outskirts..

But as we’ve all read on most any blog here, as shirly said..New York and New Yorkers are better at anything and everything, so we don’t stand a chance..


October 13th, 2009
11:51 am

I am from Georgia and I am tired of seeing Wal-Mart, Lowes Home Depot, and Chili’s on every street corner. Also it would be nice if politicians would support building that is unique and not 6 million McMansions that now sit empty all over the metro. It would be nice if Alpharetta and many parts of Atlanta got a little more individual personality. But inhabitants and politicians alike have to support local business. Don’t eat franchise and don’t shop major department stores. You might even find you have a smaller waistline and connection to community. We can do it Georgia- even with all the Yankees here!


October 13th, 2009
11:53 am

He is correct.Atlanta has sold it’s soul to developers…….and then won’t pay for police protection…….especially downtown, where a student is robbed DAILY !

A Realist

October 13th, 2009
11:57 am

After this interview gets around, it will be interesting to see how many Atlantans are willing to spend their money to see this dude. I definitely won’t be one of them. Talk about dumb marketing strategies!!!!


October 13th, 2009
11:58 am

I like him. He’s funny and he pisses off the religious and neo-cons. HAHA.

Bill M

October 13th, 2009
11:59 am

Anyone that fits the phrase,” But I’m rich, so I can afford it”, into their interview is a little too full of themselves. He even goes out of his way to say that he doesn’t have a big ego and that’s right after assuming someone would be interested in reading a biography from him. I think his ego is bigger than he thinks.

Downtown Atlanta = Cesspool (Figuratively and Literally)

October 13th, 2009
12:01 pm

Obama Supporters (i.e. Worshippers) in this town are not quite so bragadocious when they come up to you around Centennial Park, Underground Atlanta or Turner Field here in October 2009 and “AXE” you for some free money or a free chicken dinner.


October 13th, 2009
12:10 pm

I’m sorry, but the fact that this dude was graduating around the time his girlfriend was born is just gross.


October 13th, 2009
12:17 pm

RJ- Stroker Ace was the best movie ever. I think it even won an award for that. They created a special one-time award for “Best movie ever made, ever”. that is why it was a one time award.
Bill M- you were right on target…very nouveau riche attitude. People like that are very classless and insecure and it shows when he has to remind people that he’s so rich. (thanks to a good agent)


October 13th, 2009
12:18 pm

Soooooo he moved to NYC because he’s frustrated with growth in ATL? That makes sense!! Seriously! It’s a gimmick for attention people!!!


October 13th, 2009
12:24 pm

Oh, and Slim- as far as the town that time forgot, who needs technology…Atlanta is second behind Seattle in technology as far as being the most connected. Look it up.
Of course, if search engine technology is a little too challenging for you, here’s a link.

Dave Perry

October 13th, 2009
12:40 pm

A place is only as good as the people that live there and that goes for midtown, downtown, metro, etc. If you don’t like it, move on or make it better.

Tomahawk Holmes

October 13th, 2009
12:45 pm

the best that ATL and GA has to offer is OTP – that’s OUTSIDE THE PERIMETER.


October 13th, 2009
12:47 pm

Gosh, he’s so much smarter than the rest of us. I’m in awe! Have you seen his photo? He’s a very handsome guy. I can’t wait for this terrific show so I can listen to him go on, and on, and on, and on……


October 13th, 2009
12:48 pm

Ah, David Cross, the poor mans David Spade.

The guy’s probably angry at “rednecks” for taking his lunch money all those years.
(He’s a proud graduate of Roswell High School)…
Hey, the guy’s an ATHIEST! That should tell you averything you need to know about the guy right there…

If it’s soooo bad here, why are people stlll moving here in droves? Hmmmm?
For those haters that don’t like it here, it must REALLY suck to have to live somewhere you hate!
Be mad at the lack of control you have over your life, then do something about it, like LEAVE!!
We don’t want you here!

Dixie Darling

October 13th, 2009
12:50 pm

So it seems while Cross has disowned Atlanta, Atlanta has more than enough rights to disown him and to never open doors to him again. I hope he flops at his show and returns up North with his tail between his legs, digs a hole, and pull the dirt over him and stay there.


October 13th, 2009
12:58 pm

I’m from here, born and raised. I love this city, but he has valid points.