Brian Posehn may not be a household name just yet, which suits the comedian, writer and actor just fine, thank you very much.
A frequent guest star on television (credits include “Community,” “New Girl” and “The Big Bang Theory”), scene-stealing film roles (“The Five-Year Engagement”) and frequent voice work (“Kim Possible,” among others) has made both his face and voice recognizable to many.
“It was a big thing for a long time when people would approach me and say, ‘It’s that guy,’ ” he says. “I don’t mind being ‘that guy’ because ‘that guy’ keeps earning a paycheck that keeps this guy and his family very happy.”
The Posehn will be appearing with Kyle Kinane, Dan Telfer and Jeremy Essig on the main stage as part of the C2E2 Friday Night Comedy Event 8:30-10 p.m. April 25.
Posehn, 47, says his heart is still in stand-up. Starting out as a struggling comedian, he says he could never have predicted the trajectory that his career has taken.
“Your kids have heard my voice a lot,” he says with a laugh. “Between the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, I stay pretty busy. With the television and film roles the last couple of years, my career has been in a great place.”
Posehn hosts a popular podcast called “Nerd Poker.”
“It’s me and a bunch of comedians playing ‘Dungeons & Dragons,’ ” he says. “Between TV, films, comics and the podcast, I have a pretty diverse fan base.”
A lifelong comic book fan, he says the C2E2 gig is a natural fit for him.
“I grew up reading Detective Comics, ‘The Brave and The Bold’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’ ” he recalls. “We didn’t have a comic book store in the town I grew up in.”
Posehn says fans can expect some material catered to the convention.
“I definitely want to make the show special. It’s a bit of a homecoming for Kyle [Kinane] and Dan [Telfer], because both of them grew up in Chicago,” Posehn says. “That’s not to say it’s going to be jokes catered to hardcore comic book fans or nerds; there will be something for everybody.”
You would be inclined to forgive him for throwing in a few comic book jokes, however. For the past year or so, Posehn has been writing for Marvel Comic’s “Deadpool” with longtime friend Gerry Duggan. A mercenary for hire, Deadpool is a sarcastic and wise-cracking character that seems well-suited to Posehn’s comedic style.
Posehn says the opportunity to take over writing the book happened, in part, to the friends that he made at comic book conventions.
“I spent a couple of years getting to know all the Marvel guys at various comic cons and when Axel Alonso took over as the big boss at Marvel, he made it his mission to hire me as a writer,” Posehn says.
Posehn is no stranger to the character, either. Fifteen years ago, he pitched a “Deadpool” film to Marvel Studios. They were even able to take on one of the more iconic and quintessential stories in comic book history: Iron Man/Tony Stark’s descent into alcoholism as depicted in Iron Man No.128, Demon in a Bottle and put their own comedic spin on it with Deadpool No. 7.
It was a storyline that has been years in the making.
“Gerry and my friendship is based on meeting at a comic book shop and geeking out over what we could do if we ever had the chance to write a story about a drunk Iron Man,” he says.
Posehn says the character appeals to him in part because Deadpool doesn’t take anything too seriously.
“There are no sacred cows or rules. He has a history of breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to you the reader,” he says. “Combine the smarta– character with these big action stories and how could anyone say no?”
A recent issue featured Posehn marrying off the character. Plans are underway to introduce Deadpool’s kid, and Posehn says fans can expect Deadpool to trade wisecracks with some of Marvel’s biggest characters in future issues.
“There are a lot of characters they haven’t allowed us to mess with yet and fortunately that is all coming up soon,” he teases.
As for C2E2, Posehn says when he isn’t signing autographs at Marvel’s table, you can expect him to be walking the show floor like any other fan.
“Of course, now that I’m a dad things have changed,” he says.” “When I buy things now, they’re usually for [my son]. It’s not like I can tell him, ‘Sorry, I took that $1,000 out of your college fund to buy more Silver Age comics.’ ”
Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), April 25-27, South Building of McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore. $35-$70. Visit c2e2.com.