Back when “Saturday Night Live” was pretty much the only sketch comedy show on television, and by far the funniest, Jon Lovitz created some of its most memorable characters. Annoying Man, Master Thespian, Tonto and Mephistopheles were among them, along with recurring impersonations of Harvey Fierstein and Michael Dukakis.
He also had a hectic film and television career, with roles on “NewsRadio” and “The Critic” and in such hit movies as “A League of Their Own” and “Big.”
But suddenly, he said, the television and movie offers stopped coming. Lovitz decided to learn the art of standup comedy, and that’s what he’s devoted himself to for the past 10 years.
He’ll be doing his stand-up act at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in Sarasota for four show starting Thursday.
For someone who had worked for his entire career in ensemble, the switch to stand-up comedy, where there’s no where to hide and no one to lean on, was difficult for Lovitz. But he said that he know looks at it as a liberating kind of performance in which he’s free to do anything he wants, as long as he’s able to make people laugh. That’s something he’s always been able to do.
Details: Nov. 3-5, McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 6:30 and 8:45 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $35. 941-925-3869, mccurdyscomedy.com.