Jimmy Shubert is taking control of his career.
The comedian just finished a standup comedy DVD ''Alive & Kickin','' which he will be selling when he comes to Wildcat's Comedy Club in Boardman for four performances.
''I wanted to see if I could produce an hour of broadcast-quality television by myself,'' Shubert said during a telephone. ''I wanted to create something that you could sell to someplace like Showtime. That was the challenge.''
Shubert is no stranger to comedy specials or cameras.
Comedy Central still runs the first standup special he did for the network. He probably could have gone back to them for ''Alive & Kickin','' but he had one problem with the first show.
''They owned it,'' Shubert said. ''That's what kind of bothered me - you do it, and they own it.''
WHO: Jimmy Shubert and Bob Cook
WHEN: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
WHERE: Wildcat's Comedy Club, Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center, Boardman-Poland Road, Boardman
HOW MUCH: For reservations or more information, call 330-883-7063.
Shubert had full control on ''Alive & Kickin','' which allowed him to include more than just a stage performance. The disc opens with a short film that plays off the old adage that ''Dying is easy; comedy is hard.''
''It's kind of like (Eddie Murphy's) 'Delirious','' he said. ''That had a short film in front of it. That's the way they used to be. It makes it more interesting, more of a theatrical production.''
He also included plenty of bonus features, from footage of a trip to Afghanistan with Drew Carey to entertain U.S. troops to an incident at Hilarities Comedy Club in Cleveland. When an employee damaged the club's sprinkler system, it set off an alarm and forced an evacuation while Shubert was onstage. Shubert continued to entertain the crowd outside the club while the firefighters checked the building, and a friend captured the on-street performance with a video camera.
Shubert insisted he had nothing to do with the sprinkler incident that provided such a primo bonus feature.
Those who haven't seen Shubert do standup may know him from his acting work. He had a recurring role on ''King of Queens,'' appearing in 17 episodes over five seasons as one of Kevin James' co-workers. And he's appeared in such films as ''Go,'' ''Coyote Ugly,'' ''The Italian Job,'' ''One Hour Photo'' and ''Mr. and Mrs. Smith.'' That's not the kind of broad comedies and parody movies that most comedians have on their Internet Movie Database resume.
''Those were the kinds of parts I got offered, auditioning with 300 other guys,'' he said. ''It's a nice departure from standup to be able to lay down a little serious acting.''
Asked what his dream acting gig would be, Shubert said, ''I'd love to be comic relief on a cop drama, like (Richard) Belzer on 'Law & Order.' My dad was a cop, and I'd love to be able to go into the family business through television.''
For now Shubert is focusing on his standup act, both in bringing attention to the DVD and starting to write new material for his live show.
With little prodding, Shubert riffed on topics from obesity to the economic bailouts to the single woman who recently gave birth to octuplets through in vitro fertilization.
He said the U.S. is the only country that has overweight homeless people.
''Obesity is so bad, two out of three people have become four out of five people,'' he said.
One positive for overweight people is that studies indicate they are less likely to commit suicide.
''That's because if there's a knife on the table, they're using it to butter a roll.''
He doesn't want audiences to hear the exact same bits that he filmed for ''Alive & Kickin'.''
''George Carlin is one of my heroes,'' Shubert said. ''He was a content monster. That's what people expect. You have to keep writing, keep it current.''