EVERETT — When stand-up comedian Marc Price takes the stage at Tony V’s on Thursday, audience members of a certain age might ask, “Gee, isn’t that Skippy?”
Yep, that’s Skippy. Specifically, Irwin “Skippy” Handelman, the character Price played on 54 episodes of “Family Ties” from 1982 to 1989.
In “Family Ties,” which shot Michael J. Fox to stardom, Skippy was the Keaton family’s next-door neighbor and a friend of Fox’s character, the Young Republican son of liberal ex-hippie parents.
The son of a Borcsht Belt-era comedian named Al Bernie, Price became a funnyman at an early age. He says he was cast in “Family Ties” after he did his teen-age stand-up routine on “The Merv Griffin Show” and caught the eye of NBC President Brandon Tartikoff. Price was 14 at the time.
Price, who turns 55 this month, said he did stand-up in about 40 cities last year, and will be doing a show on Cinco de Mayo with the actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez. He’ll also be a guest co-host on Adam Carolla’s popular podcast.
When he’s on the road, Price said he enjoys working with local comedians. In Everett, he’ll be joined by comedian and Granite Falls resident Jerry Benefiel.
In his routine, Price said, he doesn’t dwell on “Family Ties,” because audience members who aren’t baby boomers likely aren’t familiar with it. He does talk about growing up in Hollywood in the 1980s — which for him included buying a home in Los Angeles’ fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood when he was 17. He still lives there.
On “Family Ties,” Skippy has a huge crush on Mallory, the eldest Keaton daughter, played by Justine Bateman, but he’s way out of her league. That’s how it was in real life, Price said. But he did go on a couple of date with another 1980s teen-girl icon: Lisa Bonet of “Cosby Show” fame. He says they became friendly at an NBC function where they snuck into the studio where “The Tonight Show” was taped, and sat at Johnny Carson’s desk.
These days, Price said, he’s spoken recently with “Family Ties” co-stars Brian Bonsall and Tina Yothers, and he raises money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without him,” Price said of Fox. “ ’Family Ties’ was such an important experience for me.”
Price’s show, part of his “Awkward Adult Years” tour, is set for Thursday at Tony V’s Garage, 1716 Hewitt Ave., Everett. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, $25 at the door.
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