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Beware The Mild Man!; MTV's Outrageous Denis Leary, Eerily Calm Off Camera
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Blumenfeld, Laura
Date: Dec 1, 1992
Start Page: c.01
Section: STYLE

He's become a phenom. MTV is working on "Hellhole," a [Denis Leary] sitcom, and Leary's second off-Broadway show "Birth, School, Work, Death" is due to open next year. His first solo gig, "No Cure for Cancer," ran last year in New York and runs this year in every imaginable market niche. Showtime is broadcasting it, A&M is doing the album, Doubleday is publishing the book. His morbid, intelligent barbs prick all, from Jesus to Kitty Dukakis. His book's chapter headings: "Drugs," "Drink," "More Drugs," "Smoke," "Meat," "War," "Life," "Death." It is funny.

He's 35, lives comfortably with his wife and two kids on the Upper West Side. Used to teach acting at his alma mater, Emerson College, near where he grew up in Boston. Grew up in a working-class Irish-Catholic family with a father who was so macho, Leary says in his act, he could "sever his own head with a chainsaw, and he'd staple-gun it back on." Leary moved to New York, did the stand-up circuit, got a break. "The anger is based on real anger - it's organic," Leary says. "I remember having temper tantrums in life, but I don't like to talk about it. Analysis on where it comes from pins it too much."

PHOTO,,Cori Wells Braun For Twp;PHOTO CAPTION:Denis Leary "had to prove to the director that I was funny." CAPTION:Denis Leary "had to prove to the director that I was funny." (This photo ran in earlier edition.)

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