The Laughing Skull Lounge
878 Peachtree St., Atlanta
“Finding Vivian Maier”
1:45 p.m. Q&A with Jeff Garlin, 3:40 p.m. introduction by Garlin, Saturday, April 12
$9.50 adult tickets
Lefont Sandy Springs
5920 Roswell Road, Atlanta
Jeff Garlin may play a clueless dad wearing 1980s-era Cosby sweaters on ABC’s new MTV-era sitcom “The Goldbergs,” but to him, the gimmick of revisiting leg warmers and acid-washed jeans doesn’t really matter.
“It’s just a great family show,” said Garlin, who will be in Atlanta this week at the Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown to work on new material for an upcoming TV comedy standup special. “We’re still on the air, and that’s amazing.”
Garlin’s comedic style on the live stage is loose and semi-improvisational.
“He doesn’t have a set list,” said Marshall Chiles, who owns the Laughing Skull and has become friends with Garlin over the past decade. “He is just in the moment on stage. He has jokes he wants to get to, but it depends on what’s happening in the room and inside of him. He can play off the energy in the room.”
Chiles was flattered that Garlin specifically chose to fly to Atlanta for several days from Los Angeles to work on material. Garlin has been there a couple of times before.
“It’s a great comedy space,” said Garlin, who has two close friends in Atlanta he visits when he comes into town. “I love Atlanta audiences. I don’t really work the road in clubs. It’s a rare occurrence for me.”
Garlin is also a photography buff. When he heard about the discovery of 100,000-plus photos by Vivian Maier and the strange story behind them, he got in touch with John Maloof, a historian who had purchased the photos from an unpaid storage locker without knowing what was inside. Garlin told Maloof, “This would make a great documentary.”
Maier was a nanny in Chicago who spent decades doing what’s called street photography, capturing bracing shots of wealthy shoppers, Polish immigrants and little children. (She was briefly a nanny to Phil Donahue’s kids.) Her photography only became acclaimed after she died because she rarely revealed them to anyone.
So Garlin, a Chicago native, helped finance and produce the film “Finding Vivian Maier,” which he’s screening across the country, including the Lefont Sandy Springs on Saturday. There, he’ll hold a Q&A after the 1:40 p.m. screening and introduce the 3:40 p.m. screening.
Sifting through the negatives, he said there were very few duds. “She was very precise,” Garlin said. “She didn’t take five or six photos of each subject. Each time she saw something, she took away something interesting.”
This hardly means Garlin is planning to become the next Ken Burns.
“I’m a comedian,” he said. “I have this ABC TV show. I have ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’ I’m in movies. I’m really busy. I’m not thinking about whether I should do another documentary. I do whatever happens.”