LOS ANGELES -- There was a time when the notion of Jim Carrey popping by a comedy club would have been as expectant as a joke about airline food. But the comic long abandoned the stand-up circuit to focus on an acting and producing career.
That changed Monday -- at least for one evening.
Carrey bounced up on stage at Pasadena's Icehouse Comedy Club to help promote his upcoming Showtime series, "I'm Dying Up Here," a dramatic look at standup in the 70s with Oscar winner Melissa Leo playing a jaded club owner.
Carrey doesn't appear in the series, but he's been front and center as a promoter, and that included warming up an audience of about 70 press members after a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders in a 56-year-old institution that has played host to everyone from George Carlin to Martin Lawrence.
Carrey approached the stage doing a smooth backfoot glide.
"I haven't been here in 20 years. It's like going backwards," he said looking out at club that had been re-imagined as a '70s hot spot with waitresses serving Tab soft drinks and black ashtrays at every other seat.
After an awkward bit with the mike ("I haven't touched one of these in a while") Carrey played up to the small group, teasing as if he might launch into a full routine.
"I have nothing to say!" he finally said. "I'm not hungry anymore. I've done it all!"
Carrey then handed over stand-up dutes to Al Madrigal, Erik Griffin and Andrew Santino who all appear on the show. Leo also cameoed on stage, if only to respond to her co-stars' ribbings.
"I'm Dying Up Here" premieres June 4.