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21 questions

Todd Barry Orders Wine at Dive Bars

Name: Todd Barry
Age: 44
Neighborhood: East Village
Occupation: Actor (The Wrestler) and comedian. Catch his stand-up at Comix January 2 and 3.

Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Wow, thanks for giving me the option of naming a dead fictional character. Hmmmm … let's see. Actually, I like the guy who works at my corner deli. I think he's from Bangladesh. He does this bit where he pretends it's been ages since he's last seen me, even if he just saw me yesterday. He'll say "Oh, man long time, where have you been? Afghanistan? Hanging out with Bin Laden?" Maybe you have to be there, but it always makes me laugh.

What's the best meal you've eaten in New York?
The last great meal I had was at Dell'Anima — some sort of pasta with sausage, broccoli, and crunchy maybe bread crumb or polenta things.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I'm mainly a stand-up comic, but I occasionally act, write, do a cartoon voice, or make a video.

Would you still live here on a $35,000 salary?
Sure. Are you offering me a job at MTV?!

What's the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Top Girls. I liked it. I don't see enough plays because I work nights.
And I can't go to a matinee and listen to old ladies open hard candy during the show. I get flashbacks to seeing community theater in Delray Beach.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Only if they have a sign that says "Need Money for Beer: Hey, I'm Just Being Honest!"

What's your drink?
I usually drink red wine. When I order it, I tell the bartender I don't know anything about wine. They ask what I like, full-bodied, etc. I say I don't even know what those terms mean. They pour something. I drink it. I even order wine at dive bars. I'm a really interesting dude!

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Never. But years ago I was the "celebrity" guest on the Food Network's Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. It did not go well. Here's a
montage of the most awkward moments
.

What's your favorite medication?
Well, Imodium AD is the most impressive medication I've taken, but generic Sudafed and Claritin are the ones I use the most. And I like that you have to show I.D. to get Sudafed now.

What's hanging above your sofa?
A Rothko original, a Mondrian original, and a Mellencamp print.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Gwyneth Paltrow hooked me up with a great place on Madison Avenue that charges a million dollars. Kind of steep, right?

When's bedtime?
3 a.m. for me. 2 a.m. for my hamsters.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I yearn for the days of the old Times Square — when shopping for M&M's was less daunting.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
He amuses me for some reason.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Living in a bedroom a quarter the size of my 10-year-old niece's; the honking, which is allegedly illegal and punishable by a $350 fine; and the cold weather, which I don't think is illegal.

Who is your mortal enemy?
The guy sitting next to me at a coffee place the other day (okay, it was Starbucks). He was texting nonstop but wouldn't turn off the little blippy-blip sound he got after every new message. That guy.

When's the last time you drove a car?
May 14, 2008. Los Angeles.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Years ago I violated Suze Orman's rule of mutual-fund investing. I invested a lump sum, instead of spreading out the investments over twelve months. So now that lump is smaller, but the $2,500 you're paying me for this interview should take the edge off.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Those are the only choices? Wow. Isn't that a slap in the face to the Staten Island Advance?

Where do you go to be alone?
I usually fly to Wyoming and break into Harrison Ford's ranch house.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Someone who drinks egg creams all day, every day.

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Photo: Getty Images