Steve Coogan on Career, American Comedy, and Larry David

It might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s just possible that the furor over this week’s New Yorker cover is attributable to the summer heat: For irony, as with sex, sometimes it’s too darn hot.

Even for Larry David, apparently. In the August issue of BlackBook magazine (due out July 22), bone-dry British ironist Steve Coogan, who also has two movies coming out this summer that will test Americans’ waning tolerance for subtlety, tells the interviewer: "My career is so important. I’m being ironic. Can you put that in quotes: ‘He said, ironically?’" He also talked about working with Mr. David.

"The first time he laughed at something I did, it was a huge relief," he said. "If you decide to interrupt Larry David in the middle of an improvisation, it had better be funny, or you feel like an ass."

Though the interview was conducted before the recent spate of humorlessness, he does address the difference between British and American humor–or the lack of it: "Smart American comedy is not that different spiritually from smart British comedy," he tells the magazine. "The only difference is you’re in Hawaii, it’s sunny and everyone’s wearing shorts." Steve Coogan on Career, American Comedy, and Larry David