Good in Small Doses

A theory: Yes, he hosted E!’s Talk Soup and starred as Michael Novotny on Showtime’s Queer As Folk. But as far as his onscreen presence goes, Hal Sparks is most hilarious (intentionally or not) in concentrated three-minutes-or-less chunks.

The evidence: Everything out of his mouth on all of those VH1 talking-head shows. His yuppified-self sharing an elevator with the titular superhero of Spider-Man 2. Cameoing as himself in the video for Fall Out Boy’s cover of “Beat It.” A dead Indian in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. A long-haired skateboarder in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman who advises Clark to “lay off the amino acids, dude.” His kung-fu demo tape.

The stand-up: Of course, the opposite holds true with his wide-eyed, animated, pop-culture-laced stand-up, meaning even the longest set isn’t enough.

Fri., July 25, 8 & 10 p.m.; Sat., July 26, 8 & 10 p.m., 2008