Royal Wit

Dave Hill speaks slowly and precisely on the phone. Not at all like the slightly off-kilter, buzz-generating comedian he is onstage.

Based on his comedy act, you’d expect Hill to pepper a conversation with sly jokes and off-color self-deprecation. But, in reality, he talks sweetly about his laundry, his family and his love of Cleveland cuisine. The 36-year-old University Heights native, now living in New York City, is the star of the new six-part series “The King of Miami with Dave Hill,” playing this summer on Mojo, a high-definition cable channel (seen locally on Time Warner Cable channel 774). The show follows Hill, sporting a splotchy spray-tan and a snarky light-gray suit, in his quest to rule the South Florida town.

“It’s kind of like a fake luxury lifestyle show with me going to Miami to become the quintessential Miami player,” says Hill. “It’s basically myself — a sort of dumber, more confident version of myself.”

Hill is something of a renaissance man. In addition to his Mojo gig, he plays guitar in two bands, and hosts the sold-out one-man show, “The Dave Hill Explosion” in New York and Los Angeles. In February, Variety magazine named him one of 2007’s “10 Comics to Watch.”

His recent success, including a stint playing an Englishman in a short for Robert De Niro’s production company, is all a little bit too much for Hill. “I never did a high school play, so to actually be paid to be an actor, I feel like I’m a fraud in a way,” he says. “It’s just as strange to me as if someone had asked me to be a pitcher for the Indians.”

Fortunately for comedy-lovers and baseball-lovers alike, Hill is not looking to move into the Tribe’s rotation just yet. But, he’s also not discounting a move back to Cleveland if this whole funny business thing doesn’t work out.

“This could be the height of [my success] and I could be working at Luchita’s in a couple of years,” he says about his favorite Mexican restaurant. “Not that that would be a bad thing.”  
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