If you were a kid in the ’90s, R.L. Stine was your Stephen King. This was pre-helicopter parenting, when your school book fair haul could consist solely of paperbacks like Say Cheese and Die!, The Girl Who Cried Monster, and The Curse of the Creeping Coffin. Stine has sold more than 350 million copies of his 300-plus books. The Goosebumps series alone had more product tie-ins than a Marvel movie: masks, shirts, trading cards, a board game (which I got for my ninth birthday), even a ventriloquist dummy named Slappy.
At midnight, Stine, 70, will be in the flesh at UCBeast as a guest during Cool Shit/Weird Shit, a show of comedic trial and error held the fourth Fridays of the month. Hosted by Matt Dennie and Josh Sharp, this edition, “An Experimental Reading of Fiction,” will feature several writers.
“If 11-year-old Matt Dennie ever would have imagined that he’d be doing a comedy show in which R.L. Stine would be doing a reading, he wouldn’t believe it,” Dennie said. “He’s reading a story that he wrote that he says is his most shameful story he’s ever written, very embarrassed to read it. It’s called ‘I’m Martin.'”
Dennie got in touch with Stine through George Karmen, a UCB performer who went to school with the author’s son and interviewed Stine on his web series, The George Kareman Variety Hour, in 2011.
“He seems really receptive and excited,” said Dennie of his email exchange with Stine, who according to his website has lived in New York since 1965, initially writing under the name “Jovial Bob Stine.” “I think he likes doing comedy stuff.”
Stine’s writing will provide some upcoming source material onscreen. MTV is adapting his book Eye Candy into a TV series about a girl who is cyber-stalked, and Variety reports that Stine will be portrayed by Jack Black in a Goosebumps film, slated for 2016.
153 E. 3rd St. at Ave. A., 212-366-9231, Fri. at 11:59 p.m., $5