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Posts tagged as interviews

The Post-'SNL' Life of Brooks Wheelan

Look at it this way: if Brooks Wheelan didn’t get fired from SNL, he might not have recorded his hilarious new debut standup album.

Not many comedians have parlayed a TV show dismissal into standup success as quickly as Wheelan, an accomplished standup comic who was let go last year after one season as a featured player on SNL. But rather than sulk over his disappointment, Wheelan owned it and soon commenced the “Brooks Wheelan Falls Back on Stand Up Comedy (sorta) Tour.” Much of that material, including his SNL experience, is on his new album, This is Cool, Right?, which was released yesterday.

I recently had the chance [...]

Iliza Shlesinger and the Contradictions of 'Freezing Hot'

Iliza Shlesinger is about as confident, bold and honest of any comedian as they come. She knows who she is and what she wants to talk about. Oh and did I mention she’s hilarious? No surprise, then, that after her first huge hit special War Paint, Netflix asked her to do a follow up. Freezing Hot comes out today and is definitely one you’ll want to put on your list.

I think I can guess based on watching it, but how did you come up with the name, Freezing Hot?

You know it was kind of a last minute name. Basically, what I found was a lot of the [...]

Simon Amstell on Finding Fault with the World in His New Standup Show 'To Be Free'

Lucky for us, British comic Simon Amstell is becoming a mainstay of the US standup scene. He toured the States in 2012 with his show Numb, a soul-baring hour focused on his own insecurities and over-active neuroses. He's since popped up twice on The Late Show with David Letterman, and more recently on The Tonight Show and Conan. In April, he returns to our shores with his new show, To Be Free. I got the chance to catch up with him recently about moving beyond depression, the stress of late night spots, and enjoying his work in the US.

We talked a few years ago when you had just started your residency of Numb in New York. [...]

Mike Schur on the End of 'Parks and Recreation' and NBC's Thursday Night Comedies

If you've been a TV comedy fan within the past ten years, chances are that Mike Schur is behind one of your favorite shows. An original writer and producer on the American Office, Schur currently serves as co-creator of two major network comedies starring SNL alums with Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine and NBC's Parks and Recreation, which kicks off its seventh and final season tonight. Ahead of the Parks season premiere, I talked with Schur about how he approached the end of the Amy Poehler-starring show, what he thinks of the future of major network sitcoms, and what separates a successful final season from the rest.

The Year in Interviews

In 2014, the Splitsider team did over 150 interviews to get the inside information about your favorite things in comedy. Here’s a collection of the year’s most notable quotes from our conversations with some of the best people involved in comedy today.

Jen Kirkman on Accepting Career Opportunities and Life's Changes

You may know Jen Kirkman as a standup comedian, as a writer and panelist on Chelsea Lately or from drinking wine and retelling historical events on Drunk History.

Her acts are personal, and don't contain pop culture references that could date the material. Her book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself was about her decision to not have children and the repercussions of those who oppose it. As she prepares to film her newest standup special while touring and writing a new book, she's juggling the various facets of her job, but not always by choice. Her work ethic mantra is, "I have to or I won't be [...]

Kyle Kinane Is Not Punk Rock

After a long, unconventional course of some fifteen years, Kyle Kinane finds himself at an interesting point in his comedy career. To his fans and peers, he is one of today's best comics. He's developed a unique, personal style that allows him to deliver his observational wisdom through the natural persona of a grizzled everydude. His first two releases, Death of the Party and Whiskey Icarus, garnered critical acclaim and his list of TV credits continues to grow. Now, on the eve of the world premiere of his new Comedy Central special, I Liked His Old Stuff Better, Kinane faces the challenge of staying true to his old fan base [...]

Scott Aukerman on 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' Season 4 and Saying Goodbye to Reggie

The one thing we do know about Reggie Watts’ replacement on IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! is the new sidekick will be a human being.

That is all the offbeat talk show’s host and creator Scott Aukerman is willing to divulge in the wake of news that Watts, Comedy Bang! Bang!’s bandleader for the past three seasons, is leaving in March to become bandleader of the new Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS.

We’ll still have plenty of Watts and Aukerman’s hilariously awkward banter to enjoy in the first half of Comedy Bang! Bang! season 4, which premiered last week. And Aukerman promises a remarkable mid-season sendoff.

After that, [...]

Nick Kroll on Pushing Characters to Their Limits and the End of 'Kroll Show'

Last month, Nick Kroll revealed in an interview with Vulture that he's decided to end his hit Comedy Central series Kroll Show after its upcoming third season. Since premiering in 2013, Kroll Show has consistently proven itself to be one of Comedy Central's top sketch shows, standing alongside the likes of Key and Peele and Inside Amy Schumer with a solid supporting cast including Jon Daly, Jenny Slate, Chelsea Peretti, John Mulaney, and more. Ahead of tomorrow night's season premiere, I recently talked with Kroll about why he decided to end Kroll Show, how his series has evolved, and what we can expect from the final season and [...]

The Young Standup: Brandon Wardell on Drake, Bob Odenkirk, and Taking the Unexpected Path

At 22 he may be young, but he looks even younger. With a recent move to Los Angeles from his native DC, Brandon Wardell's notoriety in the comedy scene is growing.

He was included as the opening act of Bob Odenkirk's latest album Amateur Hour and even featured on the album's cover — a dream for any young comedian. He's even begun to make the podcast rounds as a recent guest on the OMFG Earwolf podcast and The Todd Glass Show – listen if you are prepared to hear a Brandon Wardell song stuck in your head for days.

To understand his humor, read his Twitter feed of one-liners about pop [...]

On Five Seasons of Buttholes with the 'Workaholics' Guys

Five seasons in, and there’s still no shortage of butthole jokes on Workaholics. You have to respect that commitment.

Whereas some comedies will shift gears over time and bring on new characters or other developments, Workaholics keeps it real. Week after week viewers are treated to the drunken antics of three slacker morons. They only thing that changes is the mischief they get into. It’s a formula that works so why mess with it?

I caught up with Workaholics stars Adam Devine, Anders Holm, and Blake Anderson prior to their Season Five premiere. We talked about buttholes (of course), A-list guest stars, and their various solo projects.

From Books to 'SNL' to Pixar to a Sitcom with Simon Rich

There are a few observations critics almost always make about Simon Rich: how young he is, how much younger he looks, and how much he’s accomplished regardless. The next move usually is to list his accolades: when Rich graduated from Harvard (having served as president of the Harvard Lampoon) he already had a two-book deal from Random House as well as an offer to be the then-youngest writer on Saturday Night Live. After four years working at SNL, Rich spent the next two at Pixar. During this period, he published a total six books — the most recent a short story collection, Spoiled Brats, that features an alternate history narrative [...]

Getting Back Into the Spy Game with 'Archer' Executive Producer Matt Thompson

Archer is back for a sixth season and with it comes a return to the secret agent “mission of the week” format we grew familiar with during the series' first four seasons. Season Five, Archer: Vice, was a fun detour into the seedy world of cocaine sales, but after last week's premiere, it seems that people — including the show's creators — are glad to get back to the spy games that Archer is best known for. I talked to Executive Producer Matt Thompson about how real-world terrorism affected the show's universe, this season's spectacular guest stars and the possibility of an Archer movie.

Congratulations on the Season Six Premiere. [...]

Ari Shaffir and the Importance of Intimacy

Who would tape and produce their comedy show in a strip club? Ari Shaffir. This Is Not Happening has proved its merit as a successful web series since it appeared on YouTube in June of 2013, and on January 22nd it will finally premiere on Comedy Central. A part of its success comes from the dark intimacy of the venue, a feature that Shaffir pays a great deal of attention to.

Shaffir has applied this same philosophy to his upcoming hour-long special, Paid Regular, also being produced with Comedy Central. Taped in the Original Room at The Comedy Store, Shaffir strives to translate something that has often eluded most [...]