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DERRICK Comedy's Donald Glover in

Mar 4, 2015

Funny Business - Donald Glover 

Donald Glover is a comedian who's on the come up. He was a writer for NBC's hit comedy 30 Rock and his viral videos with comedy group Derrick Comedy get millions of hits on youtube. This Fall, he's gearing up for the release of his first feature film Mystery Team and a starring role on a new NBC show called Community. The Source caught up with Don to talk about doing comedy, his new projects and his passion for hip hop.

What inspired you to pursue comedy?

Uhh I was really into cartoons as a kid and... I saw Eddie Murphy Delirious and thought "I gotta do that." I was like, that's my... that's my future.

What was the first step you took towards that?

I was actually at a performing arts high school. I guess before that, as a kid, I used to do these talent shows. I would do this stuff with puppets and I was like a ventriloquist and it was weird. After that I went into performing arts high schools and studied plays and got into that. When I started writing plays I realized they were really short and they were like sketches, like stuff you would see on Chappelle show so I started following that.

Then, you got to the UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre) and hooked up with Derrick Comedy?

Well, I met the rest of Derrick at NYU actually. Except for Meggy McFadden who is our producer. She went to Fordham. She was dating, Dan, our director. I met the rest of them at NYU and we were in a group called Hammerkatz together. We started making stuff together on our off time, Dan would direct it and we would write it.

You guys have some pretty crazy camera cuts and angles...

Yeah our director, Dan, was always big on the quality of the film. When our internet thing was starting, he said they should be shot like short films. That's why a lot of the angles are like that, he said they should be shot like feature films and not like we didn't care about it.

You guys have a Hip Hop sketch, can you tell us what inspired that?

At Derrick, we're a bunch of hip hop heads. We love hip hop. We're crazy about Kanye, crazy about Lil Wayne. That's all we talk about (laughs). So, we always wanted to do something like that, it just kinda seemed like second nature. A lot of people in NY that will come up to you on the street like "ay man, you like hip hop? You like hip hop dawg?" It's like what do those guys want. They offer you stuff and I'm just like, "if you really like hip hop man? Yo I got Jay-z's body."


Yeah, so we're big hip hop heads. We love biggie, Jay-z, you know Outkast. Because I'm from the South.

You guys made the jump from youtube sketches to a full-length feature film called Mystery Team, how's that doing right now?

Yeah, it's a feature film, full-length. It's coming out late summer or early fall, around October. It will be out in theatres and we're really excited about it. We'll be on tour before that too, promoting it.

Who picked it up?

Roadside/Lions Gate.

Word, that's official. How about 30 Rock (Donald was a writer on the show), how'd you get that gig?

You know, I was lucky. I just graduated and I didn't know what I was going to do. I get this e-mail from the executive producer of the show, David Miner. He asks me if I have any stuff and I said "yeah" I had written a couple spec scripts and some sketches. I turned those in. I met with Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and I got the job. I was very lucky.

You were there from the beginning?

Yeah, I was there at the very beginning.

What are some things that we can credit specifically to you?

I guess the biggest thing is, Kenneth from 30 Rock is from Stone Mountain, 'cause I'm from Stone Mountain. They say "oh, that sounds real country", but Stone Mountain is actually pretty suburban. It doesn't have pig farms, used to have a cow farm but now that's a middle school. So they make it sound real country on the show. I was also very happy about them going to The Source Awards in the first season. I pitched the idea around that and I was glad that they did.

Word, I saw that. The Source was on 30 Rock! What about Tracy Morgan, it's no secret that he's known to say some wild shit. You have any stories?

The first day I met him. He's like "hey man, you got long hair man." I was like, "aw thanks man". He's like, "you wanna make dreads? What you do is, you get your girl pregnant and you take part of the placenta and rub it in your hair." 

Wow. (laughs)
First thing he ever said to you?

First interaction I had with him. Dude is nuts. He's really funny though, that's my man.

Can you tell us about your new gig on the show Community?

It's a show that's coming out on NBC this Fall. I play a football player that breaks both of his shoulders doing a keg stand. It's really funny show, Joel McHale's hilarious, all those guys are really funny and I'm just happy to be on it.

Cool. Let's talk about your rapping. I heard the Sick Boi mixtape. I thought it would be all jokes but it's pretty legit stuff.

Yeah, I just did that for fun. A lot of people are like, "this is actually pretty good." I wanted it to be somewhat funny but the more I did it the more I thought "I'll do this for real." I never really wanted it to be a comedy album. I make beats for fun and I wanted to use them. DC from Derrick he raps too, so I put him on a track once in a while. MC Chris and those guys. A lot of comedians who actually rap for real and don't do joke raps. I love that stuff but personally, I want to do stuff that can be funny but we're always about being versatile and can go anywhere. Even with our comedy, it can be very dark and very scary but very funny. We want to do stuff that can do both things at the same time. If you label it a funny rap nobody's going to take it seriously. If you find funny things in it, y'know, more power to you. Either way, you're listening to it which makes me happy.

You mentioned a lot of comedians rap? Who else?

Well, MC Chris, he's a rapper. He's been around for a while and tours as a rapper. He was a comedian and used to do stuff at the Upright Citizens Brigade. He used to be on Aqua Force Hunger Team a lot, Sealab 2021. He's a comedian. DC from Derrick Comedy. A lot of the guys from UCB have a love for it. You look at Lonely Island, they obviously have a true love for hip hop and they do what they like. I feel like comedians we kind of share that. Jay-z makes references to Delirious and Chappelle... there's an actual mutual love and respect.

Childish Gambino. Where you come up with that name?

That's my Wu-tang name. If you put my name, Donald Glover, into an online Wu-tang generator, my name is Childish Gambino.

(laughs) That's pretty dope man. Are you going to put out an official LP anytime soon?

I'll have the next one coming out called Poindexter. It should be out within a month or two. I'm dropping a mixtape first in a couple of weeks. It'll be free online and people can download it. It'll be done and I'm very excited about it.

What are some of the funniest moments in hip hop to you?

I guess, Kanye's mullet. (laughs) Nah. Let me think.. It's weird because the thing about hip hop is everyone's supposed to be so serious all the time. Hmmm.. Oohh, when Dave Chappelle plays 2pac, who died years ago and he's still putting out new shit. That's.. fucking great.

Check Donald's blog at and check out more hilarious sketches at Derrick Comedy's site at:
NY General

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Nate Dern, From UCBComedy's American Apparel, Everyday Sexy video, in

Mar 4, 2015

Nate Dern: The Heeb Interview

Some of you may know Nate Dern as the lovable nerd who made it all the way to the finals on reality show Beauty and the Geek. At Heeb, we know him as the dude who played Dov Charney in that awesome Upright Citizens Brigade sketch (click on the link if you have retrograde amnesia and can't recall a post we did, like, two days ago). Dern is a razor-sharp actor, comedian, writer and video maker from Brooklyn, out to make his bones in the big city-presumably by expertly embodying Jewish douchebags. He recently talked with Heeb about Charney, his reality TV days and deep-neck Vs.

You recently appeared as Dov Charney in an Upright Citizens Brigade sketch. What did you do to get into character?

I watched videos of Dov online. I watched one called Chasing Dov about 50 times. I spent one night listening to Dov say a sentence, then I'd pause and try saying the sentence like he did, complete with gesticulations and intonations. Dov speaks with this flowing rhythm, where he builds and slows at unexpected times. That was fun to try and imitate. I think that by the end of the night my girlfriend was ready to kick me out of the apartment.

Why was Charney chosen as an object of ridicule? (Was it because of the deep-neck Vs?) Were you involved at all in the conception of the sketch? Or did you just act in it?

My friend Todd Bieber conceived of, wrote, and directed the video. I think that Todd chose Dov and American Apparel because it was something that was widely recognizable, but that hadn't really been ridiculed in this particular way. We saw a few other parody videos of Dov out there, and most of them portrayed Dov as being mean. We wanted to stay away from that and try to do something new and more genuine. I don't agree with his views on feminism, but I also don't think that he is a mean-spirited guy by any means. He loves what he does and seems to be enthusiastic and jazzed about what he is doing most of the time. I think that Will Hines, who plays the male 'middle America' model in the video and also produced the video, said it best. After watching an online interview with Dov, Will turned to me and said, 'I've had more self doubts in the last 10 minutes than that man has had in his entire life.' The man loves what he is doing and really believes in himself, which is admirable. I guess we wanted to stay true to that while trying to focus on the ridiculousness of the 'everyday sexy' concept.

Do you own any articles of clothing from American Apparel?

I do actually. In fact, I'm wearing an American Apparel shirt right now, and I think that I was the only actor in the video who didn't have to be given any additional pieces of clothing because I had a full American Apparel outfit in my current wardrobe. When Todd approached me to be in the video and before I really knew what it was all about, I told him that I had to confess that I actually owned a few American Apparel garments, but he replied by saying that he wasn't against American Apparel. American Apparel treats their factory employees relatively well, pays them a minimum wage and is fighting for immigrant rights in Los Angeles. Plus, who doesn't love a nice deep-neck V?

I know I do. How did you get involved with UCB?

When I was a freshman in college in 2003 or so I went to New York with my college improv team to see a show at the UCB theater. We saw The Swarm, a team that now holds legend status amongst the UCB community. At the time I remember being completely blown away and just being like, 'Woah, I didn't know that this was something that could be done. I want to be a part of this.' When it is done well, long-form improv comedy is one of the most beautiful, wonderful things that a human being can take part in, and I think that the UCBT is the best improv theater in the world. I moved to New York specifically with the goal of taking classes and eventually performing at the UCB. I took my first UCB class about a year and a half ago with Bobby Moynihan (of SNL) and Charlie Todd (of Improv Everywhere) and have taken a bunch since then. I'm not on a house improv team, but I recently found out that I was chosen to be an actor on one of the house sketch teams, Thunder Gultch. I'll be performing with them at upcoming Maude Nights. Keep an eye out. The UCB has shows seven nights a week and they're all fantastic.

Do you have a day job as well?

No. You guys hiring?

Ha! From reality star to Heeb intern, perhaps? That kind of feeds into my next question, actually. I guess you could say that you got your start on Beauty and the Geek-has that helped with your career?

It is hard to say if it has helped. I don't think I know yet. When people find out that you've been on a reality television show, it certainly evokes a reaction most of the time. I can tell people that I once nearly died from a parasite that I contracted while traveling alone in Morocco and they won't really bat an eyelash, but mention TV and people get interested and start asking questions. I guess that makes sense. So I suppose it gives me a little something extra, but I don't think that it has really helped in a big way. I don't have a legit agent or anything. I tried to get an agent right after the show aired, but not a single agency would return my calls or e-mails. Reality TV shows are so prevalent these days, I don't think it carries too much weight. Sometimes I'm worried that it actually might hurt my career, stain me as a 'reality television' persona and thus not actually talented or intelligent. Ultimately, though, I don't think it will really matter too much. If I'm good and I work hard, I'll find success. If I do or don't make it in comedy, it wasn't because of Beauty and the Geek.

What have you been up to since you got to New York? Have you done a lot of stand-up? Or has most of your energy gone into producing sketches for the web/TV? What have you been working on lately?

I used to do stand-up a few times a week, but lately my creative energy has mostly been devoted to improv, editing videos for, and working on my weekly vlog, Quarterlife Pounder, where I answer questions submitted by viewers. You should submit a question.

I'll have to do that. Or our readers should. You hear that, readers? Well, here's my last question (for this interview at least). You recently got your master's from Cambridge University, how has this helped with your comedy? Did intensive film studies help you better channel the complicated soul that is Dov Charney?

I'd like to think that there is no area in my life that my intensive film studies don't help, but I'm not sure if that is actually the case. I think that Dov would make an interesting subject for a film, documentary or fiction. I'd want to see that.
NY General

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UCBT's Kate McKinnon in Autostraddle

Mar 4, 2015

Kate McKinnon: The Autostraddle Interview Photoshoot 

Beginning at a young age with a coming out speech delivered to her Methodist Church congregation and continuing to this very day-- when she's just finished filming the third season of The Big Gay Sketch Show and is doing her own one-woman five-character show at the Upright Citizens Brigade -- Kate McKinnon has been standing on stages and saying things that sometimes make people uncomfortable for most of her life. Luckily she's really, really, really funny.

We were only partially satiated by our brief red carpet encounter with Ms. McKinnon at the NewNowNext Awards (Logo's prestigious Homosexual Award Ceremony which gifted Ms. McK with a "Brink of Fame: Comic" Award), and therefore we decided to schedule more personal time with Kate this week during monsoon season in New York City. Robin photographed and Riese interviewed Kate McKinnon at her luxurious uptown penthouse over olives, whiskey and prostitutes to discuss a wide range of topics while Ms. McKinnon played with matches.* Let's get down to business!

*only the part about the matches is true.

Now What?

Riese: So you just finished Season Three of The Big Gay Sketch Show, so what are you going to do now?

Kate: I just last night did the first performance of a one-woman show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater -- they picked it up for a full run. It's called Best Actress, and it's about five fictional actresses who are all nominated for best actress, and it's really, you know, an exploration of the ease and the JOY! and the magnificence! of being a woman in the entertainment industry!

Riese: Especially a lesbian woman.

It's actually not very gay, but yes -- especially a lesbian woman. I mean, that's how hard it is to be a lesbian woman that I couldn't even put something gay in it.

Riese: Yeah, it would have made it really depressing.

Or people just would have booed me off the stage. 

Riese: Who's your favorite of the five characters you play in Best Actress?

I wrote a monologue about this Australian actress -- inspired by Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet -- and although she's a dramatic actress she just finished shooting a Judd Apatow movie called Coming on Jane where Jack Black just ejaculates all over her face, and her trying to take that seriously. But Upright Citizens Brigade caters mostly to the 18-35 male crowd.

Riese: And they love Jack Black.

And I thought I would be booed off the stage for taking pot shots at Judd Apatow, but they, in fact, laughed the hardest.

Riese: Or maybe we're just over the peak of the Judd Apatow hipness curve to the point where they're ready to laugh at it.

It's a little hip to laugh at Judd Apatow, maybe.

Riese: Yeah, and in two weeks, it'll be hip to still like him, 'cause that means you genuinely liked him earnestly to begin with, so you like, mean it. The Brink of Fame!

Riese: So also, you won a really big award recently!

Which I had to give back at the ceremony, and I have not received yet in the mail. That's how prestigious it was.

Riese: OK -- but did you notice that everyone nominated for "Brink of Fame: Comic" actually showed up, and in all the other categories, the only person who'd shown up was the person who won. But in your category everyone showed up, so you won fair & square.


Riese: So this means you're the only one who really won anything.

Does it?

Riese: Yeah!

Okay, I'll go with that.

Riese: Did you notice that?

Gosh, that makes me feel good. No I didn't know this.

Riese: Were you expecting to be roasted?

No I was not, and I was certainly not expecting to win, I really wasn't.

Riese: If your bio was on a Post-It note -- as per the roaster's suggestion -- what is the most important part?

My bio really could be written on a Post-It note; there's not much there. I just, I got my job on The Big Gay Sketch Show during my senior year of college at Columbia University, and then I graduated.

Riese: was intimidated that you'd be really smart, like too smart. And she wouldn't know how to talk to you.

Alex: Well I went to fashion school so...

Riese: What has been the most rewarding part of doing The Big Gay Sketch Show?

I get a lot of MySpace messages from young women & men across the country who say The Big Gay Sketch Show and Logo is all have. I've had a relatively easy time being gay because I'm from New York, I went to college here, but these people live in communities where they're freakish and they have to hide and they have a really rough time. I have no experience with that. And now they have a channel where they can see themselves and not feel quite so freakish. That's a beautiful thing and I'm truly honored to have been a part of that.

Riese: Do you wanna keep doing stuff for the gay audience?

Yes! Yes, yes. I mean, it's just so much more fun-er? To perform for people who get it already with a shared baseline of understanding. We've all had an experience of the world that is different from most people's experiences.

Riese: It's the outsider mentality.

Yeah, so it's fun to do that, but it's also rewarding to venture out into the straight world. That's why I do stuff at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre, I'm also on a sketch team there. I don't know any straight people in my real life, so it's nice to have some contact with ...

Riese: Straight people?


I'm Gonna Commitment Ceremony You

Riese: You and Julie both talk about being aware of your sexuality when you were really young - do you think that comfort with yourself and humor about it is part of your great comedic chemistry together?

I don't know ... hm. I think it's 'cause I really look up to Julie. She's definitely been a role model for me as a comedian and as a woman, and ... I don't know what she likes about me? But there must be something ... I think I'm just a tagalong?

Riese: But you are on the brink of FAME! You won the Brink of Fame Award!

Yes ... I did. Oddly enough, Comedy Central has not stepped forward with a development deal because of this, I guess the phone will ring soon.

Riese: Maybe it'll be when you get the actual award back, 'cause right now it's just sort of symbolic.

Once I get it, I'll just walk into the office and say, "Look, mothafuckas!" Riese: Oh, you should, actually. Wouldn't that be amazing? You should just carry it with you everywhere.

Like, "Excuse me, I'm on the brink of fame. Where's my contract?" 

Riese: You're edging on it. So do you feel like that's true?

No. Absolutely not.

Riese: What for you is the ultimate dream success?

: My ultimate dream would be to be Lily Tomlin or to be Tracy Ullman, you know, just a character woman. A character woman who does characters where characters are needed. I would kill to be the first gay person on SNL or have a Tracy Ullman-type show. That would be my ultimate dream.

Other People's Questions

Riese: Okay, now I have questions for you from our interns and the team. Are you ready?


Riese: Any new impersonations coming up for the next season? Because everyone loves Fitzwilliam.

Kate: There is a Fitzwilliam sketch, but there is also ... ... much more.

Riese: Any exclusive secret new characters?

I don't know if it's a secret ... there are some more celebrity impressions ... Among them, I will say ... Barbara Walters is on the show now.

Riese: The View, or...

In all respects of her life.

Riese: If you could be in a Broadway show, which one, and what character?

I am a musical theatre enthusiast. I would play Miss Hannigan in Annie.

Riese What was your favorite part when you were doing it in school?

Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.

Riese: One of our editors wants to know should she call you 'Cutie Fantastico' or 'My Little Poodle Noodle?' Kate: It's rough to decide between the two, but I have to go with 'Cutie Fantastico.' 'Poodle Noodle' makes me ... gag.

Riese: Is it the 'poodle' or the 'noodle?' Kate: It's both.

Riese: Her follow up question is - what is it like to have such an adorable nose?

I don't know! An adorable nose? Who said that? I'd like to meet the girl who said that!

Riese: Laneia is her name. She's very cute.

Um, I don't know how to answer that question! I'm glad someone thinks my nose is adorable.

Riese: So this is sort of 'surprising' is how this feels?

No one's ever said anything about my nose!

Riese: I have to say that obviously I've now been looking at your nose while we've discussed this and I have to agree.

Well I have Jesus to thank for that, so thank you, buddy.

Riese: What's a lesbian joke that you're really sick of hearing?

I'm not sick of lesbian jokes, I think they're all true, and I love them! I love that if I wanted to walk around and not shave my legs and have a bad attitude, wear a belt buckle the size of a burrito, I could. I could, and that would be okay because people expect that of me, and I like that people expect that of me.

Riese: So anything other than the burrito buckle is like a pleasant surprise?


Riese: Like 'your hair is so long!'


Riese: Who was your first big crush?

: Gillian Anderson of The X Files. Let me say this: the other day, someone 'suggested a friend' to me on Facebook, and that friend was Gillian Anderson. She has a Facebook page. It's probably someone who made a Gillian Anderson Facebook page, but anyway, I did it, and she accepted my friendship, so now I am Facebook friends with Gillian Anderson.

Riese: Did you look at all her photo albums right away?

: Yeah, I wrote, actually, an essay? About my love for Gillian. It has yet to be published, but I thought about it.

Riese: Just for fun? Or for school?

: No, I really had to work through some stuff, so I wrote about it, and maybe I'll give you guys a copy, and you can put that essay on your website.

Riese: We could publish it. It could have its moment, and you could be the celesbian guest blogger, interviewee, and photoshoot subject, which is like, triple threat.

: Wow, that's too much. Anyway, so I came to understand was that I wanted was to kiss ladies through feeling the way that I did about her.

Riese: It was her role in The X Files? She was in movies.

: No, no, no. It wasn't even Gillian. I wanted Dana Catherine Scully.

A Little Case of Palm Springs Crotch Rot

Riese: What were you doing on your laptop during the Celesbian interviews?

Oh, I'm just typing. There's nothing. The computer is off.

Riese: Was it awkward afterwards with Dani Campbell? Everyone loves that video of you. It's like one of those videos that people want to show, like 'Oh my God have you seen this?' Then everyone stands around the computer like they're watching puppy cam.

: Here's why it was awkward, not for the reason that you would expect: it was awkward because, for some reason, my crotch smelled, and my legs were spread wide open, and I was smelling my womanhood, and I thought, 'I hope she can't smell it.' I don't want to be in Palm Springs anymore! Palm Springs crotch rot!

Riese: It's the Palm Springs special -- Julie made a joke about it right?

: Yeah, she was making a joke about it, but it like, wasn't a joke. It really was happening.

Riese: So afterwards you just closed your legs?

: Yeah, and Dani Campbell was not expecting that, and afterwards I apologized for my behavior, if it made her uncomfortable, and she said, 'That's alright,' but like it kind of wasn't alright, and I think that had more to do with my crotch than my behavior. So that's the truth about that video.

Riese: Do you like Dinah Shore?

: No. No. I have to say that I didn't. Because I don't drink. I'm not sober, I just don't drink, and I don't like crowds, loud music, or human interaction, and there was a ton of that that weekend, and so it was a little much for me.

Riese: How about the Rosie Cruise?

: Actually, the reason why I don't drink is that I decided to test my limits on the Rosie Cruise. I had three gin and tonics at the uhh --

Riese: At the Spinnaker?

: Yeah! At the Spinnaker Lounge. They say that I was so drunk that I licked a poll in the Spinnaker lounge, and I don't remember that at all, and I had a stomach virus, probably from something I contracted by licking the pole.

Riese: Right, a lot of children and Broadway people. And that's why you don't drink?

: I mean I don't drink because if I have one drink, I am on the floor, and I don't like that feeling.

Riese: But did you like performing on the Rosie Cruise? Did you like the environment?

: Yeah, it was fun. I ate way too much, as you have to. Before those three gin and tonics, I had a 1 a.m. visit to the pasta bar, and I had farfalle with pesto, and I didn't have it a couple of hours later. Oh God, it was terrible.

Riese: I've gotten sick on every Rosie Cruise, I think, once. Is that weird?

: No.

The Other Kate McKinnon

Riese: Did you know that there's another Kate McKinnon who makes jewelry?

: Yes I did. I'm trying to outrank her on Google, but I don't know how. She comes up first.

Riese: You should get in touch with her.

: Yeah I should. She's a metalsmith and a beadworker. I should reach out to her, and we could combine forces.

Riese: You could ask her for some jewelry. She makes metalwork and jewelry, doesn't she? Does she have the .com?

: Yeah, I don't have a website. I just never got around to paying someone to make that. I have a Tumblr.

Riese: What do you put on it?

There is one video on it. I am very bad at self-promotion. Very, very bad. I never update my MySpace account. I never list my gigs or anything, I never get around to it. I just hope that people will show up.

Riese: I mean, you got a job doing comedy right out of college, and now you have a show, so obviously you don't need self-promotion. You're doing really good.

: Well thank you!

: Do you have any questions for Obama?

Kate: I have a lot of questions for Obama right now. I have three questions. When am I going to get married? When am I going to have health insurance? And suga, suga, how'd you get so fly? You're so cute, Barack.

The Big Gay Sketch Show will return to Logo in February of 2010. In the meantime, you can watch re-runs and wait for Kate 'Brink of Fame' McKinnon to update her tumblr and/or myspace and go see her at the Upright Citizens Brigade. 
NY General

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