Donald Glover majors in laughs on NBC's CommunityMar 3, 2015
Donald Glover quit his job as a writer on NBC's 30 Rock in the spring to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian and actor.
"For a second there, I thought, 'This is the worst decision I ever made. I cant believe I left this great show to do stand-up,'" Glover said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
He didn't have to worry for long. Almost immediately he heard from producers Joe and Anthony Russo, who had seen the independent movie Mystery Team, which Glover starred in, co-wrote, produced and scored.
They wanted him to audition for the role of Troy, the former high school football star, in the NBC comedy Community (Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC). Glover got the job.
The Atlanta native is accustomed to things falling into place for him. Just before he graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, he landed a job as a writer on 30 Rock. Producers had heard about him through his work with the sketch comedy group the Upright Citizens Brigade and e-mailed him that they were looking for writers.
"It could have been a fake e-mail," he said. "Who gets an e-mail out of nowhere like that?"
There "is this weird thing where comedians are all about struggle," he said. "A lot of my stand-up is around my childhood, which was my most turbulent time in my life, where I felt really alone and stuff. But as far as my career, it's been pretty smooth sailing. I can't really complain. I've been extremely fortunate."
His mother enrolled him in Atlanta's performing arts high school to keep him out of trouble.
"I think she thought, 'He'll do ballet that will keep him away from drugs,'" he said. "When I first started there, I really hated it, but it really did change my life."
He looked to Smash Williams on the series Friday Night Lights to tap into playing Troy.
"Smash thinks he's awesome. He talks in the third person, so I kind of based it half on him and half on my little brother who is a football guy," he said.
Glover, who recently taped a stand-up comedy special for Comedy Central, described working with co-star Chevy Chase as surreal.
"I always think, 'This better be funny because Chevy Chase is watching,'" he said. "But I think I got a lot of that out of my system at 30 Rock because I was always working with Tina (Fey), and I was always so enthralled with all the things that she did and how amazing she was. You just realize, they're so accomplished, but you're all doing the same stuff. You're trying to make the best product and make the funniest stuff happen."
NY Times - SNL's Seth Meyers' Sunday Routine Involves ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCBTMar 3, 2015
Seth Meyers, 35, is in his ninth season on Saturday Night Live, his fourth as head writer as well as the snide anchor of Weekend Update, the irreverent, unrepentant mock news report. The co-writer of Tina Fey's spot-on impersonations of Sarah Palin, he has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award for comedy writing. He lives alone in the West Village. A very single guy: no pets, no plants, no window treatments.
OUT LATE, UP LATE During show season, I'm probably out until 5 in the morning with the rest of the cast; you know, there's all that adrenaline to burn off after putting on a live show. No way can you just go home. So I don't sound like an alcoholic, I probably don't have my first drink until 2 a.m. I usually get home around 5, fall asleep, and get up around 11. I let the day wake me up. My bedroom is curtainless on purpose because I don't like sleeping in.
DELI RUN I have this very nice Italian machine that makes coffee, but after using it a couple times I realized I like deli coffee better, so the first thing I do is go get a coffee. Being from New England, I enjoy wearing my Red Sox hat around town.
PHONE HOME The next thing I do is call my parents. Really. I've called them every Sunday since I went away to college. We started this family football pool when my brother and I were, like, 9 and 7; I guess they felt it was a key thing, to teach us the building blocks of gambling at a young age. Or maybe they figured it would always give us a reason to call home. I lost $10 last week.
ALONE AND HAPPY Around 12:30, there's this moment of truth: Am I going to leave the house before 7? About 90 percent of my friends are in the cast, so when we're out on Saturday night we make all sorts of plans for brunches and movies that never happen. Let's just say, if I make plans to see a Sunday afternoon movie, I end up going alone. But don't feel sorry for me! I love being alone on a Sunday!
THE NEWS, THE GAMES I don't get DirecTV because my building doesn't have a dish, but I've got the football package on my computer, so what I'll do is put the TV on and TiVo all the Sunday news shows and have football games playing on my two laptops. It's like mission control. Then I tend to order more Thai food than is suitable; sometimes the delivery guy shows up with four place settings.
EXERCISE BREAK I'm a runner, so from 4 to 5 I go over to the West Side Highway and jog for about 40 minutes; I try to run four days a week.
CURTAIN TIME At 7, I upgrade from sweat pants to jeans and head over to this improv club on 26th Street, the Upright Citizens Brigade. Amy Poehler was one of the founders. There's shows at 7:30 and 9:30; I've been doing them for about seven years. It's a sort of cleanse-the-palate thing; it's a joy to go in front of a friendly audience. It's not life and death, there's no sponsors, and that line you're not supposed to cross gets frequently crossed. Backstage we sit on these ratty couches and talk; between shows a brown bag of tacos gets passed around. Around 11:30, some of us may go out for a drink. Then I go home, because whatever stress has been alleviated from doing improv is already starting to creep back.
Ed Helms named GQ Man of the YearMar 3, 2015
The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Bradley Cooper reunite to talk sequels, prosthetic penises, and what they'll do if the funniest movie of 2009 actually wins an Oscar. (Hint: It involves a tiger)
It's been more than six months since The Hangover, director Todd Phillips's wickedly depraved comedy about a Vegas bachelor party gone wrong, became the shock blockbuster of 2009, earning $450 million worldwide and counting. And while the movie will be remembered for its R-rated raunchiness (stripper marriages, Mike Tyson's stolen tiger, a final-credits slide show featuring Zach Galifianakis receiving oral sex from what appears to be a middle-aged mom), it was the chemistry of its three relatively low-watt stars--Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Galifianakis--that gave it a sui generis spark.
"I felt we'd been seeing the same faces in comedy," explains Phillips. "These three guys, although certainly not nobodies, hadn't been in a ton of movies. There's a freshness to it."
The Hangover trio have remained friends, spending a wild New Year's Eve at Galifianakis's North Carolina farm ("My brother did something in the woods that is unspeakable," says Galifianakis, refusing to elaborate) and keeping tabs on one another's burgeoning post-summer-smash careers. Meanwhile, there's the inevitable progress toward a Hangover sequel, reportedly due in 2011. Says Helms, totally in earnest: "I can't wait to get back to work with these guys."
When did you guys first start to think that The Hangover was going to be a big movie?
Zach Galifianakis: I remember going to dinner with Brad and Ed and saying, "Doesn't this movie seem like it's going to be good?" I'd never been in anything good.
Bradley Cooper: It was the first opportunity for all of us to do starring roles. I remember thinking, "When are the other actors who are the stars of the movie going to come and shoot their scenes? The whole movie about the three of us? That's so fucked-up!"
Ed Helms: We all had a lot of healthy skepticism. We all knew that we were having a good time, but there wasn't any sense that the movie would be really big. The minute you start to expect big things, that shit always just blows up in your face.
Galifianakis: By the way, when I say, "The movie is going to be good," I mean, "It's not going to be embarrassing."
But then the movie opens, and it turns into one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Galifianakis: We were hearing things about great test audiences, but you take that with a grain of salt. But when it came out, it just validated the test stuff. I've been approached by, like, old people about the movie--people you would never think would go to see it.
Helms: The cross section is just staggering.
Galifianakis: It's like a guy in a golf outfit, then some goth kids. It's just weird. The movie had a denominator that people liked.
Helms: Everybody loves hangovers.
Do fans ask you to repeat one of your lines? Is there a question you always get?
Helms: I get asked about the tooth so much that when they ask, "Was it special effects?" I'll sometimes just be like, "Yes."
Cooper: Have you really resorted to that? That's hilarious. Oddly, for my character, a lot of people love saying, "Paging Dr. Faggot."
Galifianakis: I get a lot of mothers with newborns wanting me to jerk off their baby.
Has this movie changed your lives?
Galifianakis: Professionally, more people call you to be in stuff. And I get better tables at Sbarro.
Zach, how often do you get asked if you used your real penis or a prosthetic for that final bit in the end credits?
Galifianakis: My mom was with me a week and a half ago--and I heard someone ask her about it and she thought it was real. I was like, "Mom, are you crazy?"
Helms: You know, I get asked a lot about Zach's member.
What do you say?
Helms: Well, come on! It's so white, it looks like it was made out of ivory. I would hope it's not real.
When was the last time you watched The Hangover?
Cooper: This morning.
Is there a favorite line in the movie that's not yours?
Galifianakis: My favorite never gets a laugh. We're talking about that satchel thing that I wear, and Bradley goes something like, "Joy Behar wears one." It's the kind of thing that makes me and Bradley and Ed laugh, but the audience is like, "Who's Joy Behar? Does she really wear one of those things?"
Cooper: My favorite moment is when we're all in the bed with Justin Bartha and Ed is in his underwear. He's just gotten off the phone with his girlfriend, and he does his flexing thing. When we shot that, I thought it was so funny.
Helms: I think one of my favorite lines is when Zach says, "This isn't the real Caesar's palace, is it?"
Cooper: And then he goes, "I didn't think so."
Helms: Did you improvise that?
Galifianakis: I think so.
Helms: Classic Galifianakis.
What's the story with the sequel?
Cooper: Everything's in motion, and luckily everybody wants to do it. I guess you could run the risk of possibly tainting the first movie if it's not good, but you can't really think about that. Just the idea of getting back into these three characters with Todd at the helm -- I can't think of anything better, to be honest with you.
Galifianakis: Who cares what the end product is? We'll just get to hang out and work together.
Will you guys be voting for one another for the Oscars this year?
Cooper: I don't vote in the Oscars, unfortunately.
Galifianakis: I saw Ed passing out flyers at the Grove for it to be nominated, and I think that is supertacky.
Helms: The really crazy thing is that warner Bros. asked me to submit "Stu's Song (What Do Tigers Dream Of?)" in the best song category for the Academy Award. So we went through the rigmarole of actually having it transcribed and writing out the score. Todd and I made an official submission. It's so ridiculous.
Galifianakis: Oh, Ed. That would be the greatest thing in the world.
Cooper: Could you imagine?
Galifianakis: If you win, you have to go accept it with a tiger on a leash.
Helms: It would be hilarious.
Galifianakis: Though you may lose.
Cooper: To Phil Collins.