Category Archives: Comedy
Today I am overjoyed to ask some questions of one of the funniest and most entertaining people on television. Brian Huskey may not be a name that you recognize immediately, but you’ve seen him in numerous movies, television programs, and commercials. Brian has been a staple on Comedy Central and Funny Or Die. He’s been making us laugh for years. Now, Brian has a new series coming out that I am looking forward to seeing. I have seen ads for the show and they are funny.
Beginning this Halloween on TBS, Brian stars with a collection of former Daily Show comedians and other cast members that you’ll recognize on People of Earth, a comedy about a support group for people who encountered alien abduction.
Brian, thank you for speaking with me. We both come from North Carolina. North Carolina has been in the press a great deal, lately. North Carolina has had an impact on many great comics and entertainers, like Andy Griffith, Lewis Black, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, and you, just to name a few.
Did growing up in North Carolina mold your comedy?
Absolutely. I think wherever you grow up has an influence on your art, sorry had to get real and deep right out of the gate. But I would say that for some it could be something to react against, but I love NC, and something about that place and the people made me feel able to look at things from the outside, as many folks do with comedy- deconstruct things, question things, satirize etc. But at the same time I had a real feeling of home and safety, and love for all the beautiful quirks of the south.
How did you get to where you are to be on a major new series? Did you do the stand-up circuit or do you prefer improvisation?
I have only tried stand up once or twice, and very half assedly when I did try it. It’s all been improv for me. That was my acting school, and my comedy education. Truly, finding the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater was the most important shift in my life. It is what help set me off on what had been a life long dream, but one that I deferred until I was 28.
And to answer how I got where I am to get on a series, I worked really hard for many, many years and had many disappointments. But over time, my reputation led to more work, and then people became more familiar with me, which I think makes the decision making process easier bc you are a known quantity. Dare I say I became more Starbucks and less Local Coffee Place You Don’t Know So Why Risk It? I know in that analogy I am sort of the evil corporate entity, but remember I am not the consumer in the analogy, the networks are. Networks aren’t known for shopping local so much.
Do you prefer stand up or improve? Where does your comedy come from?
Improv. I prefer to work with other people. I do love doing solo bits, but I don’t think I am disciplined enough to do stand up- working the same joke over and over until it’s perfect, building a set from those jokes. That works perfectly for some people. I’m sure it’s a personality type thing, but I like the discovery of improv- it’s a different kind of comedy high. It’s like a jazz sampler you would find near the checkout of the Starbucks analogy mentioned before.
I saw you play a doctor on Marketing to Doctors: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). I laughed so hard that it hurt. Was your performance scripted or improvised? (Brian is the actor playing the doctor at the end of the clip.)
Thank you! Happy to cause pain with my comedy. That was all scripted, But a lot of the script was just action line descriptions of my action, so I messed around there.
Will your new show, People of Earth be scripted or improvised?
It is scripted, but we would always do a take or two where we came up with new lines. I think that is essential in comedy, bc sometimes the writing continues once it’s up on it’s feet. What you thought was a killer scene or bit and then when you do it, it might need that extra tweak or even a different take on the joke. But it always has to be in service of the scene. I think some scripted shows are too rigid about the script, but I also think they trust the actor’s to “write”. One of our directors told me he knew I could write from my improv. That made me happy.
Have you worked with many of these actors and comedians, before?
Da’Vine Randolph, who plays Ivonne, were on ABC’s Selfie last year. Nancy Lenehan, who plays Margaret, used to be on a ABC series called Worst Week and I guested and got to do my scenes with her. I did a kid’s play reading improv show with Oscar Nuñez once.
Do comics hangout with other comics?
Yup. So much so that we refer to noncomics as “civilians”. We are a weird people.
How do you determine what is funny?
I have no idea. Behavior is funny, or it can be.
Were you the original “Sonic guy”?
No, I Pete Grosz and TJ Jagodowski were the original guys. Then they wanted a heterosexual married couple scenario bc some of their fine customers were asking why they had two gay guys selling their burgers? Because apparently in Arkansas where the company started, two guys can’t sit in a non truck car together and not have it look gay.
I would say that you are the “every man” comic. You look mild-mannered but when you speak and act out, the results are hilarious and surprising. Is that accurate? Do you like to shock and surprise?
Oh yes, I do like to shock and surprise. Less so as I have gotten older, but still I love being the package I am, which is very straight, and then having some dark or insane thing come from me is a nice combo. I have a TV special coming out Dec. 2nd on Adult Swim called Mr. Neighbor’s House, and it is just that- very off but in a straight package. It’s a kid’s show that plays in a damaged mind.
Many thanks to Brian and best of luck to him on his new show and upcoming TV special!
I hope everyone enjoyed this interview.
Sure it looks like fun, but watch the videos and you might be playing with a potential fire hazard, a product that is sending many to the emergency room, and a powder keg of possible problems. I totally believe that taking a calculated risk now and then keeps life exciting. If you are going to take any kind of risk, make sure that you have looked at all the angles! If the choice is to ride the incorrectly named “hoverboard”, at least put on a helmet, padding, ride on a semi-soft surface, and try to be prepared to fall, rather than expect to immediately master it.
If you have Parkinson’s disease and treasure the faculties that you have, this device, in the current state, may not be the right choice for you. If you desire the ER or an unexpected doctor visit, then spin the wheel, but I’ll wait for another more reliable iteration of these products. I prefer a less risky, less self-com-busting, more stable device that admits that it does not hover (it rolls). Here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year and I will see you right here in 2016!
As Thanksgiving rapidly nears, I am compelled to once again share the many gifts and blessings given to me through luck, hard work, fate, love, and friendship.
- I am so grateful for my wife, Angela, who makes my my life so complete and fulfilled.
- I am grateful for my family members (by blood and not–you know who you are), my dear friends, and my devoted readers.
- I am grateful to my cat of over 14 years who has taught me that you can adapt and grow–she thrives with one eye and lived on the street for years.
- I am grateful to my dog of 7 years who keeps me on my toes and makes me laugh daily. What a goof!
- I am grateful not to be running for the United States Presidential nomination.
- I am so grateful for the buttons labelled “Mute” and “Off” on my remotes.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of your day–thank you!
- I am just grateful!
Please feel free to respond to this post or share with others, if you find something worth sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!
Laughter, giggles, chuckles, guffaws, and smiles are powerful tools for us to help ourselves–I hope the creation below does one of those for you!
To my friends and followers,
Thank you for your support and interest in my blog! Watch for my 2nd book to be released in 2015! I plan to improve this site and post more often.
If you have topics, issues related to PD or interviews that you would like me to address or explore , please let me know. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
What does another New Year’s mean?
- It means that I can disregard all the junk food that I ate last year and start with a clean slate.
- I can watch When Harry Met Sally and count my blessings that I have a wonderful spouse.
- It means I have to complete ALL of the projects that I neglected or left unfinished plus create new projects to leave uncompleted for next year!
- I have an excuse to drink sparkling wine and stay up late to sing a song that I’m not sure I understand.
- I can make semi-firm promises to myself that I may or may not keep.
- I can write checks and letters for at least a month with the wrong year on them.
- I’ll be saying, “Where did that year go?”
- I can pity those people in Times Square who actually choose to experience the human to Sardine can process.
- I can try to justify my need for juggling multiple paper calendars when all I need is the ONE on my smartphone.
- I have to hurry up my tax preparation so I can file an extension to get even more time.
- I can practice procrastination to the point of being an art form!
- Make re-solutions to old habits.
- Join a health club for a week and bitch about my weight the remaining 51 weeks.
- Laugh as much as you can and try not to be so serious.
A clown is being eaten by sharks and one shark turns to the other and says, “Does he taste funny to you?”
Laughter has been proven to be chemically, physically, mentally, and spiritually healthful to our whole being. Laughter feels wonderful and cleansing. Whether you have an ailment or not, laugh as much as you can today!
Creativity in television is dead! Our cable is littered with reality tv, much of it borrowed or purloined from the British. One would think that the creative teams from Discovery and the likes would come up with an original jewel that would set the United States apart.
As an inventor and someone who believes creativity and ingenuity should be rewarded and praised, I am embarrassed and repulsed by The Shark Tank, an ABC Americanized rip-off of Britain’s BBC show, The Dragon’s Den. While the Den wasn’t always understanding or willing to listen to the inventor’s vision as he or she saw it, our US aberration is everything an invention show shouldn’t be. The pompous know-it-all panel of judges are eager to insult, berate, and demean creative, educated, lucid, innovators and visionaries –just what made our country the great leader that it once used to be. Rather than ridicule and attempt to beat these people down to make them look bad, wouldn’t it be refreshing and uplifting to actually produce an invention show that inspires and rewards real honest and novel ingenuity? What a novel thought–to actually encourage a novel and different idea.
That’s where I come in. As one who is a self-appointed trend watcher and an observer of media in our culture, I have seen a huge reduction in any smart content and thoughtful viewing. Let’s consider these for next season:
Shooting Stars- We are bombarded by local and national media with frivolous and pointless observations about people we really shouldn’t care about or have any connection. In reality, the celebrity that seems to dominate our news craves the spotlight and receives press for the most minor and pointless of achievements. In this new exciting show, we encourage B class actors to play the role of the target. Similar to Top Shot, but we use celebrities as moving targets. Why tire them out dancing?
Hoarding With The Stars- See the glamour and glitz of the crowded overflowing filth encrusted homes of your idols. See your favorite star possessed by his or her possessions. It’s real wholesome reality television for the entire family.
Celebrity Death Cab – By combining our inexplicable obsession for 2 dimensional celebrities who have nothing of substance to say, our love affair with the contemplation of the inevitable progression of death, and mind boggling but whimsically cute trivia, comes a truly addictive show. Each week, a “celeb” or someone claiming to be one, like someone with an obsession for fame and fortune, takes a ride in our modified cab of death as they are bombarded with rounds of questions. If knowledge should prevail, his or her favorite charity benefits and if the contestant should prove unworthy, the Death Cab wins.
Long live fresh and wholesome programming ideas to entertain and educate our public, but especially today’s youth. Enough said.
It’s over–at least for this year! My beloved North Carolina Tarheels run for the NCAA Basketball Championship title for 2012 has ended with a crushing defeat from the young men of Kansas. Don’t worry about me–with years of basketball counseling, behavior modification, and heavy drinking, I will overcome this loss!
I have returned to the living and March Madness has ended for me. In spite of the Final Four still well ahead for the remaining teams, my interest is only in passing as I have no alliance to any of the contenders. Not to say that I won’t take a peak at any of the remaining games, I just don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other. I have broken free of the basketball tether to which I was entangled. I have returned from the dizzying world of the almighty bracket, once again.
The sun is shining. There is actually a world outside of my television screen–what do you know?