The multiple slapstick personalities of comedian and actor Nick Kroll
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 21:01
Comedian and actor Nick Kroll, best known for his role as Rodney Ruxin on FX’s “The League,” not to mention roles in shows ranging from Geico commercial spinoff “Cavemen” to cult hits like “Childrens’ Hospital” and “Community,” debuted his own half-hour sketch-comedy show, “Kroll Show,” on Comedy Central on Wednesday, January 16.
The show is Kroll’s latest comedic undertaking, where he plays a wide variety of ridiculous characters. Many of them originated from his standup, such as Fabrice Fabrice, Kroll’s craft-services coordinator for “That’s So Raven.” On Thursday, Kroll called in for a conference phone interview with writers from colleges across the nation.
The session began with a question from a Penn State University reporter, who asked if we could expect series or spoofs of shows from “Kroll Show;” Kroll responded that he would likely be doing a combination of both, so long as the material didn’t get old.
One of the spoofs Kroll did in the pilot episode of “Kroll Show” was about reality shows that spin off related series as often as possible to maximize profits. The spoof centered on the character “Dr. Armond,” a “canine plastic surgeon,” and featured spin-off series such as “Armond: Around Town” after the character of Armond got a divorce during the sketch.
A reporter from Ohio State University asked Kroll what it was like to be the writer, creator and star of his own show.
Kroll said that while it was great to be the creator of his own show, comedy is a collaborative effort; for instance, Kroll guest stars on other comedians’ shows, who in turn guest star on his. Guest stars of “Kroll Show” this season include Fred Armisen, of “Saturday Night Live” and “Portlandia,” Ed Helms from “The Office” and Adam Pally from “Happy Endings.”
The Daily Campus asked Kroll how he sees “Kroll Show” in relation to other sketch comedy shows such as “Saturday Night Live.”
“I think it’s a really exciting time to be doing comedy simply because there are so many people and places doing stuff,” Kroll said.
“Ten years ago, it was only “Mad TV” and “Saturday Night Live”… But what I think that “Kroll Show” does differently than most of the stuff out there right now is that we are doing a lot of recurring characters and narrative storylines both inside episodes and throughout the season,” he said.
Kroll went on to express how he saw “Kroll Show” as an intersection of sketch comedy and narrative story telling, which lends it some of the characteristics of a sitcom. The Daily Campus asked Kroll if he envisioned a plot line for “Kroll Show,” like a sitcom.
“The beauty of it is there are really no rules,” he said.
“So sometimes we come up with an idea and we’re like, ‘That’s so funny and that’s just a one off little thing.’ Other times we’re like, ‘Oh, that’d be fun,’ and then you’re like, ‘Oh, what if that happened’ and ‘Oh, what if that happened.’ And really because there are no rules you can tailor everything to what’s funny, inspiring.”
Kroll went on to relate how sometimes the stories seem to build themselves out, such as the case of Doctor Armond. “Sometimes you don’t see that it’s not a direct A to B storyline, but you’re still learning more about these characters each episode,” he said.
A new episode of “Kroll Show,” called “Soaked in Success” premieres on Comedy Central tonight at 10:30 p.m.