Interview: “Kroll Show’s” Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll’s been a bro, a cartoon, a female publicist, an Ed Hardy boy, and a stand-up comic. He’s now all of those things, especially that last one, on his own show, Kroll Show.

Kroll Show premieres January 16 on Comedy Central, and you can catch the pilot on Hulu right now.

We decided to talk to Kroll about the whole thing, but here’s a quick primer on a few of the characters you’ll be seeing, before we get started.

Kroll and Jon Daly play Rich Dicks Aspen Bruckheimer and Wendy Shawn.

“Basically leisure has bred all the masculinity out of them,” Kroll says.


Then there’s Bobby Bottleservice—one of the Ed Hardy Boyz, along with a guy named Peter Paparazzo (also played by Jon Daly). The duo solves mysteries, gets girls, and of course, rocks Ed Hardy.

There’s also Liz G, a college graduate who expects the best. She’s the driven one, and her business partner, Liz B. (played by Jenny Slate) is trying to have a life. Together, they run a PR firm called PubLIZity. You’re not going to believe this, but it’s based off of their names.

Then there’s Kroll himself, but we’ll let him explain that.

Hulu: So what’s the show gonna look like?

NK: “A hybrid of sketch and longer-format story-telling. It feels more like you’re watching a collection of mini-series that is very character and story driven more than a classic sketch driven.”

Hulu: What’s first?

NK: A little bit of me as me, talking directly to camera, to get a little of the standup out and give the audience a little sense of who I am.

Hulu: Then?

NK: A bunch of characters. They’re all kinda like loveable losers in some capacity.

Hulu: What was it like playing Stu on “The Life and Times of Tim?”

NK: (Show creator) Steve (Dildarian) had established the character, I just auditioned over the phone for that while I was still living in New York. It’s collaborative in that, like “The League,” there are scripts but a ton of room for improv. So, both with Ruxin (on “The League”) and Stu, the creators did a very nice job of establishing the kind of person they are. Then, through collaborating on writing and improvising in the room I was able to add various layers that seemed funny to me to each character.

I love doing animation stuff. One, it’s incredibly easy. It’s really easy to do in that you don’t have to put on makeup or dress nicely or anything but also you can mess around and find new angles and you’re not wasting anybody’s time. Hopefully, if we do Season 2 of Kroll Show, we would be able to tinker around with some animation.

And doing ”The Life and Times of Tim,” I actually met John Levenstein, who ran the show in Season 2. He ended up as one of the executive producers and showrunner for Kroll Show.

Hulu: So tell me a little bit about “The League” season finale.

NK: All I can say is that there will be some very shocking, shocking occurrences that will…I can guarantee there will be some surprises and I can also guarantee that everyone will be miserable.

Hulu: And how’s the show going overall?

NK: The show obviously has resonated and people seem psyched about it. I can just sense that people are enjoying it.

(Note: The day after our interview the season finale premiered. It was indeed very shocking. And FX announced that the show was picked up for a 5th season.)

Hulu: What’re you watching these days?

NK: I do a lot of what I like to call TV tapas, which is flipping through shows for five to ten minutes at a time. I’ll watch five minutes of “Duck Dynasty” and five minutes of a Korean soap opera and then five minutes of “SportsCenter” and then five minutes of Junior, the movie. I’m watching Season 2 of “Breaking Bad” now. I need to catch up with this whole season of “Homeland.” I watch “Parks and Rec.” I enjoy the Steve Brule show (“Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule”). Beyond all my friends’ shows, which I watch, which are like Paul Scheer’s NTSF on Adult Swim (“NTSF:SD:SUV”) and “Childrens Hospital,” I like “American Masters” on PBS a lot. I grew up watching SNL I still watch a good amount of it. I’ll go to Hulu, actually, and watch it.

Want more of Nick Kroll? See him discuss “Kroll Show” and “The League” with buddy and “The League” costar Paul Scheer here.


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