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A Brief Interview With The Whitest Kids U’Know’s Timmy Williams

A Brief Interview With The Whitest Kids U’Know’s Timmy Williams (photo)

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The fifth and final season of the sketch comedy show The Whitest Kids U’Know is underway at IFC. We are showing new episodes of one of the wackiest, crassest, and funniest show around every Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET. As an added bonus each episode has another chapter of The Civil War on Drugs, the historical drama that the Kids made to document the journey to legalize marijuana during the war between the states.

As we bid farewell to the Whitest Kids, we are taking some time to chat with each member of the troupe and to get their thoughts on comedy, their favorite moments from the five seasons the series ran on IFC, and the Civil War on Drugs. Today we talk to Timmy Williams. You may know him from the many characters he has played on the show who are also named “Timmy.” He’s also the Whitest Kid most likely to get up and dance in his underwear.

What was the very first bit or act you ever did on the air, do you remember?

Oh man, I don’t know. What was in the first episode? I don’t know, I would have to look it up.

I stumped you on the first question?

Yeah, let me think, what was in the first episode? I show up in the Hitler video. I don’t know? The classroom sketch where my mom is dead? Oh, the Lincoln sketch!

Do sketches just come to you or do you hole up in a room and hammer them out?

We hole up and everyone writes and then everyone shares what they wrote. Sometimes people bring ideas in, but generally it’s all five of us together.

In the season premiere you play a phone sex operator named Baked Beans who pours baked beans all over her chest. What was the inspiration for this sketch?

I don’t know. Most of the sketches that involve me in a compromising situation mean that I wasn’t there that day when they wrote. So I showed up and there it was. Like, Timmy dance, too. It was a live thing. Originally Zack wanted to see me dance to silly music. I can’t remember why the underwear thing happened. I think we did Timmy dance write after I took my shirt off for a different sketch and I didn’t have time to put a shirt on and it slowly involved into me dancing in my underwear. Zack is usually involved in getting me undressed.

What are some of the sketches you’re most proud of?

Elegant Tiger King. I’m also proud of Baked Beans and everyone is grossed out by it. Yeah, it’s gross. Also really proud of Submarine Sandwich, because that was the moment we realized that we could write any stupid thing and pay money to make it real.

We always have fun making the show. Even when I was getting hit with the baked beans. It was shot out of a t-shirt gun and it really hurt and I had welts and stuff. But we always have fun and giddiness. We get really excited.

What’s the best and worst reactions you’ve ever gotten from a sketch?

The best are all the good reactions to the Civil War movie. The very best reaction? Lincoln sketch. The worst? Well, Baked Beans is up there. But otherwise, stuff that just didn’t work, some stuff that people are against that makes people think we are being homophobic or racist. But we’re not, we are just showing characters who are and showing how dumb it is.

What are some of your favorite qualities or traits about the other members of WKUK?

Trevor has great ideas. A lot of the sketches come from him and then we throw stuff on to his idea. Zach is a really hard worker and I enjoy being directed by him and I think we all become pretty good actors with him directing. Darren is good at playing the girl. He was the last in the troupe and brought this little kid sense of humor that I like and it wasn’t there before. Sam has this gentle childish quality about him, but he is also a party animal. Sam and I both play ourselves all the time. Sam himself is just funny and awesome.

What is your favorite sketch moment for season five of WKUK?

Ocean 2.0, which is coming up, is a sketch about an oil company trying to turn a spill into a positive thing. Sort of ripped from the headlines, but when we write things that pertain to certain events we try to take any exclusivity out of it, so you can watch it in 10 years. Originally it was pitched as a boardroom meeting, but then Trevor suggested making it as a commercial. Also, the last sketch that is shown, I wrote directed and acted in and is one of the only ones where it’s just one person.

How often do you direct?

Trevor and Jack generally direct; we all write everything. Trevor’s songs are generally just Trevor, but we all write and do it together. There are things here or there that I do though.

Where did the idea for the “Civil War on Drugs” movie come from?
Sam and Trevor had that one a long time ago. Like 2001 or 2002. Before I was in the troupe, so definitely a long time ago. It was just the title and so when we got to season five we just did it up.

What was it like to make a whole movie within a sketch show season? I don’t think it’s something has been done before.

It was hard, it required a lot of hard work for everybody involved because we didn’t have a budget to make a movie along side the TV show. If you watch the movie almost every character is played by one of us. I play at least twelve people. Every member of the crew was an extra, everyone got poison ivy, it was hot, it was hard. But the end product is definitely great

Who are some of you sketch heroes? Have you ever gotten to meet any of them?

A lot of them! Monty Python, especially Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin. We were in the IFC documentary on the Pythons for about 3 seconds and we got to go to the premiere and talk with them. We’ve met The Kids in the Hall because our producer Jim Biederman worked with them. Mr. Show was always a big influence. Bob Odenkirk said really nice things about us. We like “The State”. You know, sketch comedy is a close-knit community, but Whitest Kids are kind of their own thing. UCB in NYC is getting huge, and the comedy stars coming out of it and the comedy bar scene are huge. But we’ve always known them but been one step out of that circle.

Is that a good thing or did it make it harder on the Whitest Kids?
There are few people our age who got their own thoughts and stuff onto TV for, like, five years. There are people from that time in NYC five years ago, who have more money, more fame, more success, but we got to do our own thing pretty much exactly how we wanted it. Not many people get to do that, and we did.

What’s next for you?

Slowly getting back into acting. I got an agent and I’m also pitching some comic books. Doing some stand up in Portland.

I hear that your first child is due in June. Do you think sketch comedy has prepared your for fatherhood?

Maybe. A lot of our sketches really show what not what to do. There are a lot of bad dads in season 4. My character in the Civil War On Drugs is a good dad. But, sketch comedy and being in charge of your own show, it prepares you for anything. And one of the most important things in life in general is having a good sense of humor. Working on a lower budget TV show teaches you to problem solve and to think on your feet and work with other people. We started the show right out of college and didn’t know anything yet. We learned a lot.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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