DID YOU READ

A Brief Interview With The Whitest Kids U’Know’s Trevor Moore

A Brief Interview With The Whitest Kids U’Know’s Trevor Moore (photo)

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The fifth and final season of everyone’s favorite 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 Trevor Moore.

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

The first sketch was pregnancy test video. That was something that we filmed as a college group — before we had a TV show — but it was on the internet. That was the first and I was the boyfriend of the girl taking the test. The first thing we shot for the show was a sketch about the birds and the bees. I was the father explaining to Timmy — incorrectly — about the birds and bees and where babies came from.

What are your favorite characteristics about the other members of WKUK?

That they are funny. That’s the most beneficial trait for the group. Everyone has very different personalities. We’ve been doing this for ten years, so when we write sketches, the parts become really obvious. Everyone plays very distinct characters from each other. Like if you drew a Venn Diagram of the characters that we each play, it doesn’t overlap much. Timmy is very childlike, he plays innocent children very well. Darren does a spot-on straight man and is a really good woman. Sam plays these really really really ex-jock kind of fratty dumb guys. Zack does great straight man stuff that ranges from some simmering anger to exploding frustration.

What’s your writing process like?

It varies. People come up with ideas, or people split off into groups, but the bulk of the sketches come from us sitting in a group in a room. Then we write down five or ten ideas each and we pitch them and whatever gets the most laughs or gets everyone excited and adding ideas on top of it, those are the ones we do.

Do you eat any particular snacks during those five or ten hour sessions?
Sam likes candy; I live off of Diet Coke and Nicorette.

What are some of the sketches you’re most proud of?
I have always really liked “Timmy Pooped His Pants” a lot. I also like Abe Lincoln. I generally like all the presidential assassination sketches.

Who is your favorite character in the WKUK pantheon?
We try to shy away from repeating characters, so generally characters will usually only be in one sketch. I like it whenever Sam plays women. That always makes me laugh. Usually if I am laughing in a take, it’s because Sam is playing a woman. I like Doug from The Civil War on Drugs. He’s probably one of my favorite characters that we’ve written. Zach played Abe Lincoln twice and that was great. I have a go-to business guy that I play a lot and the character of Timmy. That’s the biggest reoccurring character.

Timmy said that all of his most embarrassing roles are written whenever he’s not there.
So now you know how often he’s not there! We killed his character on Civil War On Drugs. He went home. So we killed him. Who knows how long he would have lived if Timmy had stayed.

If you had to be one of your characters for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?

Trevor from the Civil War On Drugs, because out of all our characters I relate to him the most. He’s just a dude. Or maybe the business man guy, because as much of a jerk or a weird guy he is, he has his life together.

Do your parents ever watch the show?

My parents don’t watch the show. My dad has even flagged some of our sketches on YouTube. I guess he thought someone had to do it, but no, no they don’t.

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

The best reactions we get are from kids who are starting their own comedy troupes because they saw what we were doing and wanted to do it themselves. That’s really flattering and exciting. As for the worst reaction, we did a live show once and really offended some lady who would follow us around to all the message boards and everything and would comment. She kept saying how rude and offensive we were. It’s a very polarizing show. It doesn’t get very many lukewarm reactions. We are lucky in that we have a very vocal and loyal fan base. But we do a very blue sketch comedy show designed for kids.

You’ve sold a lot of products over the years which one would you want to own?
Nerf nuke, I guess. They are generally pretty horrible products. I guess, none of them.

What is your favorite sketch moment for season five of WKUK?
Civil War on Drugs is definitely my season thing from season five. But that’s not really an answer to your question. The John Williams sketch is long, but I really like it a lot. It has us all in it.

Where did you get the idea for the Civil War on Drugs?
The Civil War On Drugs was an idea we had had almost ten years ago. It was something we wanted to do, but even when we were writing a Whitest Kids movie for Paramount, it wasn’t this one. We kept hearing from people — I don’t even know who — that it would be hard to get studios to make a Civil War comedy. We had a story arc even ten years ago. So when we started going into our last season on IFC, we thought, why don’t we do this unrequited project that we always wanted to do?
And it’s my favorite thing that we’ve done. And I’m really glad we’re going out on that note.

What was the process like of making a movie within a sketch comedy show?

We wrote a script and had to see if it could do it in our limited budget and on our shooting schedule. We shot close to 13 pages a day, sometimes up to 17 a day, which is crazy. We shot a movie in two-and-a-half weeks. It was really hard work, but we were really into it. I think our excitement got everyone else excited. Every department just threw themselves into it: make up, wardrobe, props, the DP. Everyone was stretched really thin already, and then they just doubled their efforts.
We did a screening of it and it was the first time the movie was shown all connected. It was the first time it was shown in front of an audience and there was just applause and laughter and it was great. I’m glad it’s how we are going to go out of the IFC show.

What’s next for you?

We’re using the Civil War as a template for what we want to do next.

You’re seceding from the Union and starting your own country?

No, we’re doing some mini-films and some other projects and, hopefully, those will be what the group is going to do next.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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