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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.