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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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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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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 IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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