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Dave Anthony – Maron – Season 4, Episode 8 – Roger Snider/IFC

Super Dave

Dave Anthony on Writing for Maron and Playing a Different Version of Himself

Find out how Marc deals with Dave's success on a brand new Maron Wednesday at 9P on IFC.

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Comedian, writer, and podcaster Dave Anthony started playing a fictional version of himself on Maron as a guest star in season one. By season two, he was a regular cast member and a writer on the show. An episode he wrote in season three, “Racegate,” was nominated for a 2016 Writers Guild Award and received critical acclaim. With Dave’s star on the rise on this week’s brand new Maron, we spoke with the real Dave Anthony about playing “Dave Anthony,” being recognized by fans and the WGA, and what he thinks of the future of podcasts.

IFC: How did you come to be a cast member and write for the show?

Dave: I had been on the first season [as an actor], and at that point, they said they liked me and wanted to have me in more episodes, but they had already sort of written out the season arc. They talked about bringing me back for the second season and then Marc [Maron], in the first season, he didn’t have another comic in the room writing. He said it was really important to have another stand-up comedian in the room, particularly one who had a little experience with alcoholism and sort of that world, which I have. He thought of me, [and] brought me in writing for the second season.

IFC: Is the writing process different than on other shows?

Dave: We have to get [our scripts] done before we shoot. A lot of shows will be writing while they’re shooting, but for us, it just won’t work that way. Marc has to be part of the writing process and there’s no way he could [act and write] at the same time.

IFC: How is it writing for yourself and also playing a version of yourself?

Dave: A psychopath version of myself. Marc and I have a little bit of similarities in the way our lives have gone and just how we sort of behave in life. We wanted my character to be a little bit different than me, just so it would have a better contrast. I don’t know who first started writing me that way, but it just started to turn into super deadpan. It just felt really natural to do it that way when I was dealing with Marc who is a character who is clearly more excitable and gets a lot more upset on the show. We thought it would be a good counter to that.

IFC: Do you ever find yourself saying, “Well, that’s not something that this character would ever say…”?

Dave: Yes! Which is crazy. I’ve been like, “The character isn’t super dirty, he’s just mean and weird.” You have these conversations and you’re like “wait, what’s happening?” It’s a literally made up character. We call him Dave Anthony, but he is just completely different than me.

Dave Anthony

IFC: Do people you encounter who watch the show have a hard time with that concept?

Dave: Yep. Totally. Most people think that’s what I am going to be like. A lot of people are scared of me a little bit when they first meet me, thinking I’m going to be that person. Then they’re like, “You’re not like that at all.” I’m acting, but it’s my name, so it does make it weird.

IFC: There are several scenes this season with Marc being recognized and interacting with fans.

Dave: We seem to be doing it more this season. As the show has gone on, his profile has increased. The [WTF podcast interview] with the president…he’s just kind of gone up a few levels so we just felt like, “Well, that’s what the show is.” We try keep it sort of based on his life, although this season is a departure.

IFC: Speaking of success, the “Racegate” episode was nominated for a 2016 Writers Guild Award. How did you find out about that?

Dave: Oh man, that was crazy. I was in the writers’ room and I got a text from [Everybody Loves Raymond writer] Mike Royce. He just texted me and was like, “Congratulations on your award.” I was like, “Wait, what’s happening?” Then I looked it up and it was already online everywhere. It was a pretty big deal because our show was the small show compared to all the other shows it was up against. It was funny, when I wrote that episode, we sat down to read it for the first time and [fellow Maron writer] Jerry Stahl looked across the room from me and said, “You’re going to get nominated for this episode.” I was like, “Shut up.”

IFC: Was the episode based on real life?

Dave: The storyline came from a tweet that someone made about Marc not having enough black people on his podcast. He, of course, was offended by that and I started asking him to name them. Then he was like, “Well, we travel in different circles and its hard to find them…” And I was like, “Well, there’s our episode. We have black people upset that you’re not having them on the show and we go from there.”

"RaceGate" - Trae Patton/IFC

IFC: The dialogue spoken by Bruce Bruce and the other comics just talking shop felt very real. Was that something that was written out or did you just give them a guideline of what to discuss?

Dave: No, because when you get into stuff like race, when it’s handled on comedy shows, it’s usually handled so poorly and so obviously. I actually locked myself in a hotel room for three days, and I started reading all these blogs or articles about black comics and how they felt and what it was like to be in sort of a segregated community. How they had to change themselves when they went into different clubs, which white comics don’t have to do. From that, I created the dialogue between them.

IFC: Were you surprised by the reaction to the episode?

Dave: No, you know what’s funny is I almost can’t remember the reaction. The only reaction that I really cared about was from black comedians. The comedians that we cast, because we cast all comedians, they were all super happy with the dialogue. I still get African American comedians coming up to me and saying, “Hey man, that episode was spot-on, thank you.” That to me means more than anything. I have no idea what the experience they go through is, but through reading what they were saying, I was able to translate it. That to me was awesome.

IFC: Just like Dave on the show, you have your own podcast. How did the idea for The Dollop come about?

Dave: I’ve always been super into history and I spend tons of time reading about stuff online. Because I feel like the time when you could start a podcast and just talk to people is over and I think you have to have really specific content now to have a podcast that sort of pops out of the ocean of podcasts.

IFC: Speaking of an ocean of podcasts, you’re part of the LA Podcast Festival, now in its fifth year. How did that start?

Dave: Yeah, we’re coming up in September. It was an idea I had because Walking the Room was a really popular podcast [I co-hosted]; our fans really wanted to see it live. I got together with a couple friends, Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini, who had the Comedy Film Nerds podcast. The one thing about podcasting is that it’s really people doing it on their own. We felt like if a big company came in and started being gate keepers, it probably wouldn’t have the same feel as if some actual podcasters started it. That’s why we tried to jump in, and sure enough, as soon as we started doing it there were a bunch of companies that said they’d planned on doing it and we got there before them.

IFC: Last thing: How do you think the Giants are going to fair this year?

Dave: I don’t know, man. I’m getting my hopes up and I feel like I shouldn’t. I think they’re doing really well. They have the 1-2-3 pitching combo so it could all happen, that’s the biggest thing.

Click here to read part two of our interview, where Dave shares his thoughts on Marc’s journey to sobriety in season four and his character’s newfound success. To see what Dave’s up to on Wednesday’s brand new Maron, check out the clip below. 

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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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