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The Whitest Kids U’Know on “The Whitest Kids U’Know”

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We’ve all enjoyed great sketch comedy, suffered through terrible sketch comedy and furrowed our brows at totally inexplicable sketch comedy. But how does sketch comedy, you know, work? I sat down with Sam Brown and Trevor Moore of IFC’s own sketch comedy show “The Whitest Kids U’Know” to find out how the magic happens.

What’s your writing process like?

Trevor Moore: Everything’s written different ways. If someone has an idea for a sketch, they can come in and be like, “I really want to do this,” but when we’re actually writing for a deadline, we’re like, “Okay, everybody take five minutes and write down as many ideas as come to mind.” And then we go around the circle, and it’s everybody pitching out their ideas. And we’ll just kind of be like, “Okay, that one—” depending on what everybody laughs at.

Sam Brown: And a lot of times it’ll even get to the point where we’ll work on something until we decide, “Eh, maybe it wasn’t the best idea.”

TM: Yeah, and then some of our sketches are like— you know, Sam’s nut popping out in the first episode of season two. That just came about when we were outside of one of our live shows…

SB: …I think, “What if we had a sketch where the joke was that I had one nut out?” I think it was that simple.

TM: And we’re talking about that— “Yeah, and what if you come back later and it’s hanging out of your collar?” And then we wrote a sketch for that.

So it’s just basically a lot of drunken conversation.

As connoisseurs of a certain type of comedy that… pushes boundaries, where do you figure the line is? Or is there a line?

TM: It’s all tone. I don’t think there’s any issue that you can’t talk about. A lot of our sketches deal with race or homophobia and stuff like that. The person that the joke is on tends to be the racist character or the homophobic character. They’re the odd man out, not like they’re the norm.

SB: You’re not gonna be mean to people for no reason.

TM: Well, that can be funny, too. [laughs]

Where did the name of the group come from?

TM: It was like really early in the troupe, and we had a couple of names that weren’t very good that we were considering. We used to go out and film stuff with video cameras, just on the street. We were doing some sort of freestyle rapping thing on the subway, and this one guy who was friends with us was like, “You guys are the whitest kids I know.” We were in the market for a name, so we were like, “That’ll do!”

Who do you guys like out there, in terms of influences or just people you think are doing great things in comedy right now?

TM: Well, everyone in the troupe has different influences. I think one consistent influence for me is Monty Python. There’ll never be anyone better. They’re the Beatles of comedy. The troupe kind of goes down into two groups — Sam and I are into Monty Python, Steve Coogan and some comedians that no one’s ever heard. And Zack and Timmy and Darren really like Dane Cook and—

SB:—the Blue Collar [Comedy Tour].


SB: Yeah, they are. They have the DVD. They watched it a lot when we were on tour.

TM: That and “Full House.”

SB: Timmy just got that. He ordered it. It comes in a little house, like the actual house—

TM: And it’s just full of DVDs. It’s a full house of DVDs. That’s their influence.

Any plans to work on movies?

TM: Yeah, Zack and I just finished a movie [a Fox comedy called “Playboys”] that we’re editing right now. We actually have to turn in our first cut next Friday. The Whitest Kids have a movie written that we’re actually about to go out and try to set up somewhere.

A sketch comedy movie?

TM: It’s not a sketch comedy movie. It’s a linear story — we don’t play multiple characters, but it’s got the same tone and mentality of the TV show. The hard thing was having an arc for each character — they all have to learn something along the way. I think we took care of that pretty well. It’s kind of like a live action “Duck Tales” episode.

[Trevor Moore and Sam Brown of “The Whitest Kids U’Know”; Andre Vippolis, 2008]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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