The pin really did slip from my fingers and catch on my sweater. That was not something that was planned. But what we didn't show in the episode is that I had a second backup pin taped behind my ear with a band aid (skin color so you couldn't really see it). In practicing, the pin was really easy to drop, so I wanted a backup. If the pin hit the ground, I would have gone for my backup pin.
My parents were never informed of anything. They were never paid to do the show. They never shot promos for the network. They were just living their lives and we would show up and prank them. This was before anyone had seen anything like this on TV so it was a much different reaction from people watching back then. People freaked out!
I think he liked it. Steinbrenner was unfamiliar with the show. His grandchildren watched it, and his grandchildren talked him into letting us use his name. The last episode I think of the '96 season, we came up with the idea to actually fly him in and put him on the show because up to that point, we'd only been seeing the back of his head, and I was doing his voice. And then we thought it would be fun if he was - if he actually made a real appearance.
So we called him up, and he said, yeah, he would do it. So we flew out to do it. He did the show. We started editing the show. And as I watched it, I'm going, oh, my god, this is not good. And we thought it's so much better to just see the ba...
the poker scene in season 1 was very written but then i let the guys go off and fuck around. i used some of that. I don't generally let people improvise though. That works for shows where you have two cameras that are just sort of following the action. i shoot my show like a movie and it would be all fucked up if folks just said things.
I had very strong opinions about Andy's wardrobe! I felt it needed to be a combination of Northeastern, yacht-club preppy and Southern District Attorney showing up for the Kentucky Derby. I loved Michael Scott's description in one episode where he said Andy "dresses like an Easter egg."
We had a writer's summit where for 2 weeks we had Weird Al, Emo Phillips, Maja Da Oust, Jason Louv, Johnny Pemberton, Brendon Walsh (Gawd I hope i'm not forgetting someone), come up with ways the world could end. Then we broke the apocalypses we liked best into beats and "hung" the podcast dialogue on that framework. It was REALLY challenging because too much animated plot distracts from the conversation but if a GIANT ZOMBIE is eating the white house you can't just keep talking about weed so we had to figure out ways to pin the dialogue to the animation using VO we recorded after we had pieced together the animatics enough to know where it needed it.
It was very taxing, because we didn't get to move around a lot, and we would work 15, 16 hours a day sometimes, and right into early Sunday morning. So it was not easy work. I can tell ya. It's tough to cover 8 people around a table without moving the camera, moving the camera, moving the lights, it takes FOREVER, and you have to do it over, and over, and make it look fresh, so if people realized that - it can be very taxing and very tough work.
Intuition mostly. I trust the writers I work with and my own instincts. If we all feel like something is hilarious or fresh, I have to assume it is. And those are the things that tend to be well received.
One of the great things about the internet - beyond the amazing reddit AMA experience - is that you can research any voice you want, just by going to YouTube. Which was very helpful in figuring out the Canadian accent, the Pennsylvanian accent, C-Czar (I watched a lot of Riff Raff to get that accent down).
I thought it was really funny. They flagged our cutaway setups, which had been getting a little fast and loose at the time. Props for that. RE: the cutaways themselves, though, they were off the mark a bit. The cutaways are actually the hardest things to write on the show. Story-centric jokes come a little easier, but when you have to conceive and invent a whole independent little sequence several times in a episode, it's challenging as hell. Like doing a Far Side cartoon 10-12 times an episode.
producing the music is maybe my favorite part of the whole thing. I go into a studio with Matt Kelmer and a handful of great musicians that work under the title "Sweet pro" and we just fuck around. I get to cheat and make music without the training. I ask them for different moods and sounds and they try it. or we'll say let's go with cello and piano for a while and try a few things there. The cello player, wish i fucking knew his name, is tremendous. he creates whole pieces by himself and I use them ALL.
It was amazing fun. I discovered Louie online and cast him in The Invention of Lying. We became great friends and he returned the favour by letting me work on his first series of Louie. He said I could ad lib , so what was I meant to do but insult the big, fat, sweaty, bald, ginger slob?
[I love him]
So cool people talking about this kind of stuff and having all the conversations about race, etc. since the show premiered. As far as Rachel (and other love interests too), we didn't set out to cast someone white and auditioned people of all ethnic backgrounds, and wanted to cast the person I seemed to have the best chemistry with to sell this huge relationship arc. In the end, Noel blew us away. And, for the writing, I'm pulling a lot from my own real current relationship, which is with a "white" person - so we can do interesting scenes like the scene in 109 (Mornings) about the parents (which many South East Asians have told me really resonated with them and they'd never seen an interracia...
The audition process for Drake and Josh was very extensive. Three auditions and a screen test. I KID! I auditioned at the Nickelodeon Studios and like every actor's first onscreen role, I shared a scene with a watermelon lamp that my character built for a science fair.
Dr. Jan Adams walked off the show, Mel Brooks jumped on top of the desk and sang a song called "Dancing in the Dark" saying it was how old jews die, they jump on the desk, they can't hit the high note, and they die. Or when I asked Heather Mills to show me what an artificial leg looked like, and she took it off. That was a great moment.