Nick Kroll is a man of many faces and characters who has now scored his own Comedy Central show. The "Kroll Show" premiered in January, and we have seen only a few characters from Kroll's arsenal. Nick gained nationwide popularity as the character Rodney Ruxin on the hit FX show "The League."
What separates his show from other sketch-comedy series is that the characters he creates have their own mini-show that is encased in the larger show. Kroll splits each sketch throughout the show, and fans come back to watch hilarious characters. Kroll was awesome enough to sit down to talk about his show, reality TV, character work, the actors that will guest star, and what we can expect from the rest of the premiere season of "Kroll Show."
In the first episode, we saw sketches about your take on sports, high school, and PR firms. The sketch on the public relation firm called "PubLIZity" was outstanding. What made you go with those ideas for the first show?
Well "PubLIZity" was based on a sketch we did two years ago. That was in the original pilot. I just liked that character, that specific kind of girl. On our show we think about what kind of housing we have for different characters. So the reality format seemed like a nice fit for that kind of girl. That inspired us to keep delving deeper further into the reality world.
As the season goes on, you will see "PubLIZity" come back, but also spin-off to Dr. Armond, who is an animal plastic surgeon. He will get his own spin-off show called "Armond of the House." Then that show keeps spinning off to different characters in further with Armond. So it just seemed like that kind of reality show was fertile ground for us.
What is the total number of characters that we will see on the show in the first season?
You know, I don't know. There are at least 10 characters that come back on a few occasions. Then there are one-off characters that I just play once in the series. I wouldn't know how to summarize it. It is interesting because some of the characters continue to reoccur throughout the season. It is more fun for me to develop a broad range of characters but focus so that you get to really concentrate on coming back and building more sort of textured characters than just a one-off.
Who will be guest starring on the show that we should look out for this season?
It is crazy the amount of comedians and people we have coming in. My buddy John Mulaney, who I host the "Oh Hello" show with [and] are just two Upper West Side guys who are obsessed with Alan Alda. Maria Bamford, who is an amazing comedian, is on the show. Hannibal Buress and J.B. Smoove are on some great sketches. Fred Armisen is on the show. Richard Kind has a bit on the show. My buddy Seth Morris is on, as well. Andy Milonakis plays Dr. Armond's son Roman, who is hilarious on the show. Rob Huebel comes in to do a few episodes.
For your show, do you guys stick to the script or is there any improv?
It depends on the bit. We tend to write most of our scripts leaving a ton of room for improvisation. It really depends on the bit. There is a sketch I did with Chelsea Peretti that has Bobby Bottleservice is in a Skype conversation with a girl that is trying to become a singer. He is telling her that he can help her with her career. That (script) was just a paragraph. Then we just shoot us improvising for an hour and a half, and cut that into a video.
Then there are other sketches that are more tightly scripted like "Wheels Ontario," the Canadian DeGrassi melodrama. There is a good amount of improvised line in there, but that was also pretty scripted. That needs to be to match the genre of DeGrassi. I think you have to write a ton of really good scripts and develop characters and then leave a ton of room for improv.
How many episodes are in this season, and did Comedy Central sign on for another season with you?
We made eight episodes for Season 1. Season 2, we have started writing. Comedy Central has ordered scripts. So we are kind of waiting to see how the numbers are so everyone should stop what they are doing and watch the "Kroll Show." We are shooting for "Roseanne" numbers.
To listen to the entire interview with Nick and learn more about his show, auditions, and his thoughts on New York radio, click here.