Eric Andre, Hari Kondabolu, and more!
We were invited to cover the red carpet arrivals of the 2016 Turner Upfront on Wednesday, May 18th. Read our exclusive interviews below:
Hari Kondabolu (The Problem With Apu):
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the documentary you have coming up on TruTv?
A: The documentary is called The Problem With Apu, and it’s about the Apu character on The Simpsons; really the first regular Indian American character on American television. And it was this weird cartoon character voiced by a white guy. That was it! That was all we had for most of the 90’s. And now we have this wave of Mindy, Aziz, and Kal Penn; it’s such a different time, but it is so funny to think that he still exists today. And why does he exist today and why have we put up with it for so long?
Q: And can you talk about the emergence of Indians in pop culture and what this emergence means to you?
A: It means a huge deal to me because when I grew up it was just Apu. We had this one cartoon and we didn’t get a chance to share our perspectives. And I don’t just mean getting to act in things. As stand ups we get to go out there and share out perspectives. Aziz and Mindy are creating their own shows. Kumail Nanjiani has a movie coming out as a Pakistani American. It is amazing to see how much progress there is now. It is really the ability to talk for yourself, that is the great liberating thing.
Q: And with this documentary getting your foot in the door on television, would you want to do more things on television? Maybe do some acting?
A: Sure, I am not opposed to any of those ideas. I love standup comedy. I am a performer, I am a writer, I have a pilot that I am making with TruTv after the documentary. So I am certainly interested in television and other ways to share my point of view.
Q: And you last standup album, Waiting For 2042 came out a while ago. Do you have any new standup specials coming out?
A: My new album comes out this summer. We aren’t sure exactly what the date it but we will find out within a week or so. But the next album is ready to go.
Maria Thayer (Those Who Can’t):
Q: Can you talk about your show and what you love about your show?
A: The show is Those Who Can’t and it’s on TruTv. It’s a show about horrible high school teachers. I play a terrible librarian. I am a very loud and passionate person with very few boundaries. And I love how far it goes. It really pushes it.
Q: And what do you love about the cast and working with all of them?
A: They are great. They’re my guys. They are awesome.
Q: And what was your favorite scene to film from this season?
A: My favorite scene was when I was high in a car. I don’t really smoke pot but it was really fun to laugh like that.
Damien Lemon (Comedy Knockout):
Q: From being a big standup comedian, what is it like to host your own show?
A: I mean it’s great. It feels so good. It’s kind of one of those things that you dream for. You aspire for people to see you on television and hopefully people come out and see you do comedy. So, it is a great comedy.
Q: And can you talk about what it’s like to be on this show versus the other shows you have been on?
A: Well, I am hosting so it’s a different muscle. They don’t have to rely on me for the material as much, I kind of steer it. I steer it, I referee it, it’s a different position. It’s fun though, it’s great, but it is different from some of the other stuff I have done. I have been on TV doing standup like The Half Hour or on Guy Code and now I am hosting this show. I am the guy throwing to other comics like ‘hey, what do you got?’ So it’s a little different.
Q: Any other people that you want to come on your show?
A: Yeah, I want Eddie Murphy to do Comedy Knockout, tell him to come through.
Q: Anything else coming up for you? Any comedy specials in the future?
A: We’re working but we are touring right now. Going all over the country working my hour right now. Beyond that we have Comedy Knockout season two coming. I got a couple of other things coming that I can’t announce yet. And we have In The Conversation which is my podcast every Wednesday.
Michael Carbonaro (The Carbonaro Effect):
Q: What can we expect from this season?
A: I am super excited about this show. We started by making people believe in weird technologies and strange moments because it is a hidden camera magic show so we have to people believe that these moments of magic are actually happening. This season I got somebody to believe that they had a premonition and we are really messing with time. We got people to believe that they’re skipping moments of time where they are going back in time. I don’t even know how we’re doing it but we’re doing it.
Q: What kind of magic tricks would you like to do in future episodes?
A: Tons of crazy ideas but we can’t say what they are.
Q: Have you taken any inspiration from other hidden camera shows in the past?
A: Absolutely. I think one of the biggest inspirations was, really the inventor of the reality television genre, Allen Funt from Candid Camera. And I think what makes The Carbonaro Effect like that is that it is all in good fun. It’s a good spirited show. We aren’t trying to make people angry, upset, or scared. Maybe scared a little bit but it’s all about having fun with somebody and I think that’s what separates it from all the other prank shows.
Q: And would you ever want to prank any celebrity on your show?
A: That’s a tough gig. I got to prank Shaquille O’Neal on this season because he thought he was helping us, which he did, but we also got him too.
Kevin Pereira and Brooke Van Poppelen (Hack My Life):
Q: What is your favorite hack to use that you talked about from your show?
Kevin: We love anything that gets us to alcohol quicker. It’s like a running theme throughout our show. So even back in season one we were teaching you how to open up wine bottles with a shoe or a bike pump. Whatever gets us to substance abuse faster, that’s the hack for us.
Brooke: And I feel like if people were more honest they could admit that those are the best hacks that work for them as well. We are there for you in a pinch with a corkscrew? It’s like Fort Knox.
Q: And what do you like most about working together?
Kevin: Here’s the thing about BVP, or Brooke Van Poppelen as I like to call her. Just a consummate, consummate angel. I don’t know how she tucks her wings into her dress but when she unfurls them, it’s just shafts of light refracting off of her flawless skin as she delivers-
Brooke: Well I really like working with a pathological liar. And he just keeps you on your toes. You never know what Kevin is going to lie about next. It’s just a fun mental guessing game coming to work every day.
Q: And any hacks that you would like to share that you haven’t shared on the show?
Brooke: Here’s a fun one. So you’re going to the beach and you’re the kind of person who likes to get a little boozy on the beach, freeze the bladder in a box of wine so it turns into a wine slushy and you can use it to cool down your other beverages in your cooler. And then when you get to the beach you have nice, cool, melted bum wine.
Eric Andre (The Eric Andre Show):
Q: What can we expect from the new season?
A: A lot of full frontal nudity, I also went to jail, I went to the hospital. Who do we have this year? We have Jack Black, Howie Mandell, T.I, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Jillian Michaels, Flava Flav, and several other guests.
Q: What was your favorite thing to film from this season?
A: We hired a transgender woman and a transgender man to have sex right next to one of the cameras while we interviewed people.
Q: Who was your favorite guest to have on the show?
A: There were so many. We had this one band, American Authors, and we combined them to form a human centipede and had them play a song.
Q: And anything else coming up with you that you would like to share?
A: I am doing another season of Man Seeking Woman on FX. But another season of The Eric Andre Show is coming this summer.