We are sketch comedians The Birthday Boys ready for season 2 of our show on IFC airing 10/17. Bob Odenkirk is not here, so you can ask us "the dirt" on him (or any of our guest stars). Also answering relationship questions. AUA.
Hi guys - we are
- Dave (the square / loose cannon)
- Mitch (the funny one)
- Mike (the funny one)
- Tim (the funny one)
With our powers combined (plus 3 more guys who are not in the room), we make The Birthday Boys. You can catch the new season of our show on IFC this Friday 10/17 at 11:30 right after Comedy Bang! Bang!
We're here at reddit NYC for your questions.
Fans of the show can photoshop themselves into the big empty space in the middle. Victoria says this is the same room Josh Brolin did his AMA in - ask us how it smells, "The Brolin musk that lingers on."
UPDATE!!! FYI, we gotta run, but we'll keep checking the AMA throughout the day and answering questions. Don't forget to watch/share the show. Season 2 kicks off FRIDAY at 11:30! We really appreciate this. TONS OF FUN!
Question: What are your thoughts on Adam Scott, the actor?
Mitch: Hey Adam! We love ya! You want to be on season 3???
Hi guys! Huge fan. I love the way you parody really specific things that most would never think of parodying but seem so obvious when you do them. I'm thinking specifically of the overly "authentic" commercials parodied in your brewery sketch or the edgy Lords of Dogtown-esque documentaries parodied in the pool jumpers sketch. It's really awesome.
Anyway my question is do you ever call Tim "Spongebob Squarehead"?
Tim here. I am often called Spongebob Roundhead, Spongebob Normalhead, and Spongebob Handsomeface, but no, this variation has not come up. I can't see why it would.
Serious true fact: my dentist recently told me that I clench my teeth when I sleep, which may have built up my face muscles to make it square.
How powerful is your face compared to say, your calves? Or Mike's calves?
Mitch: I think Mike's calves are the strongest body parts of any Birthday Boy. Followed by Jeff's fingers.
Can someone tell Woosh that I think he's cool too?
Mitch: Woosh passed away.
Mitch: I will visit his grave and relay the message though!
Hey dudes, big fan of your work. How much Improv experience do you guys have and how does that help you guys with the sketch writing process?
Dave: We all come out of the UCB theater in Los Angeles. We studied and performed out of the theater for about 5 years before we got the show... We borrow from our years of live shows all the time, both as performers and for sketch premises. Usually we work from a script, but the shoots that are the most fun are the ones that kind of go off the rails a little bit. We have good editors to spare us.
You guys are fantastic. One of my favorite TV shows.
Your show has a very distinct voice, and even after 1 season, things really feel like Birthday Boy sketches. Specifically season 2's "Girls Are Funny" episode, in the sketch with the "Just a guy with a basketball up his dress" the way you decided to play the two skeptical guys in the end was such a "Birthday Boys"esque move. I couldn't imagine anyone else coming up with that choice or playing it like that.
I also love how you address conflict - its very rare that there are 6 people doing something "weird" and then 1 typical straight man just pointing out the weirdness. Instead its feels like 7 people all on the same page in regards to weirdness.
How tangible is "voice"? When you are writing, do you re-write until every part of a sketch "feels" like it's "Birthday Boys"? Or is it automatic/natural at this point after working together so long?
Finally, Ham Hat.
TIM: wow, good eye. are you a comedy professor? The "no straight man" thing is a conscious choice. Not a rule, but we just that's fun for a lot of sketches. Same with the voice stuff. We've dissected it, but really we try to just follow the laughs in the room.
Have you had a skit that was deemed to inappropriate to do, if so what was it? Also, I love binge watching your show.
TIM: I wrote one this year called Child Porn Hero*, and I still stand by it. It's about a guy who takes nude photos of himself when he is young, then waits twenty years and gets rich by selling them as an adult because it is legal.
*I DO NOT SUPPORT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY! NEVER HAVE, NEVER WILL!
DAVE: I don't think we've rejected anything as "inappropriate." We came close with Pretty Dad last year and a sketch this year about filthy disgusting pop songs that get stuck in your head.
We once rejected a Mitch sketch called "Frog Pope" for being too funny.
What was Jack Black like to work with?
Mitch: He was awesome! One of the nicest guys I've ever met and obviously hilarious. Also... A great cook. He baked a cake for everyone on set.
Did it contain raisins;)
What does the cake next to my name mean/make you feel?
Dave: Makes me think of my first ever Emoji. It was a It was the thumbs up icon used when a friend of mine texted me "On my way!"
Mike: Makes me think of pie.
Is Odenkirk's voice really that gravelly, or is that just part of his on-screen persona (it's angelic in real life, like a choir boy, isn't it)?
Mike: Bob's true voice is a thick, southern Louisiana accent. Years of voice training has trained it into the Midwestern Dad accent we know and love.
Dave: It is crazy when he breaks out the "DAMMITS!!!" in a scene, or launches into a fired-up Dad character, because you can immediately see a Mr. Show character in the room. In Truth: he's a loving father of two.
A quick question for you. Me, my roommate, an old ham sandwich and a stack of junk mail - is it a family?
TIM: Yes, this is a family. Thanks for checking.
That's what I've been trying to tell the IRS and they aren't buying it.
TIM: you can claim three dependents on your w2. I'll handle the rest.
Hey guys! Any chance we get a sequel to your Pretty Dad viral from last season? Need to know what happens next!
Dave: Check out what happens next on the Spice Network this Fall. It's a full spin-off!
You can probably imagine what happens next, but if you can't, watch the season 1 DVD extras...you can see how we ended the sketch when we used to do it live at UCB Los Angeles. Hint: it's nassssty!
While that exact sketch doesn't return this year, we devoted a whole episode to such matters called "Love Date Hump" (Episode 5 of season 2). It includes more cross-dressing.
what are your superpowers?
Mike: Dave can run real fast. Mike can drive real fast. Mitch has access to a plane (that is fast). And Tim is allowed to ride on the plane.
What does Bob smell like? I bet he smells like spearmint and Brut.
He's generally a hygienic man. Nothing specific. Healthy. Good.
Love the show. Do you have any guest stars this season?
A bunch! Dana Carvey, Jack Black, Fabio and a bunch more!
Hey Birthday Boys, I was lucky enough to see y'all live yesterday at the CBB show. Absolutely hilarious. I have two questions
- Will we see y'all pop up on the CBB pod again to promote the show?
- Will we see the history of hip hop on the TV show? That was hilarious yesterday
Mike And Dave: 1. We have nothing planned yet but hopefully again soon. We've have a lot of fun on that show. 2. We'd love to but getting the licensing rights away from Mike Shinoda is not worth the 4000 bucks!
Hey guys just wondering how important interns are to the production process for your funny TV show? I got a hot tip that all the interns were super hot and cool this year.
Best in the bizzzzzz
If each of you had to identify yourself with one of the great dictators in history, who would you pick and why?
DAVE: I had the esteemed displeasure of playing Hitler this season (episode 2). I tried to give him some humanity, but ultimately found it to be impossible. Screw that guy!
Mike: I always liked Napoleon's funny hat. That thing cracks me up. Like, A LOT.
"No Afterlife" just might be the greatest bit of motivation I've ever heard. It's surely better then YOLO. Thanks for sharing that with us. I say it all the time and I kind of gets people pretty depressed but......no afterlife.
TIM: ha thanks. that thought is in the back of my head at all times.
Are you guys going to be on Comedy Bang Bang (the podcast version) any time soon?
Your show is hilarious by the way.
Haven't scheduled it, but planning on it asap! Anybody you want to hear from?
Do you think that some people have a innate sense of humor or it can be developed?
Mitch: I think some people are naturally funny, but you can definitely hone your craft, just gotta put the time into it. I like to say, "Not everyone is born a Bart Simpson."
Jen from Scotland's question got deleted, but here's our answer:
That's awesome! Thanks for finding the show. Our only international stop so far has been Canada, but we would LOVE to hit a Europe sweep. Our pal Ron Lynch (see season 1 episode 1) just did Fringe. We'd be into it. What's your favorite venue for sketch?
What was it like working with Fabio?
Mike: It was very great to fulfill every woman's dream... and my own.
Dave: He taught us a lot about whey protein products.
Mike: Check out his whey protein product.
Dave: He really believes in it. And we do too. And Mitch kissed him.
Mitch: I kissed him on the cheek. It tasted like butter...but it wasn't. I couldn't believe it!
Will the Beatles act that I saw you do a few months ago be in the new season? Also Tim what would you be doing if you never got into comedy?
TIM: The stupid stupid sketch where we sing a bunch of beatles songs and say "gloves" instead of "love" every time??? No, I guess we assumed that was not TV quality, but now I'm second guessing. Big news though: are doing this sketch tomorrow night at UCB East in new york.
As far as what I'd be doing instead of comedy: I'd still like to be Bruce Springsteen. Don't think that'll pan out. I was a bbq cook as a teenager and I really liked that.
Huge fan of the Birthday Boys (special place in my heart for Ducky Powell), will you guys be making more appearances on Comedy Bing Bong and/or Improv 4 Humans?
Dave: probably both. Once Besser and Scott's schedule allows.
Tim: And when Earwolf needs the ratings.
Dave: Mike is doing Ducky Powell live at UCB East tomorrow night!
Hey guys I'm a huge fan (7foot2, 300lbs). I can slam bunk a basketball. Do you guys ever go out to eat in Miami?
Mike: Whenever we're in Miami, we tend to hit up Arby's and Mickey D's.
And dunking a basketball has been a dream of mine ever since I was a boy. Way to go, man.
Mike: Shorter answer, which one of us DIDN'T? Answer: Chris.
Hello! I have a question for all of you guys; do any of you guys ever plan or want to do more acting beyond comedy?
MIKE: We're hoping to get into the in-flight safety video acting game.
Mitch: Jeff Dutton is leaving for India. His dream has always been to be in a Bollywood action/adventure film.
Can you still watch Breaking Bad the same way after doing comedy with Bob Odenkirk?
Mitch: Now when we rewatch Breaking Bad we crack up at every single scene.
DAVE: Ok! We'll be in a ROLLS ROYCE! That sketch made us millions!
Mitch: Nope. I think that is actually the only combo that isn't a family... I'm sorry. Still down to pick you up from soccer practice later though!
Hey guys! How would you describe your comedy style? I would say aggressively stupid, and I love it.
Tim- that hair dance you did in goofy roofers is one of the best things. It has become my go to move and I have been swimming in ladies ever since, so thanks!
TIM: happy to hear you are now a ladies man. I stole that move from George Costanza's mom. The Assman episode when she riding in Kramer's car.
You guys produce so much god damned content. So many sketches. How do you get yourselves out of writer's blocks, or feeling that you keep doing the same thing?
DAVE: We ALL get writers block. Here's a pro tip: buy yourself a tennis ball and throw it against the wall in your office.
*NOTE: Make sure a legendary comedian is in the office on the other side of your wall. When he or she comes out to tell you to stop bouncing the ball, lock the door behind them and hold them hostage until they give you their best joke.
Orrrr, if you can't come up with a good sketch, sometimes just write out the bad one. Lots of great sketches start as bad ideas.
Love you guys! How did you meet Bob Odenkirk, and what's your experience been like working together? Thanks!
Mitch: We met Bob through a show that his wife, Naomi, puts together every year. It's called "The Not Inappropriate Show" and it takes place on New Years Day. It's a show that parents can take their kids to, but it's comedy that both the parents and the kids will enjoy. We performed in the show and Bob was also in the lineup. He commented on one of our sketches and then Tim Kalpakis sent him a follow up e-mail and we started talking from there!
It seems some of you guys act more, but come together as a group. Is that accurate? Does everyone contribute something different to the group?
PS- love the show, and I had the Angry Roofers theme stuck in my head earlier.
DAVE: Very accurate. The craziest thing about the process is how many non-acting/writing rolls that making a show requires. A lot of our roles were defined by years of doing a monthly live show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris and Jeff would helm the directing and editing of our videos for example. Jeff would even make most of our props. That handmade/group effort vibe informs a ton of choices we make in the show. We love the feel of "pulling off" a show with sweat and grit.
Mitch: We definitely all wear different hats in the group (figuratively, not literally). Some guys contribute more in different areas, but it definitely all comes together into one big Birthday Boys goop. Angry Roofers... I like the sound of that!
Is the writing process extremely relaxed & natural with you guys sitting in a room and just laughing the whole time while trying to write it down? Or do you guys come in with pre-written material and bounce it back with one another? Both?
Mike: The writing process is a blast. Sketches come about in different ways. Sometimes, we come in with sketches written individually and the group punches it up with more/better jokes. Or we take a sketch written individually and we find the idea funny but the execution is not great so we strip it and move the idea in a better direction. And sometimes one of us will come in with an individual sketch, we all read it, and the group looks at the writer like he should be locked up in an asylum! (Lost a lot of good Birthday Boys that way.)
But, we also do a lot of riffing in the room, forming funny ideas and someone will go off and write it up.
It's a very collaborative writing process in either case.
Hey guys, you deserve the success you've earned! When you guys write your sketches, do you do it individually and then let everyone else punch it up, do you write them all together, or both? Follow up question, how much money do you make in a year?
TIM: the answer to the writing question is Option A. for the money question, are you asking about just BDBS money, or BDBs and CBB combined?
do u actually play the drums? lol that skit wad hilarious "keepin the beat keepin the beat" lol
how come when i search for you guys' videos i can never find them!?
TIM: no, i play guitar but i'm terrible at drums. Keeping The Beat came from me wanting more attention while stuck behind a drumset during a party when Jeff and Hanford were on guitar and bass.
Our videos have been taken down because the show went on Netflix. We're not allowed to have sketches on Youtube and Netflix at the same time.
I love you guys!! Your comedy is refreshing because it is actually funny. I am a huge fan of comedy and your show is the best sketch show I have seen in a long time. How did Bob find you guys and will you be doing any live shows?
Tim: we were doing a live show in LA and we heard somebody in the audience saying "GODDAMNIT!"
Dave: It actually really was a show at UCB that Bob and his wife put on every year, called the "Not Inappropriate show." If you have kids, and you're in LA around New Year's, check it out.
For an episode can you just do a 22-minute version of Ham Hat? Thank you.
"Thank you"?!??! We haven't even done it yet!
"yet"?!??! So, you are going to. Thank you!
We'll do it, but the budget is going to be huge.
On the Seven Brothers Brewery episode, were you guys really swimming in beer or was it just piss?
Tim: It was water, with a LITTLE bit of beer...
Dave: A little bit of food coloring, and the top layer was generated by a foam machine. Now here's the secret from Dave: it also contained piss, at the end of the day.
psst, are you still here? just wondering if we can be best friends
yeah, we're here. We're pals now.
Hey boys! Who are you taking to the big video game this weekend?
Dave: Yoshi's egg?
What crimes will Saul Goodman be defending you for when you all guest star on Better Call Saul?
Dave: Murder, murder, murder, and speeding (in a plane).
Hey guys, I'm a big fan of your work. How did you guys get involved with IFC? Did they contact you, or had you been talking to various people about creating a show?
Looking forward to Season 2! Thanks for your time here.
We pitched the show around town with Bob as well as Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films. Bob really anchored the pitch, and went out on the line to make the case that we had a voice worth televising. IFC (fans of Bob and fans of our online stuff) was slightly off enough to take us up on the pitch.
What's your ideal breakfast?
TIM: This morning's breakfast was paid for by IFC, so I had eggs, bacon, sausage, blood sausage, and baked tomato. It was huge. And it was ideal!
Mitch: Eggs Benedict for me. You can't really beat that. Mike: A full box of wheaties followed by a half gallon of 2% milk.
Mitch: My answer was serious. I take breakfast seriously.
What was your biggest take away from your time at Ithaca College as well as your first jobs?
-IC senior here, looking for some advice breaking into the industry!
Mitch: Biggest take away is that the Textor Ball doesn't really break in half if you graduate a virgin. First jobs in Hollywood for a lot of us were PA jobs. You gotta work crappy gopher jobs for a long, long time (for little pay... and sometimes no pay), but they are all good experiences! Also, take advantage of any connections you have!
When's the next Fredonia Fest?!?!
TIM: I am happy to report that me, hanford, and jefferson's band The Sloppy Boys Jangly Band is rehearsing again. If we come across another 30 free bottles of tequila, we will definitely have another Fredonia Fest. What do you say, Jose Cuervo???
What did September Santa bring you this year? Follow up question: Was he on time?
Mitch: September Santa has passed away. You can visit his grave in Oxnard, California. His last gift was a pencil that looked like a pen.
Hey guys, I'm sitting in my room by myself, actually watching the birthday boys, so is this scenario not a family?
Dave: Are you sitting between a MAN and a WOMAN? And has their union been recognized by the state in which you reside? Personally, I think that's a BETTER definition of family. Tim says yes though.
Tim does seem to be the expert on families
TIM: that's a family
I loved your first season. One thing that impressed me is that you work the whole cast in to most sketches, but it doesn't feel forced.
Anyway, my question is: If your troupe were a professor at Comedy University, what five movies would you want your class to watch? Extra credit bonus points for picking one movie per decade for the last five decades.
DAVE AND MIKE: 1. That famous zoetrope of a horse running. 2. Anything from M. Night. 3. Animal House (for the score) 4. The Zapruder Film. 5. CLASS CHOICE! FREE FOR ALL!
Also, in this class, no homework on the weekends, baby!
Can you describe the process for writing something like "Goofy Roofers?" How do you decide which gags to put in and which ones don't make the cut?
TIM: I had an old sketch called Goofer's Platoon and the title was written on a whiteboard in our house. Bob came in and said "Goofy Roofers? What's that one about? Sounds funny." And for some weird reason we pitched out a stupid story where a roofing company is a metaphor for our relationship with Bob. But usually our sketches are NOT written by misreading things on walls!
Do you guys have actual roofing experience?
Mitch: We are all roof enthusiasts, but none of us have actually worked on roofs. Hammers are too heavy for most of us to lift.
Will we see more Goofy Roofers this season?
Sadly, the Roofers all died.
BUT we have a sketch you might like in the season premiere. Look for "The Woods" in Friday's ep.
This is for the "funny one" What is up with the loose cannon guy?
Genes, man. You can't escape God's plan.
Have you always wanted to be the comedy actors or have you thought about different direction in your acting career?
Tim: I wanted to just be a writer, and then I think the audience demanded my on-screen presence.
Dave: I wanted to be an optometrist. You can understand how i ended up where we are.
Mike: I wanted to inherit a bunch of money but my parents aren't that rich.
How big is Bob Odenkirk's dick?
Mitch and Tim: We can hear you.
I'm still not clear on what does and what does not constitute a "family." Could you give another example or two to help fill in the gaps?
Tim: How about "4 guys in a reddit office with a laptop?"
Dave: 4 guys in the reddit office with the musk of Josh Brolin.
As someone who has never even heard of or watched this show before...
What made you be named The Birthday Boys? Is it because you guys celebrate birthdays so close together? If that's already answered somewhere in this thread I'd love to know what made you guys decide to become sketch comedians.
I do hope I get this channel on Direct TV cause it does sound and look good! :)
Thanks for the question... The story we generally tell about the name is this: We were trying to come up with a name and then we realized we all had a birthday. Seemed like too crazy a coincidence to pass up!
We got into sketch comedy as fans first. Most of us watched a lot of Mr. Show, Monty Python, The State, SNL, and many other sketch shows in high school and college. Most of us also studied Film/TV at Ithaca College and started writing scripts/making shorts there. So when we moved to Los Angeles in 05/06 we got a house together to save money. From there, we started studying improv and sketch at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (can't recommend this type of thing enough). I think sketch comedy was a natural home for our comedic sensibility and number of writer/actor/director types.
I hope you can get IFC for this season! In the mean time, season 1 is avail on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and in clip form at thebirthdayboys.com.
Any cool or fun guests we can expect to see in future sketches?
Here's the full list!!! http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/09/03/tony-hale-jack-black-casey-wilson-birthday-boys/
Tons of em! I think we listed them in here somewhere! Command-F it!
Have you guys ever actually even shingled a roof? It didn't seem like you fairly represented people who roof rooves so I think you should give it another go. It was funny and all but it didn't have that authentic roofiness that comes with roofing.
DAVE: Fair point. No, I don't think any of us have actually roofed. Can I just tell you, I STILL have nightmares about falling off the roof during the sketch. It really gave me a whole new respect for people who can die on the job (especially actors! Who as we all know are this world's most precious species).
That would be terrifying. I'm glad you didn't die from falling off the roof. Can you just imagine falling and then landing on the ground after being on the roof. How awful.
There is no happier place than a roof. There is no sadder place than the ground.
Two questions for all of you dudes:
What is your favorite film and why?
Where is the line between avant-garde and comedy?
Mitch:Goodfellas for me. It's got great drama, but is also super funny (the painting scene with Joe Pesci's (Scorsese's) mom is hilarious. Tim: The only movie I've ever liked is Citizen Kane. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033467/combined
Is God dead? If so, why did you kill him?
Yes. He made eyes at our girlfriend.
Whoever is responsible for putting the show on Netflix... Thank you. Also, does it ever creep you out when you browse your tag on Tumblr?
HA! Yes, you mean that that tag is mostly teen girls posting images of members of boy bands with a birthday on a given day?
Honestly, we get weirded out by Tumblr all the time.
What is something you could say about your show that would get me to watch it? (PS: I am a WKUK fan)
TIM: Trevor Moore is in every episode
Thanks! Glad you're liking the show!!!
Have you guys ever dined with Chris Noth? Does he order soup or salad first? Or does he just eat an exorbitant amount of (hopefully complimentary) bread?
Mitch: he usually kicks us out of his place before breakfast!
Hey boys, first time caller, long time listener. When are you going to go back on Scott aukerman's old Podcast and do some goofs and spoofs?
Mitch: Whenever he'll have us! He's a busy man at the moment making a bunch of Bang Bangs!
We have a question: is this trending? Is this trending "viral"?
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