Hi guys, my name is Keith Powell. Most know me as an actor on the NBC show "30 Rock," but I'm also a filmmaker and created the web series Keith Broke His Leg, which has been getting a good amount of press and I'm super proud of it. I'm here to promote that show (go to www.GetBroken.com - IT'S FREE!), but since it's so autobiographical, I figure the best way to get the word out is for you to just ask me anything you can think of and I will answer as openly and honestly as possible.

MY PROOF: https://twitter.com/KeithPowell

All right, guys! That's it for me! That has been a 7 hour marathon of answering questions and I'm hungry. Please check out Keith Broke His Leg when you get a chance. I promise it'll be worth it!

Comments: 1365 • Responses: 103  • Date: 

ArmoredSlug1139 karma

Thanks for doing this Keith! On 30 Rock, there were a lot of jokes about your being a black man exhibiting behavior/culture that is stereotypically white (Harvard grad, comic book nerd). What is your take on these jokes and how they fit into the modern Black American identity? How does this mirror your own experience?

KeithPowell002315 karma

What an amazing question. Thank you for asking. Many many times during the run of the show, I'd get so worked up over how fans took my character and how it played into their own ignorance of cultural identity, that I wanted to write NY Times op-eds about it. But I didn't, because I wanted the show to speak for itself. I'll just say this: there was never anything on the show that said "articulate means white. Inarticulate means black." As a matter of fact, the show challenged that perception. What people walked away with had more to do with their own perceptions about stereotypes rather than the truth. My position for the character as in life is: I'm black. Proudly black. Everything I DO fits the stereotype of a proud black man, because I'M doing it and I'm proudly black. If other people want to interpret it as being a "sellout" or "oreo" or not black, then that says more about them than it does about me. Also, education and social class are not attributed to one race only.

FlyingBasset1029 karma

Wow great response. I would think it's a difficult position to represent sometimes as you can be demonized by both blacks and whites alike who resent your success/ education/ etc. for different reasons.

I think your character on 30 Rock was a great complement to the show.

One of my favorite scenes ever is when you meet Tracy and have the exchange:

Toofer : I'm doing good.

Tracy : Unh-unh. Superman does good. You're doing well. You need to study your grammar, son.

I think it really humanized your character and set a tone for the rest of the series.

KeithPowell00393 karma

Like!

apistat404 karma

I'd get so worked up [...] that I wanted to write NY Times op-eds about it.

That's probably the most Toofer reaction possible to getting worked up over something.

KeithPowell00295 karma

That's why I wrote it. :)

CasualSpider116 karma

What a fantastic response.

You hit the nail on the head for one of the reasons i loved the show: it played around with stereotypes in a fun and thought provoking way. Really enjoyed your character btw!

KeithPowell0065 karma

Thanks

oh_dakota105 karma

I'm of the understanding that Donald wrote most of the Toofer material, drawing from his own experiences and perspective. Did the two of you ever discuss the role, writing or characterization?

KeithPowell00244 karma

That's not totally true. Donald did write for the character many times, but many writers had a say in Toofer, most notably Tina. We never discussed the character, but Donald's a good guy.

IdontknowwhatIsaw80 karma

How do you/did you feel about the use of race politics in the current and recent previous presidential elections? Does it make you feel angry? or do you accept it as a means to a functional representative republic.

KeithPowell00199 karma

I accept it. But get a beer in me and I can go OFF on race/politics. So... you buying?

shartoberfest637 karma

how are you ?

KeithPowell00936 karma

I'm doing good.

ghostjjl960 karma

Nuhuh, Superman does good, you're doing well.

KeithPowell001137 karma

We totally nailed it.

ghostjjl43 karma

Easily the highlight of my time on Reddit, I can never top this.

KeithPowell0053 karma

YES! (fist pump)

rojozorro539 karma

Mr. Powell, how does it feel being a part of by far the best joke (in my humble opinion) in any episode of 30 Rock?

:)

KeithPowell00517 karma

That warms my heart. I was proud of that joke because it spoke to a clash of education and race in a way that was profound. Thank you.

r4wrdinosaur440 karma

What was your favorite moment on set while filming 30 Rock? Who was the funniest cast member? Any great Toofer storyline that got cut?

KeithPowell00990 karma

Oh so many memories flooding back. Hmmm... The day Al Gore visited set was pretty special. And when Jennifer Aniston guest starred, the ENTIRE production office whipped themselves in a tizzy. It was great to watch. Tracy will always, hands down, be my favorite memory on 30 Rock. Once, when we were filming - IN THE MIDDLE OF FILMING - he breaks character and talks to me about the Emmy Awards and how great he looked. I loved that memory. As far as cut storylines, I believe there was once a backstory for Toofer where he was a surgeon and accidentally killed someone, so he decided to become a comedy writer. Too dark, perhaps?

floatablepie469 karma

Too dark, perhaps?

I don't know, the Civil War era ancestor's political leanings seemed a little darker than that.

KeithPowell00412 karma

That was a great storyline, I thought.

r4wrdinosaur111 karma

Thanks for answering! I'm a huge 30 Rock fan, so all these little nuggets of gold are awesome!

KeithPowell00117 karma

No problem!

jsnoobie99 karma

Tracy will always, hands down, be my favorite memory on 30 Rock. Once, when we were filming - IN THE MIDDLE OF FILMING - he breaks character and talks to me about the Emmy Awards and how great he looked. I loved that memory.

Holy shit! Please tell me this exists on film. I would pay good money to see it.

KeithPowell0092 karma

Alas, not.

tehmlem352 karma

What current comedy show would Toofer write for?

KeithPowell00593 karma

Black-ish.

exjentric198 karma

What current comedy show would Toofer be fired from?

harrisonguord407 karma

Also Black-ish

KeithPowell00404 karma

You got to it before me!

fpfx57 karma

Coming next season to ABC... Kinda Black-ish.

KeithPowell00109 karma

Or, just, Black

Transcredible_Zap344 karma

Any chance we'll see you do a cameo on Kimmy Schmidt?

KeithPowell00446 karma

Don't know. Those are all my friends and I love them dearly, so never say never.

TemporaryFed335 karma

If the snitch is worth 150 points, why does anybody bother with the quaffle? - Toofer

This is by far my favourite 30 Rock joke. I think it's because of how passionately you said it! It's like I could hear true frustration in your voice.
With that in mind, do you have a favourite 30 Rock joke of your own?
Thanks Keith, big fan of your work

KeithPowell00206 karma

I forgot about that one, that's a pretty good one. And thank you for singling out my performance for it. I suppose I really questioned that, so it came out naturally. My wife still doesn't get the joke because she's never seen Harry Potter.

imattwerk316 karma

How was being on House Hunters? I was really excited to see you on my second favorite show (first being 30 Rock, actually)

KeithPowell00726 karma

It was great. But just know that my wife and I were drunk for about 70% of filming. Shooting took FOREVER.

fishielicious65 karma

This was going to be my question as well (about House Hunters, not necessarily about being drunk), and I love you for this answer.

Do y'all still live in that house (okay that question sounds kind of creepy in retrospect, but I'm really curious how much of the show is actually practical for the people involved vs. just for the sake of making a TV show)? Was the work they did on the house actually high quality/functional?

KeithPowell00133 karma

We still live in the house, though we renovated more of it, so it looks completely different. The work they did was high quality... for the most part. Our kitchen cabinets need to be repainted.

You can see how the house looks now on Keith Broke His Leg.

lula2488282 karma

What is your favorite TV show conspiracy/fan theory?

KeithPowell00645 karma

I really think those kids on Saved By The Bell lost their virginities to each other.

Orphan_Babies281 karma

All at once?!

KeithPowell00527 karma

Yep

rotj159 karma

Except for Dustin Diamond. That's why he was so bitter about the show. Never got to participate in the orgies.

KeithPowell00154 karma

Probably

Sadquatch253 karma

Was there any jockeying for screen time among the TGS writers? You guys had some hilarious secondary plots, but rarely crossed over into Liz or Jack's main plot or got much development. Also, why did Josh disappear?

KeithPowell00471 karma

Great questions. No, there was no jockeying. Maybe at first, but not when we found our rhythm is season one. I always answered this question like this: if you're a wheel (even a small one) in a well-oiled machine, would you complain? Plus, I was a series regular and got paid whether I showed up to work or not, so there are some episodes where I am the highest paid extra in the history of television. Would YOU complain about that? I think, but don't know so don't quote me, Josh disappeared from a purely economical standpoint: when 30 Rock started, it was a much different show. Alec wasn't going to be in every episode. They needed more Jr. cast members to round out storylines. When it became clear what the show was, there were some characters who became superfluous. Josh, unfortunately, was one of them. Lonny's a GREAT guy though and went on to have a good career afterwards.

BSRussell447 karma

And it led to a second "on set white guy" that the show also promptly forgot and then memory meshed with Josh, which is arguably the best meta gag of all time.

KeithPowell00213 karma

Exactly

Sadquatch47 karma

Thanks for the reply, that's some great insight. No complaints from me! And I'm gonna check out your new webseries!

KeithPowell0048 karma

Please do!

ScrubsFan13247 karma

Do you think people who watched 30 Rock associate Toofer's insufferable personality with you in real life after the show?

KeithPowell00865 karma

Totally. Waiters have posted on message boards how awful a person I am because I ask for "no cheese." Someone said "Jesus, he's just as stuck up as his character." I just have a dairy allergy, guys!!!!

Hellmark222 karma

See, I never thought Toofer was stuck up or insufferable. Toofer was a little higher class in his tastes and background, but that really wasn't a big deal.

KeithPowell00174 karma

THANK YOU!

mwthecool221 karma

Who did you have the best chemistry with on 30 Rock? What inspired you to start filmmaking?

KeithPowell00502 karma

Jack McBrayer is my brother. So is Tracy Morgan. Those two are some of the best human beings I have been lucky enough to know.

I've been a filmmaker all my life. Even before acting. I remember in high school I would make short films, and "distribute" them: meaning inviting people over to my house and watching on TV. My main inspiration is and always has been: Sidney Lumet. Network is a brilliant, staggering piece of work.

pennywisepoet212 karma

Keith Broke His Leg will play well on Netflix. How soon will they be picking up this gem? They really ought to have wooed you by now.

KeithPowell00306 karma

TELL THEM! TELL THEM! TELL THEM!!! Please!!!!!!!

nlamson45 karma

What you need to do is get the show picked up for half a season by some mediocre network or streaming service, so when it gets prematurely cancelled there will be protests and petitions to save it. I'm pretty sure that's the only way to get attention from the Netflix program director.

KeithPowell0019 karma

Ha! Great strategy

ObamaOwesMeMoney179 karma

When John Lutz played his own mom and disregarded Liz Lemon as a possible partner for her/his son for some reason stands out as one of the funniest moments of 30 Rock.

I was hoping you could comment on the dynamic between the writers of TGS because that was a group I always enjoyed. Also who was the closest/furthest in terms of likeness to their characters on the show?

KeithPowell00255 karma

Ha! I love that bit.

We are all still friends. Judah came to my wedding. Lutz comes over to the house when he visits LA. Katrina is like my little sister. I think that's why we had a good dynamic, we all knew we were a part of something special. I'd say John Lutz was the furthest from his character. John is actually quite poised and mannerly. He's much closer to Toofer than Lutz.

TBoneLogan22 karma

He's also a hilarious improviser. Saw him, Scott Adsit (Pete) and one of the 30 Rock writers at Second City once, and Lutz blew them both out of the water.

KeithPowell0028 karma

Adsit, Lutz, and McBrayer are the three best improvisers I've ever seen in my life

BSRussell178 karma

Is it 100% canon that it's spelled "Toofer?" I know you read the scripts and all, but I always pictured it spelled "Twofer."

KeithPowell00204 karma

Yeah, common misperception. The scripts always said Toofer.

all-americanprophet162 karma

Hey Keith! Tell me about your new web series! How has the experience of creating your own show about yourself been?

KeithPowell00217 karma

Thanks for asking this question! Keith Broke His Leg REALLY is a passion project of mine. I guess I wanted to make it because I wanted to show how my life has changed since being on 30 Rock. I was going through a lot of changes in my life - marriage, new house, new city - and I didn't feel like my authentic voice was out there in the world. My work has always mixed humor and thoughtfulness, and I found it hard trying to explain that to people when I talked about my process. So I created a show that shows how my life is changing (or "healing"... LEG METAPHOR!) and propelling me to be more thoughtful - while being SUPER funny (it's funny, guys! It's funny!). I discovered through the process 2 major things: I love to direct. It's what I majored in in college, and I don't get to do it much any more since I've always found work as an actor (knock wood). And I love my talented wife, who plays my wife in Keith Broke His Leg and was very reluctant to do the project at first. One last thing: I have to plug the show: www.GetBroken.com

thisisaonetimeoffer155 karma

What was your favourite 30 Rock 'in joke' or recurrent gag?

KeithPowell00502 karma

The fact that Kenneth never grows old

DaLateDentArdurDent152 karma

I loved your character on 30 rock and always give my friend crap for going to school in Boston. Well not in Boston, but nearby. No, not Tufts. I've always felt a strong connection to your character because I feel like I go through some of the same things. I'm a pretty big nerd. I've been told I have the tendency come off a lot like toofer sometimes in how I act and talk (working on maybe improving that part). I've also been accused of being "white washed" at many times in my life (and they aren't exactly wrong) and I always struggled with finding balance between my heritage/culture and being who I feel like I am as a person. And I think your portrayal of Toofer helped me a lot in my teen years as a sort of role model in that respect, because it helped me see that I can be who I am as a person and still be proud of my heritage. Your portrayal of toofer helped me realize that all that "acting white" or "acting (insert race)" is just a lot of bs most of the time and isn't really what heritage is about. There isn't really a question in here yet, just a lot of statements. So I guess I'd like to know, where did you draw your inspiration from in portraying Toofer? Do you feel that a lot of the character's beliefs and character traits line up with your own? I know it was comedy, but between the laughs I found a lot of deep genuine moments in the show and it's one of the reasons I love it so much. Thank you for doing this AMA, and I'm looking forward to checking out Keith Broke His Leg some time!

KeithPowell00159 karma

Your response has been the closest I've come to crying on this thread. Thank you.

As I answered upthread, I believe that education, class, and race are separate things. They sometimes intersect, but not always, and it's ignorance to believe that one can "act" or "talk" a race. I've dealt with it all my life, and the very people who made fun of me growing up are now championing my success in speaking out about it. Toofer was a role that really helped me put that message out there. I wanted him to be proud and black and unashamed of how smart he is. In his world, EVERYONE acts like him, so he doesn't see it as a division of race. That's what I brought to the character. And I so loved it. You are the perfect example of the person I wanted to reach out to and talk to. You are the reason why I do the work that I do and have the fights and struggles that I have. Keep making your voice heard! God bless. (I talk more about this on my huffington post blogs, check them out)

caitlynwatters136 karma

Favorite episode you shot of 30 Rock?

KeithPowell00307 karma

I had the most fun laughing while shooting "Apollo Apollo." There's one episode in the later seasons, don't remember which one, where I dressed up as Black Jesus and stood on the beach in Coney Island. Something about the apocalypse and the end of the world? Don't remember. But I absolutely loved filming it.

treemeister2291 karma

Season 6 Episode 1 "Dance Like Nobody's Watching"

KeithPowell0058 karma

That's the one!

suaveitguy124 karma

Was it a tough adjustment leaving 30 Rock? I imagine it was a concentrated hive of brilliant, hilarious, interesting people that would be difficult to move on from.

KeithPowell00226 karma

Very difficult. I was in a bit of a depression immediately after, and threw myself into work. I wrote and directed a short film 2 weeks after 30 Rock ended. I will show it to the world some day, because it's good, but I have a very deep emotional connection to it, so I don't want people to shit all over it. I did, however, get a job shortly after on About A Boy (as a recurring character), and I so loved the crew on that show that it made me realize that life was going to be just fine post-30 Rock. Plus, I see those guys a lot still... just last week I was at a wedding where we had a reunion.

LadiesWhoPunch56 karma

Who got married?

KeithPowell00160 karma

Tracey Wigfield, one of the writers on 30 Rock. She has her own show now coming out: Great News.

jojo9999122 karma

In your opinion, who was the funniest person off camera on 30 rock? why?

KeithPowell00288 karma

Tracy. Tracy. Tracy. Tracy. Tracy. Because... Tracy.

penny_eater117 karma

His character is really interesting to me; Tracy Jordan always seemed like a caricature (and that was certainly intentional) just like how in the show, he was portrayed as having roles that were shallow "easy laughs" (like "black cop white cop") but I am sure he was a much more vital contributor to 30 rock than his role in TGS would indicate.

Do you have any stories that can highlight a way he added something deep to the show while still playing "the black guy foil"?

KeithPowell00539 karma

Tracy would say something to a writer and the writer would laugh. Tracy would walk away, the writer would put the line in a script, and Tracy would look at it and go "How'd you come up with this? You guys are brilliant." And he still wouldn't learn his lines.

KeithPowell00241 karma

But the writers just KNEW Tracy, so a lot of the stuff was from them.

lulaalt107 karma

What is something that once you start noticing it, you cannot stop?

KeithPowell00326 karma

That's a good one. I'm not sure... hmmm... I have a friend of mine who came out as trans. I didn't realize how much struggle that community went through. Now, I see trans citizens almost every where I go. Didn't notice before.

notaalt105 karma

What pop culture reference do you make all the time, yet no one gets?

KeithPowell00229 karma

I love Judge Judy. Just love her. I visited her on set last month. I told my friends about it, and most seemed not to care.

penny_eater100 karma

Do you say stuff like "don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining" in real life situations? Please tell me yes, god let it be yes

KeithPowell00103 karma

Yes

pizzajeans90 karma

-what were tina and alec like together in real life/on set?

-i liked Toofer on 30 rock and sometimes felt he really got the short end of the stick. did you have any strong feelings about the episode where you and tracy have a back and forth about being black? i thought it couldve gone somewhere but disliked that it sort of ended with your character not being "allowed" to use the N word, and the serious race skit being replaced on TGS

on a lighter note, what's your favorite line you had on 30 rock? the "i went to college in boston. well not in boston, but nearby. ...no, not Tufts" line i've always loved

KeithPowell00160 karma

-They got along great, from what I saw.

-I like that episode because, at the time, it raised so many more questions that weren't being raised in prime time. Remember, this was RIGHT AFTER Michael Richards used the N word in a comedy club and people went crazy over it. So the episode spoke to a certain time and place, that I like.

-That's a pretty good line. The "Time to end the charade and adjust my schedule to buy a new vase." was always a great line.

the_silent_thriller84 karma

Hey Keith, big fan of 30 Rock and your work. I see Judah Friedlander walking around the east village pretty regularly, is he homeless or simply the greatest method actor of our time? If I say hi will he bite me?

KeithPowell0092 karma

He will not bite, but Judah gets pretty focused sometimes, so he may not acknowledge you. Don't take it personally, he's just being brilliant. He moved to the Village a year or two ago.

KyfeHeartsword79 karma

How do you prefer putting your toilet paper roll on the holder, over or under?

KeithPowell00346 karma

Over, like a civilized gentleman.

suaveitguy75 karma

What makes the difference between a typical sitcom and a classic one? It sort of feels like pathos, but a show like 30 Rock was great and was essentially a live action cartoon - so it isn't that.

KeithPowell00137 karma

I actually will agree and disagree. I do think pathos is a great qualifier, and I think 30 Rock had it in spades. Even though the humor got really weird and broad sometimes, you always felt for the characters and rooted for them, I think. Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy are some of the most deeply human characters in television history. And they have great chemistry.

_rya_73 karma

what's your favourite colour?

KeithPowell00116 karma

Blue. Thanks for an easy first question :)

joeybdot63 karma

What's the last good book you read?

KeithPowell00140 karma

I'm still working my way through The Unbearable Lightness Of Being. I LOVE it. I bought it in high school because I heard there was a lot of sex in it, and... you know, hormones. But never read it. Now reading it, I find it such a deep and thoughtful book about life and how we live it.

gijyun62 karma

How do you feel about criticism directed at Tina Fey and the other writers for ultimately advancing racist paradigms in the US? (blackface, irresponsible black fathers, etc.)

edit: changed commentary of to criticism directed at

KeithPowell00163 karma

Great question. I believe that some of those criticisms should be heard, for sure. They're not wrong. But I also believe that Tina is a brilliant artist who truly has good intentions and wants to present racial stereotypes so as to subvert them. So it's a double-edged sword. We SHOULD talk about stigmas, and we should talk about it openly and honestly and with humor, but we should also be respectful. Respect and humor aren't always a happy marriage.

nicholieeee56 karma

My college roommate always said she knew you through her brother. I never thought she was lying but also had no way to confirm.

So...was red lying about knowing you?

KeithPowell0081 karma

Wait... red as in Ashley? THAT'S MY LITTLE SISTER!!!!!!!

nicholieeee45 karma

Hahhaah oh shit! We always joked about having you get us into SNL parties

KeithPowell0061 karma

You could have... I went to them every week when Ash was in school

suaveitguy55 karma

It was in West Philadelphia that you were born and raised? That has got to be one of the rougher areas I have been to. Every third house was (literally) boarded up. What was it like to grow up in? Did it inspire your imagination and desire to get out of there?

KeithPowell00162 karma

Let me be clear, I was born in West Philadelphia, but not raised. I was raised in a rougher neighborhood of Monterey CA, but it was still California, so there was the beach. I later moved to Delaware. My family never had that much money, but we never knew it growing up. My Grandmother (one of my parents) grew up in the great depression and didn't know it, and she wanted to make sure that we all had an education and opportunities that made us not see the financial strains we were in. It's made me a better person, I think, because I now believe that where you start does not dictate where you end up.

themulf31 karma

I saw you at Dead President once, about 2-3 years ago! Well, at the time I had not seen 30 Rock, or else I would have annoyed you with some line from the show!

KeithPowell0032 karma

Ha! Love Dead Presidents

Hyperman36054 karma

What's your favorite Jack Donaghy line?

KeithPowell00251 karma

Never go with a hippie to a second location.

TheFreak500051 karma

Where do you draw your comedic writing/Acting inspiration from?

KeithPowell0096 karma

Lately: Louis CK and Chris Rock. But really, they are built on a foundation of Uptown Saturday Night, Crimes And Misdemeanors, Network, Terms Of Endearment, All That Jazz... films that balance thoughtfulness and heart with a lot of weird humor.

logicisevil47 karma

1) As someone who is actually from West Philadelphia, how do you feel about the fresh prince of bel air song?

2) How often do people mistake you for having gone to Harvard?

3) Would Toofer have been more approving of you having been in Macbeth or in Romeo and Juliet?

KeithPowell0078 karma

1) I'm tired of hearing it every time I tell them I'm from there. But as a song, it's pretty good.

2) ALL. THE. TIME. But that's not so bad.

3) In both, I played princes. So I think Toofer would have approved of me playing royalty.

faintpremonition45 karma

Hey Keith, 30 Rock plays on a near constant loop in my house, we're either actively watching it, or its comforting sounds are lulling us into a sense of security and well being. So, I'm going to ask a few questions!

How much drive did you have to contribute or write for your character did you have as a result of playing a screenwriter? Was there ever a case of life imitating art, or were you just thrilled with the scripts that came out of the writing room?

Tina Fey talks about 30 Rock in her autobiography and mentions that the writing team she put together was amazing, and mirrored the fictional writing room. Are there any stories that she left out of her autobiography but you think should be told about the show?

KeithPowell0050 karma

You have AMAZING questions, but I'm afraid I can't really answer them. Simply because - the actors on that show revered the writers so much we just let them be artists. We said the lines we were given, and asked questions in order to make the script work better. So we don't really have any more stories about the writing process beyond what Tina says publicly. I wonder those things myself!

suaveitguy38 karma

30 Rock reminded me of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Merrie Melodies. Was that freeing to play? Was it tough without a grounded reality to know it was just the right amount of weird absurdity and not too much?

KeithPowell0059 karma

Rocky and Bullwinkle was indeed discussed amongst the writers, so good job for picking up on that.

Our job as actors was just to handle the material honestly and truthfully. We let the writing be absurd. We just said the lines.

Knute537 karma

What kind of role are you dying to play that you aren't regularly offered?

KeithPowell00119 karma

I'd love to play more serious, thoughtful characters. Being black, articulate, and not British seems to preclude me from getting those offers.

Shadou_Fox33 karma

what is your favorite webseries that you had nothing to do with?

KeithPowell0068 karma

High Maintenance. I admit, Katja Blichfeld is my friend, but every time I watch it, I wish I made it.

pennywisepoet29 karma

Have you ever done stand up or improv? Any advice for a fledgling humorist?

KeithPowell0068 karma

Stand up has always horrified me. Just horrified me. I don't know why. But I've done improv... in high school, I was part of an imporv troupe, and I was so bad they kicked me out. My advice is to be honest and generous when doing improv... that gets the best laughs, and that creates the best scene partner. I wish someone had told my high school self that.

mattlew706227 karma

What was the audition process?

KeithPowell0082 karma

I did a pre-read with the casting director. She brought me in to meet Tina. I met Tina two or three times. Then I read for Lorne. Then Lorne put his hand on my shoulder and said "Good job." I got the part.

MetroidsGun21 karma

HAVE YOU EVER STUCK YOUR FINGER IN SOME DOO-DOO?

KeithPowell0042 karma

Yes. When I've picked up my dog's and the poop bag was ripped.

syndus21 karma

Have small space aliens ever landed inside your brain, told you to break inside the zoo, and free all the kangaroos?

KeithPowell0064 karma

Yes. Small caveat... no.

rbevans19 karma

Loved you in 30 Rock. What was your inspiration to do the web series?

KeithPowell0030 karma

Thank you! I just answered that question upthread. Take a gander!

Jackopalypse19 karma

Hey Kieth, What challenges did you face whilst making keith broke his leg? And what is next? Season 2 or something new?

KeithPowell0045 karma

There will be a season 2, just as soon as someone gives me money for it :)

I suppose the biggest challenge was directing myself. I'd do multiple takes of something just to make sure I was giving me what I wanted.

sukikano19 karma

How is Tina Fey in person?

Is she as spunky as her character in 30 Rock?

KeithPowell0042 karma

Yes. Tina is, hands down, a brilliant boss to work for. I wasn't always sure how Tina felt about ME, but I always adored her.

ChilieMacPalmer9 karma

What is your favorite flavor of jello?

KeithPowell0055 karma

Tequila.

pennywisepoet8 karma

If you could write, star & direct any literary adaptation/s, what would it/they be?

KeithPowell0019 karma

Honestly, I'd love to take a crack at Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.

antwan_benjamin7 karma

Toofer! Loved the way you played that character. Whats Tina Feys hair smell like?

KeithPowell0017 karma

Roses and rainbows.

samtresler6 karma

How do you personally cope with (what I feel is) an overtly racist industry? Have you had a lot of personal experience with that? Could you share a horror story?

KeithPowell004 karma

A lot of personal experiences, thank you for asking. To be honest, it's a daily struggle that I don't always win over. Today, like most days, I told myself that I simply have to make sure I put ME out into the world and be as open as possible. Do my work, keep plugging away. But it does get to me sometimes.

Every year, before "pilot season" (actor jargon for that time when all the new pilots get cast -- Jan. thru March) I invite all of the minorities in the industry that I know and we play Running Charades in my house. Pilot season is particularly brutal for colored-folks, and I want to find a way to let off steam before it begins.

JacobEnglehardt5 karma

What inspires you to write your material?

KeithPowell0011 karma

I think the world lacks empathy, and I want to bring that into the work I do. Also, my wife.

Nedhudir5 karma

Keith,

Are there any film or television productions you have been a part of that you feel have been underrated? What has been your favourite film to work on (since I assume 30 Rock was your favourite show)?

Big fan, keep doing what you do.

KeithPowell009 karma

I did a movie called My Name Is David that I starred in with Judy Reyes (Scrubs). The movie has its flaws, for sure, but Judy's performance is one of her best and I keep trying to tell the world that.

I loved every second of working on Night At The Museum.

snapcracklePOPPOP5 karma

I'm looking for new cheeses to try. Do you have recommendations?

Also thanks for doing an AMA. I'm excited to start watching Keith Broke His Leg this weekend

KeithPowell004 karma

Brie.

Please do! It is my baby. And it is rather good, if I do say so myself :)

Guido_Cavalcante5 karma

Which is your favorite flavor of Gatorade: Blue, Red, Yellow, or Orange?

KeithPowell0012 karma

Orange. If I must.

CloseoutTX5 karma

Welcome to reddit. I have a show I'd like to pitch you about the boy who broke his arms! Would you be interested in learning more?

KeithPowell005 karma

No.

talbottron4 karma

Hi, Keith! Thanks so much for doing this! What was the audition process like for 30 Rock?

KeithPowell005 karma

I answered that upthread. Check it out!

SkateWest3 karma

What's the best vacation you've ever taken?

KeithPowell008 karma

My wife and I went on a 1 month, make-it-up-as-you-go, honeymoon around Europe. Our only rule was to not stay in one place for too long. We traveled to about 10 different cities... all on the fly. It caused some nights of wondering what hotel wasnt booked, but it was totally worth it.

Mynameisfez3 karma

How do you follow 70k people on Twitter???

KeithPowell006 karma

Because they follow me back. I'm a love those who love you kind of guy.

fightsfortheuser2 karma

So, how you doing over there Theo Huxtable?

KeithPowell003 karma

Already played that game upthread.

Cyclovayne2 karma

Who's your favorite person on set?

KeithPowell001 karma

Tracy

box_of_hornets1 karma

Favorite joke from the whole run of 30 Rock?

And how did you get the role of Threefer (because he's also gay)

KeithPowell005 karma

That's too broad a question. I can't think of ONE favorite joke. But "never go with a hippie to a second location" is a pretty good one.

The threefer joke was improvised. I don't know why everyone locks in on it so hard. Toofer expressed interest in multiple women throughout the show, but no one ever seems to remember that. But one character in a throw-away line mentions gay, and all of a sudden it sticks.

Anyway, in answer to your question, I auditioned. A lot. There were others auditioning for it too, some friends, but I just put my head down and did the work the best I could.

YOURE_A_RUNT_BOY1 karma

Have you ever thought about being on a podcast?

KeithPowell001 karma

I've done a TON! Go to my facebook page (www.facebook.com/realkeithpowell) and scroll through to see what I've been up to. I'm about to make my 3rd appearance on Doug Loves Movies in a few weeks. LOVE Doug Benson.

YOURE_A_RUNT_BOY-3 karma

Sorry, I made a typo. I meant to ask "Have you ever considered being funny on a podcast?"

KeithPowell003 karma

Well that seems a little mean.

challenge41 karma

What regrets do you have?

KeithPowell002 karma

Not many. I got into a fight once with a talent manager (not mine). Upon further thought, there was a better way to handle that conflict.

SerPoopybutthole0 karma

Do you believe scientists when they say that mass can't travel faster than the speed of light?

KeithPowell002 karma

Yes.