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Holy Taco Interviews Rob Riggle

If you don’t know who Rob Riggle is, you’re probably super old, or you might be a member of some cult that doesn’t allow it’s members to watch any comedies made in the last few years. If you’re not totally up to speed, here’s the crash course: He started out in NYC at the UCB theatre where he teamed up with Rob Huebel and several others in a sketch group called “Respecto Montalban” which was regularly featured in segments on the original Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Riggle eventually landed roles on The Daily Show and was a cast member on the 2004-2005 season of Saturday Night Live. From there it was memorable movie roles (like the cop who tazes Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover, or the cop who silently fights Mark Wahlberg in The Other Guys) and even some standup comedy.

Rob spoke over the phone with me earlier today from New Orleans, where he’s currently shooting the comedic remake of 21 Jump Street. We spoke about his current military status, his comedic past, present and future, as well as his new gig hosting the Axe Dirtcathlon.

Holy Taco: So was SNL what got everything started for you?

Rob Riggle: Well, I would say it was my first big break for sure. But I had done over 20 appearances on Conan.

HT: Right, I saw that. And you did some stuff at UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre) with Rob Heubel.

RR: Yes, we were in the same improv troupe, Heubel and I, and Paul Scheer for almost seven years together, and then Heubel and I did a two man show that went to the Aspen Comedy Festival back in 2004 and then the next year I got on SNL.

HT: You’re in the Marine Corps Reserve too, right?

RR: Yep. Still am.

HT: So you’re still hanging on to a backup plan, even though you probably don’t need one anymore?

RR: Yes, I’m still hanging on to a backup plan, and no, I still need one.

HT: I find it interesting that a lot of the roles you end up playing are intense. You remind me of at least four or five people that I’ve had to deal with while I was in the military, except they weren’t funny.

RR: (Laughs) Well you know what it’s like. I encountered certain people, and I’m sure you encountered, let’s call them “certain people”… And yes, I did observe them and I took mental notes and managed to turn some of their traits into comedic traits.

HT: That’s an interesting pool to draw from that I don’t think a lot of comics, or comic actors can draw from, because they haven’t had that experience.

RR: Right.

HT: So next on your list is 21 Jump Street. Are you playing a villain this time?

RR: Don’t know…

HT: Right, I see.

RR: Don’t know what’s going to happen, could be good, could be bad.

HT: Well, I’ll let the audience find out when the movie is released. I don’t want to be held responsible for any spoilers. So, what about the standup? You still doing that?

RR: Yeah, I am still doing standup. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been doing a lot of TV and film stuff lately so I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of writing on my standup, but I still get out and do it. While I’m down here filming in New Orleans right now, while I was down here I managed to call some people and do a gig down here, at the House of Blues June 19th. So that’ll be fun. Dust of the old standup and get out there and do it again, maybe work on some new stuff. Then I’ll be going to the punchline in Atlanta, then to the Skyline Cafe in Wisconsin.

HT: Was it a big change going from doing group stuff, then going and hitting the road by yourself?

RR: Totally. My first seven years in comedy was performing improv, and it was ensemble, or at least two man. It was very collaborative, very supportive, it was a wonderful, just a very good environment. And you do standup, and it’s just you, a microphone and the audience. And other standups, for the most part, are all malcontents. They’re pissed off at the world, pissed off at you. They’re not fun to hang out with. It’s just a different world. But at the same time I find it to be very satisfying, very rewarding, and I enjoy it. And I think if you want to be a comedian, you have to be able to do all of it.

HT: Sure. If you can lend your voice to multiple formats, it’s going to take you a lot further and be more satisfying.

RR: Exactly.

HT: Ok, well I’m officially out of legitimate questions. Anything else you would like our readers to know about?

RR: Well, there is something that is going on, I do a charity event in Kansas City, which is my hometown, with Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis who are all from Kansas City. We all grew up together… We do a charity event there for Children’s Mercy Hospital. It’s this big celebrity poker tournament, and this year we’re doing a wiffle ball game at Royals’ Stadium… It’s a good time.

Be sure to check out Rob in 21 Jump Street, due out next year. Also head on over to AxeDirtcathlon.com to check out Rob’s latest hosting gig, and enter the Dirty Dilemma Sweepstakes.

And for more info on Rob’s Kansas City charity event, go to bigslickkc.org

And take a look at this:

3 Responses to "Holy Taco Interviews Rob Riggle"

  1. DonkeyXote says:

    Holy crackers! HT’s got contacts!!! 0.o

  2. Awesome says:

    Awesome, really really funny article.