Monday, April 11, 2011

Taran Killam + Paul Brittain in Nylon Guys

SNL newbies Taran Killam and Paul Brittain are featured in this month's Nylon Guys magazine as part of a feature on funny guys. I have taken the liberty of transcribing the little interviews and uploading scans after the jump.

How did you get the gig?
The people from SNL come to a theater I perform at a lot - the Improv Olympic Theatre in Chicago. I was in the showcase this summer and they flew me out to audition about two weeks after that.
What has the experience been like?
There's no other job like it in comedy. It's all written that week, you're hustling around this studio where, in a matter of seconds, sets are being built and torn down and moved around. It's a show I've been watching since I was nine years old. The only other thing I could compare it to is if the Chicago White Sox called me up and said, "We want you to play third base."
Is it hard to suppress your laughter?
I've always been pretty good at not breaking in general. It definitely does happen sometimes. There's no real cure for it, other than try to bite your lip or turn your head the other way.
What have been some highlights so far?
Seeing "Sex Ed Vincent", the character I've done for close to five years in Chicago, on the show. That was the same episode I got to say "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" Also, when Paul McCartney was a guest, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be on stage with him.

You got your start in comedy with a part in Naked Gun 33 1/3 : The Final Insult. Not bad for a twelve year old.
I was always, sort of, um... a ham. But in terms of pursuing comedy as a profession, I don't think I conceived of it then as a possibility. I was the biggest Jim Carrey fan in the world. I dressed up as him two Halloweens in a row, first as The Mask, then as the Riddler.
When did you start considering it as a career?
In college, I was lucky enough to have a lot of very funny friends, most of them a lot funnier than me. I had a friend in the Groundlings and I followed suit, and things kind of snowballed from there. We were just goofing around, making videos and putting stuff online, just as that kind of thing was starting. 
What's surprised you most about SNL?
I had heard all these rumours about how competitive it was, and there's an aspect of that, but I've been shocked by how nice everyone is. 
It might also help that cocaine isn't as popular as it was in the 80s.
Yes, the lack of mind-altering drugs certainly helps. I also think its such a badge of honor at this point just to be on the show. We just want to do the best we can and have a good time.

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