Krollin’ in the Deep
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 21:01
Here’s a riddle: what do a plastic surgeon for animals, a vapid 20-something PR rep and a delusional NBA referee have in common?
The answer: Comedian Nick Kroll will make you laugh out loud as he embodies each of the three and more as part of his new comedy, Kroll Show.
Best known as Rodney Ruxin from FX hit The League, Kroll is both creator and star of Kroll Show, a sketch comedy unlike many in the genre. Its recurring segments and spinoffs give the show a more cohesive feel than a string of randomly thrown together skits.
“It’s a really dense kind of experience watching it, and I think that it’s sort of an intersection between sketch and more narrative storytelling, like a sitcom,” Kroll said. “I like to think of it as a bunch of miniseries, that you keep coming back to … learning more about each character and storyline.”
According to Kroll, these underlying plotlines will grow and morph throughout the season in order to keep viewers feeling connected to certain characters but also intrigued by what’s to come.
And judging by his performance in the pilot episode, fans can expect a healthy amount of absurdity on the horizon.
Within the first five minutes of the episode, his experience with character acting is immediately apparent. We see Kroll dressed in full drag as Liz G., one-half of “PubLIZity,” a public relations duo made up of two friends named Liz. His demeanor is laughable, and as he babbles along with Liz B. (Jenny Slate, Raising Hope) it’s almost easy to forget there is actually a 34-year-old man underneath the curly blonde wig and lipstick.
While the “PubLIZity” segment is lighthearted in nature, it still manages to nail the shallow aspect of most reality television – a goal that was intentional, Kroll stated.
“We felt like something like ‘PubLIZity’… gave us an opportunity to sort of comment on the amount of reality shows and the amount of programming like that,” Kroll said. “We wanted to make something that felt relevant and completely current without being tied to references to people and things that will not feel important in six months.”
Although not as full of social commentary, another notable segment of the pilot is “Wheels, Ontario,” which features Kroll as the only able-bodied teenager in a school for the physically disabled. The premise is bizarre, and much of the laughter prompted by the segment is a result of the sheer awkwardness occurring on screen.
Regardless, the segment indicates to viewers that Kroll Show promises to be one of the more off-color comedies available this coming season.
In addition to these strange new characters, the Kroll Show’s first season will include some of Kroll’s better-known personas from various standup performances and “Funny-or-Die” video clips, like the eccentric “Fabrice Fabrice” and “El Chupacabra.”
Yet, though all of these characters have certain aspects that make them hilarious, Kroll can’t identify one character he enjoys more than the others.
“It’s just really whatever makes me laugh … it seems as though a lot of my characters like to think that they’re very important when they’re not, and I guess there’s something funny to me about that,” Kroll said. “It’s always fun creating new ones…and then you have so many to choose from … You always learn more and more about the characters every time you do them.”
Students looking for a quirky comedic fix can catch Kroll Show Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.