I’ve been a fan of Paul Scheer for awhile now, back to the Best Week Ever days, which means I was still a little late on becoming a fan. You just knew even from watching him on BWE he stood out, funnier than everyone else, and you wanted to see and hear more of him. Luckily, that has been the case. In multiple cameo appearances from 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, Reno 911!, Bride Wars, Year One, and too many more to name, Paul has officially taken over the scene stealing funny guy who makes you say, “who was THAT?!” Good thing we get to see lots of him playing Andre on one of the funniest comedies currently on television, FX’s “The League“. (Season 2 premier Sept 16th). I should also mention, he took time out of his very busy production schedule just to do this interview, to me, that sums him up best, Paul is just one nice guy.
Serial Optimist: In the most non-sarcastically, unfunny way possible, tell me Paul, who are you?
NAME: Paul Scheer.
LIKES: Cookies and Blu-Ray DVDS
PERSON MOST NOT LIKE: HITLER
SO: I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time, but it seems you are really starting to resonate with a broader audience due to The League now. Did you notice a big boost in people recognizing you from the show, and do you now have random people trying to talk fantasy with you?
A lot of people used to recognize me as the dude who used to fondle their lawn gnomes, so anytime people don’t recognize me from that I’m happy.
I think it’s all perspective, from a ratings standpoint all the shows I’ve done (Human Giant, League and Best Week Ever) got roughly the same amount of viewers but they are all different types of audiences, but you are right, lately everyone I’m talking to are lot of people about FF.
SO: Who are some of your favorite current comedians? If you had to put a list of “comedians to watch..etc” who are a few that would be on your list?
Paul: This is always the hardest question. My favorite comedians are probably everyone that was in NIGHT OF 140 TWEETS with was a charity benefit I did with Ben Stiller to raise money for Haiti. Rob Huebel and I pulled together some of the best comedians in LA for that night and made a DVD where all the proceeds when to ARTISTS FOR HUMANITY. You can still download and get the DVD on iTunes.
Off the top of my head I love Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Children’s Hospital, Louie (On FX), 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Mighty Boosh, and Jon Glaser’s Delocated (Adult Swim). I’m also a big fan of Tom Sharpling’s Best Show on WFMU (Which is a radio/podcast), Brett Gelman, John Mullaney, Chelsea Perretti, Hannibal Buress, Morgan Murphy and Joe Mande. The list is kind of never ending. Also I love those Mel Gibson prank call tapes.
SO: If I were to look at your Netflix queue right now, what would I find?
Paul: Sin City: Uncut
Breakin’ vs Krumpin
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
SO: How much of personal life is separated from work life? Or is there any separation at all? You have worked frequently with Rob Riggle, Rob Huebel, Jack McBrayer, Jason Woliner, etc. Are these the guys you just have great writing/improv chemistry with, or are these also people you go grab lunch with and then see a movie.
Paul: In comedy, you tend to work with your friends a lot because those are the people you’ve started out with and they either throw a rope down to you or you throw a rope down to them. Rob Riggle, Jack McBrayer, Rob Huebel and I have worked together for the last 12 years Woliner for the last 6, so we are always looking for ways to work together and when we cant do that we just hang out and kill small defenseless animals together. So yeah all these people are my friends but one of them is my absolute enemy and he doesn’t know it…yet
But i’ll also add that working with like minded people like the cast of THE LEAGUE has been amazing, we all come from different backgrounds and I think we all bring different perspectives to a scene and Jeff and Jackie Schaffer the creators/producers/directors have the unenviable task of putting it all together. So I think it’s important to keep expanding your circle and challenging yourself and working outside your comfort zone.
SO: Have you performed in Dallas before? Do you have a Dallas story for us other than “it’s hot”?
Paul: I never perform in Dallas because that’s where they shot JR and I don’t feel safe there. I have performed in Austin for SXSW and there I discovered my favorite drink a Michelada, which everyone but me finds absolutely disgusting. C’mon how can you not like Tomato Juice, Worstershire Sauce and Light Beer on Ice?
SO: When was the last time you were like, full on nervous about something? Butterflies in the stomach kind of nervous?
Paul: Shooting my 1st full on nude penetration scene for The Bachelorette.
Lately my nerves have been focused on stuff that I can’t control. For example after you shoot something, you start to wonder, was it good, how will it look when it’s edited, etc.. That’s why I still love and I think need to perform live once or twice a week. It just gets you out of your head and you get immediate reaction.
SO: What would be the last line read in “The Book of Paul Scheer”?
Paul: “Put down the Gun Gilberto!”
SO Note: (Be sure to check out the season 2 premier of The League on FX Sept 16th, Thursday at 10:30, and also follow Paul on twitter @paulscheer)