Actor-comedian Nick Kroll, known for his role as Ruxin in “The League”, has just released his very own sketch comedy show.
Airing on Comedy Central, “Kroll Show” premiered Wednesday night.
The pilot shuffled between three satirical mini-series, where Kroll took on a slew of different characters spoofing popular TV shows in American culture.
In a single episode, Kroll dressed up as a female talk show host in “Publizity,” played a student in a Canadian high school for paraplegics in “Wheels Ontario” and played one of the men in “Sex in the City for Dudes.”
Kroll said in a teleconference that characters like Liz from the show “spin off” of one another and return frequently throughout the season.
“I think what ‘Kroll Show’ does differently than most of the stuff out there right now is the fact that we are doing a lot of recurring characters and narrative storylines both inside an episode and as a season-long thing,” he said. “A lot of the episodes take on a similar structure with a big storyline like “Publizity,” a smaller storyline like “Wheels [Ontario]” and then a runner as well.”
Kroll said he hopes that the large student audience that enjoys “The League” will also check out “Kroll Show.”
“I think my show is going to be very different than that, yet a lot of the same kind of people and the kind of jokes and humor that appear on ‘The League’ will translate through,” he said.
Kroll mentioned that he has grown close to stars like Amy Poehler and Joel McHale with his roles in “Community” and “Parks & Recreation,” which has opened up a tight network of actors both on and behind the scenes.
“The comedy world is an incredibly collaborative world, and I think it's a real model for how artists can create their own material and also participate in other people's material. The water really rises,” he said.
While “Kroll Show” does create material that pokes fun at what's relevant in pop culture, Kroll said that there's nothing in the show that is topical specifically to a name or celebrity that feels like it won’t be important in six months.
“You're never going to hear Kim Kardashian's name, but we felt like something like 'Publizity' gave us an opportunity to comment on the amount of reality shows like that,” he said.
Kroll said the season will be chock full of guest appearances from faces such as Andy Milonakis. He added that the guests on his show are all friends of his, and that he's either been on their shows or they've written on his show.
“The beauty of it is that there are really no rules. You can tailor everything to whatever is funny and whatever is inspiring,” he said.
Kroll said that even though he now has a lead role in two different shows, his new show won't interfere with his role in “The League.”
He also said that he is extremely grateful to be doing exactly what he wants on his own show and appearing on shows like “Parks & Recreation,” “Community” and “Burning Love.”
“Honestly, if this is what the career is, then I'd be over the moon about it,” he said.
Will Monkowski (senior-telecommunications) said that most sketch comedy shows are actually pretty funny, but their names aren’t ever big enough to attract an audience.
“Even if the shows are worthy of multiple seasons, they just don’t get enough publicity to last,” he said.
Monkowski is president of Penn State’s network television station, PSN-TV, and runs a group of eight different shows, including one student-run sketch comedy series called “The Valley.”
Creator and executive producer of “The Valley,” Joe Ballantine (junior-film and communication, arts and sciences) said he and his crew try to write original narratives while looking at shows like “Kroll Show” as a type of format to follow.
“Our audience is still low at this current moment, but we believe that as it grows over time it can be more duplicated like a show of that stature,” he said.