Randy only appears in Funny People for moments but he’s already broken out in a big way. There’s a two-part documentary about the character on Funny or Die and now Judd Apatow is considering doing an entire movie about the fake comedian played by real comedian Aziz Ansari.
A couple of weeks back I had a chance to talk to Aziz about Randy, his NBC show Parks and Recreation and what else he has brewing. I kicked things off with an oblique reference to Sean Combs’ Twitter feed, which I know Aziz follows closely…
Are you now or have you ever been locked in?
I’m always locked in! I just worked with him on Get Him to the Greek.
How was that?
He was funny, man. He brought it, and he’s a good improviser. He’s
locked in! He’s not messing around. When he’s doing something he’s
focused and locked in. He doesn’t come on set popping bottles of Ciroc
and throwing around Sean John at people. He’s locked in and he’s in the
game. I was really impressed; he’s really funny.
Is it weird meeting him after your funny Twitter interactions?
I met him briefly a few times here and there. He knows me from
something, but I’m not sure what he knows me from. At the table read
for Get Him to the Greek he said, ‘I know you, right?’ and I said,
‘Yeah, we’ve met a few times.’ He said, ‘You send me messages on
Twitter, right?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah I send you messages on Twitter.
Why don’t you follow me?’ He was like, ‘Oh, I thought I hit follow.’ He
sent me a MySpace friend request and it was from Diddy and I thought it
had to be a fake account – but it wasn’t! So I approved it and sent a
message like, ‘After much consideration I have decided to approve your
friend request,’ and he was like ‘Thank you! Happiness forever! Let’s
When I saw the A Night of Funny People concert, Randy killed. He’s not
in the movie a lot but it seems like everything else around the movie –
a lot of the publicity – is about him.
It’s really Judd and Seth and Evan, those guys, they really got into
Randy. We had a lot of fun with the character and we had these ideas
and there wasn’t enough time to explore that stuff in the movie so we
made that documentary and the website. It was really fun. It’s a small
character in the movie, but I’m happy people responded to it so we
could do the other stuff we’ve done. I’m glad to be working with Jason
Woliner, the guy who directed Human Giant. To work with Judd on that,
Evan Goldberg… it was really fun.
Some of the Randy material is stuff that you did in your regular act?
That show at the Orpheum I was only supposed to do a small set but the
audience got really into it and Judd said I should go out and do more
stuff, so I had to dip into the Aziz well, I couldn’t stop doing Randy
and do Aziz, so I sort of Randyied up my material to fill time. Some
people were like, ‘Man you do that joke as yourself!’ but yeah, I was
supposed to do ten minutes and then I had to do thirty. But I try to
keep a separation of Randy and Aziz. I just shot a standup special for
Comedy Central and there’s a Randy chunk where I’m wearing all sequins
and throwing money at the audience and the DJ is there and dancers and
smoke, but then the other 50 minutes are my own standup as myself.
Where did Randy come from?
When I first got to set Judd described the guy, a really confident,
cocky character. He kept describing the character and I thought he’d
have a catch phrase, and a dance and all this stuff and we started
coming up with all these ideas. It wasn’t so much a dig on a particular
comedian as it was the idea of ‘What would Soulja Boy do if he was in
standup comedy?’ He’d have a DJ, he’d have his own dance, all his jokes
would be like the Randy jokes, he’d have dumb catch phrases. It’s more
inspired by that than by any particular comedian; obviously there are
little bits of different comedians here and there and seeing a Def Jam
comic taken to an extreme, but it’s not about anyone specific.
Randy has this thing where it’s all about the energy and the catch phrases and the jokes are like an afterthought.
I do think the jokes work. If you told the jokes without all of that
they would still get a laugh. You can’t go on stage and just say ‘I got
my dick sucked today!’ and have people start laughing. You can’t just
jump up and yell ‘I got my dick sucked!’, you have to have some concept
behind it. I think the jokes work.
Are you surprised that Randy has hit like this?
It’s a minor part in the movie, so yeah it’s crazy that it took off to
the level where we’ve made a documentary and all that stuff. It’s
How does having the TV show change things for you?
I did a recurring character on Scrubs, but this is the most I’ve done
of one character. It’s fun getting in that groove and doing something a
little more grounded than the sketch stuff in Human Giant, which is
people exploding all the time. It’s been really fun. I’m psyched to do
the second season.
You had a short first season. Do you feel like you hit your stride yet?
I feel like we’re still growing into it but I think we’re going to hit
a spot where we’re as good as these other shows like 30 Rock and The
Office. We can hit our stride the same way those shows did.
What’s the status of Human Giant?
They offered us a third season but we couldn’t do it because we were
all doing other things. As far as the show, it’s on hold. But I still
see those guys all the time. We could work together on a movie or
There are also all these other outlets for the sketch stuff you guys do. There’s Funny or Die and everything -
Yeah, doing the documentary with Jason was fun. We all work together in
different ways; hopefully on Parks and Recreation Paul [Scheer] and Rob
[Huebel] can do something. I think we’ll still work together.
The Randy documentary is pretty great.
In part two you see his apartment and find out he was a cop who shot a
kid. The stuff in his apartment was kind of inspired by Jerry
Seinfeld’s Comedian documentary, when you see Orny Adams’ apartment. We
watched that and did the Randy version of that – ‘Jewish Material,’
‘Getting My Dick Sucked.’ Then you see the tour he did with some
friends of his, and that’s sort of like the Tourgasm for Randy. We
don’t have anything as crazy as the porn. What’s crazy about that is we
were talking to Judd and he said, ‘How did you find the footage of the
two guys high-fiving?’ and I was like, ‘We shot that!’ We filmed Evan
Stone! We filmed Marcus London. Me and Jason shot that. Everyone was
really into that joke, and I was like thank God, because me and Woliner
shot a porn!
What is Evan Stone like to work with?
He’s so funny, man. He’s so hilarious. You’d be talking to him and you
wouldn’t even realize but he’d be jerking off. [Mimes jerking off]
‘Yeah, so I used to work at Medieval Times and then I got spotted, and
next thing you know I’m doing this. What are your favorite restaurants?’
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey