comics talk to comics

Nick Kroll Talks to Rob Corddry About Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Chapstick Addictions, and Porn Parodies

Nick Kroll and Rob Corddry Photo: Michael Tullberg/Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Who better to interview Rob Corddry about Hot Tub Time Machine 2 opening this weekend than a friend from his past? Corddry and Nick Kroll have been friends for a long time, starting all the way back in the early days of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and you can tell by their rapport. The two talk about HTTM2, Chapstick addiction, and potential porn parodies. There are a lot of bits.

Rob Corddry: Kroll, you only got, like, an hour and a half, two hours?

Nick Kroll: I actually have, like, three hours, but it’s my power play to say I’m only available for the next hour and a half.
Oh, yeah, cool. I get that.

Rob, any power plays that you can remember that you’re specifically proud of in your show-business career?
Yeah. You know how a lot of people say, “Oh, you can’t look so-and-so in the eyes.” I don’t understand that at all. I don’t think that’s a power play in any sense. My power play is, I demand everybody on set to look me in the eyes at all times, even when they’re not talking to me.

How many times have you been kicked out of your home?
I’m actually in my car right now. I’m hot-boxing my car.

Cool. You have a very chill vibe. Speaking of sets, you’re obviously on a roll, coming off the set of Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Did you ever think, in your wildest dreams, that you would be a part of a Hot Tub Time Machine 2? Did you ever think you would be part of a franchise?
Yeah, probably before I really thought about it, or experienced what it’s like to have movies come out, as, statistically, most of the time they are barely seen. There are movies I’ve done — I can think of one right now, I don’t even know the name of it.

One thing I’ve noticed about you, Rob—
Can I interrupt you? I love your interviewer voice, Nick.

Thank you. Do you think that will translate to the page? Or to the computer screen?
That’s why I said it. People will definitely read it and know …

Can I put a request in that maybe my voice is in a Courier New font? A real newsy font? If you could pick a font for your voice, what would you put it as?
I don’t even know if they have it anymore? There was at one point like an ‘80s, robot font. Like, a digital-alarm-clock font. I’d want that, but in bold and at about 18-point type.

You are known in our circle as the analog of comedy.
Also, when they see that font, they think, I’m awake! Wake up!

That’s your style of comedy, like a real, “Wake up, America!” kind of comedy.
Yeah, “Look around! I mean, this is crazy!”

That’s my favorite bit you do. The “Look around, isn’t it crazy these days?”
Yeah, I do a different ending where I go, “It’s nuts. It’s just nuts.”

Then you throw nuts at the crowd, which is like you’re Bill Maher meets Gallagher.
That’s not meant to be funny.

Yeah, I love the serious turn your comedy has taken.
It starts off a German who doesn’t really know English doing stand-up for the first time, and then it goes right into a one-woman show from the ‘90s.

This sounds great. I have not seen any of your stuff to this point, but this sounds like something I could finally get onboard for, although I have seen some episodes of Children’s Hospital, specifically the episodes that I was on. When exactly did you realize that you were going to cover me in afterbirth and have me lie on a hospital floor, ostensibly naked? When did you realize you weren’t gonna break that to me until five minutes before we did it?
Not telling you about it wasn’t part of the plan, so I consider that a happy accident. My fellow producers Jonathan Stern and David Wain — David’s innocent in this, he really is — but Jon and I are very fond of putting our friends in precarious situations. I think Rob Huebel has been naked more times than anyone has on television because Children’s Hospital.

Really? That’s impressive. Have you been naked on the show yet? 

Is that because your head looks like a dick?
[Laughs.] No, my dick looks like a face. It’s horrifying.

By the way, what a shame that you don’t grow in that little patch of hair on your head anymore. It would’ve looked like your urethra had grown pubic hair from within.
That’s the funny part. Actually, my penis face, as I call it, it doesn’t resemble me at all.

Who does it look like?
Like a very fat, diabetic man.

Really? I don’t think he’ll be offended by this, but your dickhead looks like John Goodman?
I’d say George Wendt.

Do you call him Norm?
Sometimes, when I pull my pants down, girls are known to go, “Nooorm!”

Now, this is a serious question. I’m a real student of the human condition. I think we have that in common.

You have an addiction that is similar to mine. That is, your use of Chapstick.

We’ve been doing some real goof-arounds, but I want people to know the real Rob Corddry.
All right, I’m gonna be real with you right now. Maybe you’ll relate, because I don’t think you’re quite the addict that I am. Jack McBrayer may be worse than both of us.

Sorry, just to interrupt quickly, is your addiction to Chapstick worse or better than your addiction to name-dropping?
It’s so funny, I was hanging out with Jerry and he said to never name-drop. I just thought that was the funniest thing.

McBrayer’s got it goin’ on, too.
Good friend. Good buddy. 

What do you think it is?
I’ll take you through it. It started when I was living in New York and had to move to L.A. for a month to shoot Old School, which is a scoop in itself for you by the way, because I bet nobody knows I was in that movie.

I do! Just to interrupt, I remember when you got that part. It was early UCB and it was amazing that someone we knew was gonna be in a movie. On a serious note, I feel like you were the first of our little crew to do things. I remember bragging to a friend when I just moved to New York that you were in a Molson commercial and that I had seen you perform the night before. Then you got The Daily Show and you were in Old School. Even Children’s Hospital, being a web series that got turned into a TV show. Genuinely speaking, you’ve been a pioneer for our crew of guys or friends to get to the next step and do the next thing. It’s been amazing to watch your career plateau.
Thank you, Nick. It’s been amazing to just be slightly right above you in Hollywood for so long.

You’re that aluminum ring I’ve just been grasping at. So, you’re in New York and you’re going to do Old School
Yes, and L.A. is a lot drier than New York, so my lips got very chapped, and I had to use Chapstick constantly when I was there just for maintenance. I don’t remember when the emotional hook started, but it never ended after that. That was years ago! It is a compulsion. As we’re talking about it, I wanna take a hit. It’s like [Jason] Mantzoukas will tell a dirty story and then have to go to the bathroom to wash his hands.

I don’t know Jason Mantzoukas. I don’t know whom you’re talking about.
He’s one of your dear friends.

When you watch yourself on TV, do you look to see if your lips are chapped?
No, my lips haven’t been chapped since L.A. Since Old School. I never have chapped lips anymore.

Interesting. Now, obviously this is all tied to the fact that the movie Chappie is based on you. Is that accurate?
I am not connected with that project. I have not authorized anything to do with that project, so I feel it’s not my place to speak about it.

So, what are we promoting then?
I don’t know. So far Old School is getting a lot of plugs.

So go rent Old School! Now, in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, it’s a little bit different. You’re stepping forward into a leading-man role.
I don’t know about that. I’m stepping forward to the leading-men role.

Right, but isn’t the idea that you are in a hot tub with three other guys and they all fuck you. You have to choose which one you wanna stay with.
Did they give you a screener of the movie when you were preparing for this interview?

Yeah, I got it, it’s for Hot Rub Time Machine 2, is that it?
Hot Rub Time Machine 2? You’re watching a very popular genre of pornography called parody pornography.

Uh-huh. Yeah. Okay, so you’re not the star of Hot Rub Time Machine 2?
No, the original one upon which the pornographic movie was based.

Hot Rub Time Machine 1?
No. Which was also a pornography parody. No, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is the second movie in my series. That is a separate series and it’s only 45 minutes long, and it’s all people fucking.

Okay. I was under the impression that it was Hot Rub Time Machine Splooge. You should talk to your agent; you might get some residuals off that.
Oh, yeah. For every parody porno that’s made of something that we do, you definitely get a little cut.

Of all the projects you’ve worked on, is there a porn parody you like best?
I have to answer honestly now, which is that I’m really upset that I don’t think anything I’ve ever done has been turned into pornography. Frankly, I think they’re dropping the ball.

There is at least an audience of one who will be very, very into that.

And that audience is?
Me. Robert Corddry.

Let’s go through a few things and see if we wanna pitch on them. There’s Children’s Hospital, which could be Children’s Crotch and Balls?
Oof. Maybe when they finally relax those laws, you know?

You’ve been very active in lobbying for that.
Yeah! Well, no one else is. No one else is saying it.

Warm Bodies?
Warm Bodies will be called Warm Bodies.

What about Worm Bodies? You know what I mean? Let’s see, what do we got. What was the Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz movie called again?
What Happens in Vegas. What Happens in Vegas … Might Get You Pregnant.

Can I pitch on it as well? Wet Napkins in Vegas, and it’s just the two of them shoving moist rags into you.
Into me? Yeah, that would be a real creeper, because people would probably be three quarters of the way into it before they realize it might be a parody of What Happens in Vegas.

Let’s see if we can get ‘shton and Cam onboard.
What have you been in that we could … I can’t think of any movies …

Old School, maybe Fold School, and it’s just you getting fucked by old men?
Ooh. Yes!

I’m just integrating you into it.
You gotta understand the genre. I would not be in these movies. It would be someone playing me in a really bad bald cap, probably.

What about your brother? Would Nate do that?
I doubt it. He’s doing a very popular podcast about books now.

I think people would watch and be like, “Why is all of a sudden this Corddry impersonator a good actor?”
I don’t think he’d do it, but I think we can both agree that it would be a great move for him.

[Thomas Lennon gets on Kroll’s phone.]

Thomas Lennon: Hey, beautiful.
Rob Cordrry: Hey, how are you?

TL: I’m really great, in fact last night the greatest thing ever happened, which is that picture of you came up on a screensaver in my kitchen, next to my son Olly, and you were making the exact same face.
RC: [Laughs.]

TL: Have a great premiere tonight.
RC: You don’t have any questions for me?

TL: No.
RC: I’m doing an interview right now for Vulture. Are you sure there’s nothing burning you want to know?

TL [to Kroll]: I thought you said it was Rob Corddry, you asshole!
It is.

TL: Oh, it is? You’re interviewing each other? It’s like a circle-jerk.
I’m about to do Lennon’s Late Late Show interview.
RC [to Kroll]:
He’s a terrible interviewer, by the way.
[To Lennon] He just said you were a terrible interviewer. 

TL: I am.

He’s about to interview me. Did you hear that? He said, “but I’m a great hand job.”
RC: And that is why I’m so glad you did this. Because it felt like a hand job. 

Rob, I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. 
RC: And I, you. That’s why I wanted to do this.

I appreciate it. All right, buddy I hope to see you soon. Have a blast tonight. Congrats.
RC: Thanks, I love you very much. 

I love you too, boo boo.

Nick Kroll Talks to Rob Corddry