by Dave Geeting
Saturday night, Randy and Jason Sklar, St. Louis' "prodigal sons who began as one" return for a show at the Pageant to benefit the St. Louis Area Foodbank (doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.). To preview the show, RFT Music had a wide-ranging conversation with the comedy duo while they waited for their turkey burgers at a Los Angeles eatery.
Dave Geeting: The last time you were in town, you threw out the first pitch at a Cardinal game on Jose Oquendo Bobblehead Night. How was that experience?
Randy Sklar: My pitch was so far left, it brushed back Rachel Maddow. Then Jason just throws a perfect curveball strike, and I'm like, "Dammit!" I was so disappointed because we threw out the first pitch in Cleveland and I just whipped it.
Jason Sklar: Throwing out the first pitch at a Cardinal game was a lifelong dream. I asked Oquendo about my pitch afterwards and he said that it broke.
Do you have any new projects in the offing?
Randy: We are currently working with Adam McKay's production company, Gary Sanchez, on a pilot for Comedy Central. In theory, it will be like John Oliver's HBO show [Last Week Tonight] for sports. It will be a review of what happened in the sports world the previous week, in a style similar to Pardon the Interruption, the Daily Show and @Midnight. We will have some panel, some field pieces and some celebrity interviews. We expect to deliver the pilot to Comedy Central in mid-March. We are really excited, but I am trying to be as level-headed as I can about it.
My daughters have become fans of yours through your work on Disney XD's Mighty Meds. Do you expect to be doing standup long enough for them to see you perform in a club someday?
Randy: Sure. Because we have families, we don't grind it out on the road 40 weeks out of the year, but we enjoy performing and I would love for them to be able to come see a show fifteen years from now.
You have been doing this for so long, and the comedy world is littered with people who have become depressed and jaded. How do you avoid that?
Jason: Comedy is really hard. What you realize over time is that it happens for some people in a huge way and it doesn't happen for other people quite in the same way, and that is 100 percent luck. Zach Galifianakis was always the funniest guy on everything he did, and it didn't really happen for him until he was like 39. But we feel super fortunate to have lasted this long and to be able to feed our families by creating things we are proud of.
You have had a litany of amazing guests on your podcast, Sklarbro Country -- Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm, Will Ferrell and Jack Black to name a few. Who are some of your dream guests?
Randy: Charles Barkley would be amazing. It would be great to have Mark Wahlberg so we can have a "Wahlberg-off" with Dan Van Kirk [Sklarbro County's resident Mark Wahlberg impersonator]. Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Danny McBride would be awesome. We know Bob Costas, and it would be great to have him on the show.
Jason: I would love to have Joel McHale -- he played football at Washington. Joe Rogan is a friend, and it would be great to talk MMA with him. We had Blake Griffin on the phone once, and I'd love to have him in the studio. Pie in the sky, I would love to have Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman.
Continue to page two for more.
You recently had Dane Cook on Sklarbro Country and did an incredible interview with him. I went into it greatly disliking him and came out really liking him.
Jason: He came in and was ready to be open. Dane shared a lot of really, really cool stuff with us -- he played a voicemail from his late father that was just amazing. Our goal wasn't to make him likeable, but we knew we had a lot of common ground, having both lost parents to cancer, and he just went there.
You are both self-described music nerds. Who are some of your favorite bands?
Randy: I am a huge Smiths fan -- they are my all-time favorites. Today, I love the Hold Steady and the Shins.
Jason: All-time favorite band is probably Wilco. I think Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the best albums to come out in a long time. I love all the iterations of Bob Dylan, and I am really into the new Basement Tapes project. Elvis Costello is one of my all-time favorites, and on YouTube there is slower, stripped-down performance of "Watch Your Step" on Later with Tom Snyder, where he just created a moment on television that is usually reserved for a live performance in a club or an arena. Put that in this article.
What are the best and worst parts about coming home to perform?
Jason: The worst part is knowing that a lot of people that knew us as young children will be in the crowd. But the enemy of comedy is the restrictions you put on yourself, so you can't think that "I can't be too edgy because all of my Mom's mahjong group is going to be there." I love coming home to a place where there is an Olive Street Road and we pronounce "Creve Coeur" the way we do. St. Louis is a town that supports its own and is proud of us and any success we have had and we love that.
What are we getting at Ted Drewes?
Randy: A vanilla Heath concrete with caramel and butterscotch.
Jason: A mini pistachio concrete with double Heath, and if I'm feeling sassy, hot fudge on it. My solution to the problems in the Middle East is to put a Ted Drewes in the Gaza Strip, because you can't be mad when you're eating Ted Drewes.
You can (and should) follow Dave on Twitter @thegeeter
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