Brad Wollack Steps Into the Spotlight By Stepping Into Zingers on "After Lately"
In the comedy world, the ability to deliver devastating zingers at will is a trait that borders on godliness. But every so often, guys like Brad Wollack come around and remind us that the art of getting zinged on can sometimes steal the show. With his thick framed glasses and red head full of frizz, E!'s co-creator and executive producer of hit show "Chelsea Lately" was able to step into the spotlight himself for his ability to step into some hilarious burns during the show's mockumentary spinoff "After Lately." The show, now in its third season, is supposed to give us a backstage look at all the unintentional, emotionally scarring hilarity that exists between Handler and her show staff (even our favorite loveable Latino little person, Chuy).
And whether Wollack is busy getting knocked out after sparring joke-for-joke with co-writer Sarah Colonna or assuming his position as Chelsea Handler's eternal punching bag, there's no denying that his ability to take shots and embarrass himself constantly pretty much makes the show. So really, who's getting the last laugh? With the third season of "After Lately" gearing back up February 25th at 10:30 pm, we snagged Brad on the phone to talk about the show, nose jobs and his thoughts about being left out of Chris Dorner's crazy-ass manifesto.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): First off, I'm a Jew also and people never think I am because I guess I don't fit the stereotype with the big nose. I assume you get that a lot too?
Brad Wollack: I took care of mine through surgery years ago. Honest to God truth in my later teen years my parents kept going, "Have you thought about a nose job?" I was like, no I'm fine. And then finally my parents were like, "For insurance reasons if you were considering it, now would be a good time." I was like, obviously you guys want me to get a nose job so I'll get a fucking nose job! So I did!
Wow. Well congrats on the nose, it looks lovely.
The funny thing is that Chelsea gives me shit for it! She always talks about how ugly I am and there is this one thing that is actually kind of nice, shaped, and it looks completely natural and then she goes, "I think you'd look better with your old nose." I'm like, you gotta be fucking kidding me!
Amazing. So how'd you end up hooking up with Chelsea Handler?
I assume you don't mean sexually. We met initially on her first show, "The Chelsea Handler Show," which was a sketch show on E!. I was hired to punch up the monologue for pretty much no money but my manager said if she liked it and if it went to series, she'd hire me. I had never met her but she liked my material and the show went to series and she lived up to her word. That was probably the most telling thing about Chelsea initially, she was a woman of her word. She's very loyal, she doesn't care what your resume is, and she responds to you as an individual and that's all she needs. It's kind of given me a life so I don't mind! I honestly always say, before Chelsea I had jobs, after Chelsea I have a career.
Awww what a softie. I know "After Lately" is "semi-scripted" so how hard is it to film with all of the ad-libbing? I mean, you're working with a lot of funny talent.
It's really hard! We script everything out but it's kind of like how they did Curb Your Enthusiasm where there are detailed outlines and maybe some suggested dialogue. But basically we take the premise, we each know what we have to accomplish in the scene, and we just shoot. What makes the improv even better is that all of the story lines are based on some kernel of truth that happened in our lives. Although, some stories are literally ripped from the headlines beat by beat and we just recreate them. Anyway, we end up doing improv and the funny thing is since most of it is real experiences, we just end up remembering whatever the event was and it's hilarious so it makes it really hard to get through scenes. So the short answer is, yes it's hard. [Laughs.] Especially if we're shooting late at night and we get delirious and start losing it. We have a lot of fun doing the show.
Being that you live in Cali, I'm sure you're up on your Christopher Dorner news and he happened to mention a lot of comics in his manifesto. Did it hurt you a little that you weren't named?
Oh how could you not know about this if you are a breathing human being? And yeah, you always want to be mentioned! Of course! I don't care who likes me or not, it's just nice to be noticed and of course you want to be mentioned. I didn't get too bummed though because one of the things I've learned is that not everyone is going to like you, even murderers. You're not going to get every murderer on your side. But yeah, I would have loved it if he liked me. Even deranged people can sometimes have a good sense of humor. Oh god that's awful. [Laughs.]
We're not judging. With this upcoming season of After Lately are there any big stars making cameos like in the last two seasons?
Absolutely you can expect a ton of cameos. Reese Witherspoon appeared in the last two seasons and she'll be on again. This season we have Kate Beckinsale, Charlize Theron, Melissa Etheridge, Monica Potter, Johnny Knoxville, and a late night talk show host who was on last season but apparently I'm not allowed to mention it. We've been very blessed to have a lot of big people to come in and help out. The bottom line is that After Lately is an entirely different show than Chelsea Lately and that's the big thing. After Lately is really a sitcom and they're very different shows and it would actually serve you well to watch them both!
Catch the season premiere of After Lately on February 25th at 10:30 pm on the E! Channel, see where Brad will be next on his website www.BradWollack.com, and get your Brad Wollack fix on Twitter @BradWollack and on his Facebook fan page.