is the star of The Andy Milonakis Show
on MTV, and if one were to describe the Andy MIlonakis Show in a paragraph...well, it can't be done. Andy and his show defy explanation. All that can be said is this: it is funny. Weird, surreal, and hysterically funny. Andy got his start working with Jimmy Kimmel, and received his big break when he was handed control of his own show on MTV. Andy recently stopped by to talk with us about his show, what it's like working with big celebrities and, of course, badminton.
Below you will find both the written transcript and the full mp3 audio of the interview.
This is Royce from BuddyTV, and I’m here with the one and only Andy Milonakis from the Andy Milonakis Show. How’s it going, Andy?
Good, but I’d like to correct you. There are actually three Andy Milonakises, I’m not the one and only. And it’s funny because all the other two Andy Milonakises live on my block.
Oh. No way?
Yeah, isn’t that weird?
That is crazy.
We play badminton together, it’s hard though, because it’s two against one always.
Cool, well I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us, Andy.
So Andy, maybe we could just start off for those that may not know. How did things get started for you? How did the Andy Milonakis Show come to be?
I’m not sure I could recall. Well I’ll give you the really short story. And then it happened. No, I’m just kidding. I just started like posting videos on the internet. Every time I tell people they’re like, “Oh. Like YouTube.” And I’m like, “Yeah, like YouTube.” But it’s just like…I kinda did that at a good time just cause people know…People had a lot of comedy sites but like posting videos of yourself in your room just doing stupid stuff wasn’t like a big thing on the internet, you know it was just like…I don’t know, I guess people haven’t…didn’t really do it then and I did it for a few years just as a hobby cause I was bored and I used to get a few hundred hits here and there. And all of a sudden one video just started gaining like tons of tons of hits and started like raiding my bandwidth and I started getting all these crazy bills and stuff and it got to the point where I was getting like a hundred thousand plays a day, and radio stations started finding it and calling me and then eventually Jimmy Kimmel found it and he found the website and he got me to be part of his show and I slowly saved up my regular job and started doing work for him and it became more of a full time thing so I moved to L.A. and I worked on his late night show for a while and then we eventually developed my web videos into a TV show.
Nice. Tell me how did that whole process get started as far as creating the show. Whose idea was it initially?
The show was like…I mean, the natural progression of doing a website that has your videos on it and getting a tons of hits. It’s kinda like there in front of out eyes. I think Jimmy kinda definitely gave me the show to say “Hey, forget about the stuff you’re doing on my show. We really need to develop your sense of humor which is the stuff you did on mine.” And he wanted to do it even a year before but he was really busy and so at the back of my head I already knew that we were gonna try to do something eventually and then after a while we had some time freed up and we just…We put together a reel of my internet videos and some of the stuff I did on his show and we just sat down with some MTV people and we talked to them about it and they gave us money for a pilot. It was awful though because we had to wait—after we did the pilot, like MTV screens a lot of the shows that like the new shows they’re plan on picking up or not picking up. So after we finished the pilot we had to wait two months to even hear their thoughts on it. So that was two months of self doubt, thinking about these executives sitting down and watching a bunch of shows, normal shows, either a reality show or a dating show or whatever they were doing and seeing my retarded show And like I just kept on thinking like “There’s no way in hell that I have a shot in hell” It was crazy. That was a horrible two months waiting to find out the fate of it, you know.
What’s it like working with Jimmy?
He’s very sexy. He’s a very sexy man.
So what exactly is your involvement with the production side of the show? Do you write any of the sketches?
Yeah. I write a lot of sketches. It’s hard cause it’s not like I’m just propped in there. I have to act like definitely have to be in there every step of the way, writing a lot. I have to go to production meetings, and I have to go to writers’ meetings. I’m definitely like…I really have to dive into it and do a little bit of every aspect of it but that’s also part of the good stuff about it because …you know I learned how to create a show. I learned every aspect of it, obviously not the business aspect—I’m not doing all that stuff but from creative stand point I got to have my hands in a lot of the different things involved in it.
What’s it like shooting the show? What goes on behind the scenes?
What goes on behind the scenes…I don’t know, we watch videos on YouTube a lot. Naw, It’s basically…It’s a ton of fun there are I’d say two or three other full time writers, three I think. And it’s cool because if I write a sketch, I’ll just go into the writer’s room and I’ll be just like, “What do you think about this?” and then they’ll all comment and I’ll know if its good enough to do. But I’ll just say “Hey what’s this, I need an ending.” And they’ll all come up with ideas. And I’ll go and say All these ideas suck, I wanna do my idea. And they’ll do the same to me they’ll like write a really funny sketch, how should I end this? And I’ll just give him an idea to how to end it and then we can just collaborate like that whenever we need to bounce something off someone. We’re just all right there. when I’m writing a sketch, pretty much every frame of the show I’m in so like after I do a sketch they’ll be setting up the cameras in the different positions to a new one so I have like three minutes to sit down. I’ll be like working on a rap or whatever. I’ll be working on a sketch and it’s like I’m like really into it and my brain is focused on the sketch and they’re like “Alright, We’re ready for you.” And it’s like that every single day. It’s so frustrating cause I’m like “No, leave me alone!” And then someone has to wrangle me to come and they’re like “Come, they’re ready. They’re ready.” And I’m like “Leave me alone. I need to finish this one little piece of the skit or else I’m gonna forget it.” So it’s like…that’s kinda a little stressful cause you get torn in different directions, pulled in different directions.
In terms of freedom to ad lib, is there a lot of that?
Oh yeah. It’s a…we don’t really write any dialogues, the whole show’s kind of…we write down beats of what’s gonna happen in the sketch but once in a while when we do a commercial parody we’ll write dialogues but as far as a regular sketch, we don’t really write that out. To me it needs to be improvised just for it to be funny just cause it’s like…it’s such a home made feeling show. You don’t wanna seem like you’re delivering lines. We give lines to the people we cast off the streets cause we don’t hire actors, we don’t hire people who do these stuff. We just hire real people off the street. So sometimes they improvise, sometimes we write lines for them.
Was it always a big dream of yours to be on television? Is this something you saw yourself doing five years ago?
No. Definitely not. I mean, well five years ago is probably the closest time that I’ve actually ever even thought about it. Before then I really had no desire—nothing. I used to love comedy and I’ve watched tons of movies, independent movies and comedy and stuff but I never really thought about it until five years ago, even when I started my website. The website was in no way like a plea to get some kind of an entertainment deal out of it. It was just a hobby, it was like I’m bored with my regular everyday life and work so I’m just gonna do something to kind of unwind and have fun. After I did the website for a couple of years, I started taking improv classes, and you know I took improv classes for a year and I started performing improv at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and then once I started getting to the stage of like actually performing live, then I kinda caught the bug a little and I was like “Oh this is really fun. It would be cool to get to do comedy on TV or something like that.” But we started a website, really. There’s was nothing thing in my brain that’s said, “Oh, I should try to do acting."
If you get to describe the Andy Milonakis Show in one sentence, how would you sum it all up?
Wow that’s a hard one. Honestly, it’s like Mr. Rogers for handicapped adults and children.
Nice, nice. So Andy, why do you think your show has been so successful? Why is it so popular?
I just think it’s a train wreck cause even people who don’t like it I think wanna watch it just cause they’re like “What the hell is gonna happen next?” It’s just such a weird show they’re like…you know…there’s this…if you’re walking down the street and you see something really strange, you might say “That looks cool. That’s weird.” But either way you’re definitely gonna look at it and be like when things aren’t normal to people, everyone wants to see what the deal is with it so you know maybe that’s why. Or maybe it’s cause I put a curse on everybody. Tell them to watch it with my voodoo powers. I’m in touch with the universe. We’re all entangled.
Hip-hop is obviously a big part of your show. Is that MTV’s doing or is hip-hop really just a part of your life, that’s who you are?
No, it’s definitely who I am. I even went to first grade with a custom made Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh hoodie . I’ve been listening to it since I could walk pretty much. And it’s actually what I’m doing next. I’m working on a hip-hop comedy album and I have real producers producing like amazing hip-hop beats. I just wanna make sure it’s not gonna be labeled as some gimmicky comedy CD because first and foremost it’s gonna be a music album. I mean, there’s gonna be really stupid lyrics in there and it’ll be comedy based but it’s not gonna be some gimmicky comedy CD, it’s gonna be like real funk, you know.
Who would you say are some of your favorite rappers?
Big L is my favorite rapper of all time. He got killed quite a few years ago now but I think he’s amazing and he kind of inspires me like his style inspires me. I don’t think there’s been anyone better since. I mean, Biggie Smalls is definitely on the top of the list but Big L is like the underdog, I like to give him the edge.
What’s it like working and having all these big named celebs on your show?
For the first season it was really impressive and I was like “Oh my God I get to hang out with Snoop Dogg!” I get to act with Snoop Dogg and all these other people too and it’s still amazing to me to like…after you do it for a while, like after you’ve done it for a year or two, you know the novelty definitely wears off. I’m still really impressed with these people and it’s still great. If I get to have a list of people to meet, and I can meet them all, I’d definitely be happy and be like “Wow, I get to meet this person.” But I don’t have that excited energy that a lot of people have when they first meet a celebrity. It just gets old. You realize the fact that they’re just human and you admire their work but it’s not enough to be crazy and jump up and down and like…and if it is like that to people, it’s all good. It’s cool for people to get excited, but it’s just not me anymore. When I first got out to L.A. and started doing this stuff, it was really exciting to meet some of these people but now it’s kinda like alright. I love what they do, it’s awesome that I get to meet them but I’m not gonna pee in my pants over them. I’m gonna pee in my pants just because I’m retarded.
You mentioned your CD in the works, do you have any other projects that you’re also working on that you’d also like your fans to be aware of?
Yeah. There’s a movie coming out in about two months, it’s called “Who’s Your Caddy?” And it stars Big Boi from Outkast and Faizon Love, and it’s coming out I think late July and then also we’re gonna start filming the sequel to the movie Waiting. We’re gonna start filming this summer, so I have no idea what else is coming up so that’s something we’re working on.
That sounds exciting, man.
No doubt, yo.
Nice, nice. Well that’s about all the questions that I have for you, Andy. Do you think you could drop a little freestyle for all your fans at BuddyTV?
I don’t know, man. I think that would be too dirty. You guys sound like you might be PG-13.
You know we definitely wanna keep it friendly for all our fans out there.
Yeah so all the fans out there are disappointed that you kinda hear some PG-13 stuff. I have a MySpace account, it’s myspace.com/andymilonakis and I have plenty of really offensive dirty songs but I don’t really like to tone down my rap so go listen to the dirty stuff if you’re old enough or if you’re thirteen and you’re a bad ass.
Cool. Well thanks again, Andy and we really appreciate it.
Thank you. Peace out and I love your face.
(Interview Conducted by Royce Yuen)