Episode 10: BRIAN STACK

Welcome to the Week Sauce! Show. This week’s guest is comedian/writer Brian Stack.

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MONOLOGUE!

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An Oregon man has created a device that separates the cookie part of Oreos from the cream part.
So remember, no matter how bad things get, there’s always someone fatter than you.

 

It was announced this week that the SAT college entrance exam is being redesigned to focus more on the “core set of knowledge and skills” that students will need in college.
Sample questions include “Is anything around here open after 3am?” and “Does Becky have an STD?”

 

After winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, Ben Affleck Sunday night shaved his beard at an Academy Awards after party.
Affleck was then recognized as “the guy from ‘Gigli’” and promptly escorted out by security.

 

Magic Johnson has offered LeBron James $1 million to enter next year’s NBA dunk contest.
LeBron mentioned that he was interested in the $1 million offer because he’s running low on toilet paper.

 

China has launched a new competition for American screenwriters to write a movie about Beijing.
Though the movie has yet to be written, Nicolas Cage has already agreed to star in it.

 

New research suggests that parents should not tell their children about their past drug use.
Unless it’s the super cool stuff like meth or cocaine or something.

 

Mitt Romney this week criticized President Obama’s handling of the budget sequester and said he wishes he were there to fix it.
Instead, Romney is spending time in his sweatpants sequestering Funions.

 

The owner of a pizza shop in Virginia is showing his support for gun owners by offering them a 15 percent discount if they bring in their guns.
And if they shoot the owner with their guns, it’s a full 100% discount.

 

Florida police arrested a man after he allegedly assaulted his teenage brother-in-law with a Taco Bell burrito.
The victim’s injuries suffered from being hit with the burrito are still ironically the healthiest thing to ever happen as a result of a Taco Bell burrito.

 

IKEA this week assured shoppers in the US that despite news reports of horse meat being found in their famous meatballs in Europe, the meatballs sold in American stores are entirely pork and beef.
So don’t hesitate to keep eating meatballs at a furniture store, everyone.

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AMIDST ALL OF THE FUSS SURROUNDING THE

POPE’S DEPARTURE THIS WEEK, HE FORGOT TO

INFORM ONE FINAL INDIVIDUAL OF HIS DECISION

TO STEP DOWN…

GOD:

Benedict

Cartoon by Ryan Walls

 

GETTIN’ SAUCED! WITH

BRIAN STACK

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This week’s guest on the Week Sauce! Show is comedian/Conan writer Brian Stack.

Week Sauce! Show: Many of the writers at Conan, including Conan himself, have guitars in their offices.  Is that just for decoration?  What is your go-to song to woo the ladies?
Brian Stack: Conan almost always has a guitar in his hand when he’s not on the air, and he’s a really good player.  He’s a very good drummer, too.  I really enjoy playing guitar myself, but I’m not very advanced, and most of the drumming I do is on my desk and upper thighs, primarily as a release of nervous tension.  I don’t really have a “woo the ladies” song myself, but Conan seems to frequently crank up the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” or Billy Bragg’s “A New England” at rehearsal.

 

WSS: You’re well known for having played many characters on Conan throughout the years, including God, Hannigan the Traveling Salesman, and The Interrupter.  What’s the first character that you remember coming up with for the show?  Which is your favorite to play?
BS: The first character I created for “Late Night” back in ’97 was not actually played by me, but by the brilliant Amy Poehler.  It was “Andy’s Little Sister, Stacy” who was obsessed with Conan, and always flew into an apocalyptic rage when she was politely rejected by him.  Amy always knocked it out of the park as that character, as she does with every other role she ever plays.  I think my favorite character I’ve played myself was The Interrupter.  I used to co-write those sketches with Michael Koman, who went on to co-create the hilarious show “Eagleheart” for Adult Swim.

WSS: How did you cope with the uncertainty that came from the abrupt end to Conan’s Tonight Show tenure?
BS: To be honest, I don’t really miss “The Tonight Show” at all.  I felt very bad for Conan since I don’t think he got a fair shot at the job, but the show always felt too big and high-profile for my tastes.  When the show went away, I just hoped we’d find a more suitable place to do the kind of show that feels right to us, and luckily we did here at TBS.
 
WSS: As an improvisor, you have to thinking quickly on your feet, often constructing a scene based on a one-word suggestion.  How would you start a scene based on the suggestion “Dukakis?”
BS: My first instinct is to play a bitter, disillusioned guy who’s never quite gotten over Dukakis’s failed bid for the Presidency, and his inability to move on has made him unwelcome at family gatherings.  Maybe that’s more sad than funny, but it was my first instinct and I rolled with it.   
 
WSS: What’s the sanest thing that Tracy Morgan (we’re assuming you two have met) has ever said to you?
BS: Tracy Morgan has given me some great laughs over the years, but I’ve never really had much contact with him personally, except in passing.  Before one of his guest spots on “Late Night”, he did say something very “Tracy Jordan-like” to us as we came off-stage after a silly “SlipNutz” bit, but I wish I could remember what exactly it was.  Whatever it was, I think it would’ve been right at home on an episode of “30 Rock.”  
 
WSS: You’ve had the chance to meet and perform with so many talented people.  Was there ever a moment when you were legitimately starstruck?  Who was it?
BS: I’m as starstruck as anyone when I see cultural icons like Bill Murray, Bruce Springsteen, or Meryl Streep, but sometimes I’m just as starstruck by people that our audience might be less familiar with, like Paul Westerberg, Michael Palin, or Eugene Levy.  I think that it’s often the people you admire most when you’re growing up that make you the most nervous later on.  That’s probably why Conan was more nervous around Peter Falk than anyone else.
 
WSS: What is one of your fondest memories from the Late Night/Conan set that wasn’t caught on camera?
BS: This weird outtake was technically “caught on camera”, but it wasn’t actually on the show.  It was a rehearsal for a ridiculous bit we did later that night on the show when Russell Crowe was a guest.  It’s incredibly stooooopid, but we had a lot of fun doing it:


Another of my favorite non-televised moments was briefly meeting one of my heroes, Neil Young, in the hallway at “Late Night” while I was dressed as Frankenstein.  He was just as nice and cool as I hoped he’d be.
 
WSS: If we conducted this interview 20 years ago and asked you to promote something you were working on, what would you plug?  In 10 years what do you hope to be promoting?
BS: Twenty years ago, I was in the Second City Touring Company, based in Chicago.  I guess I’d plug whatever show we were doing next, probably at some college, hotel, or community center.  Ten years from now, I like to think I’ll be plugging the DVD box-set of my collected rock operas, many of them about Civil War generals.

 

That’s our show! Thanks for joining us, and hoooooooooohhh, my god, we’ll see you next week!