Like many other successful sketch comedy troupes, Whitest Kids U'Know built up their audience from popular online videos and live performances. After two successful seasons of their Whitest Kids TV show, two members from the group are making their own movie.
So for people who haven't seen the trailer yet, can you explain the premise of your new movie?
Trevor: Basically it's about two guys who are best friends. One of them is really conservative and terrified of sex, and the other is completely obsessed with Playboy and pornography and what he assumes to be the Playboy code of life. The conservative guy's girlfriend was pressuring him to have sex with her on prom night but he doesn't want to. But he reluctantly decides to and gets really drunk so he can work up the courage to do the deed. And he falls down some stairs and goes into a coma for four years and when he wakes up, his girlfriend has left town and his now Playboy Playmate. So he's distraught and he and his friend take a road trip across the country to confront her.
How did you guys write, direct, and star in this without turning your back on your TV show?
Zach: Well we were kind of lucky, schedule wise. As soon as season two [of Whitest Kids] ended, we headed out to LA to start prepping the movie while simultaneously posting season two. And then we shot the movie and posted it while we started writing season three, and then as soon as we could, we came back to New York and started pre-production. So it fit precisely in that downtime between seasons.
Trevor: We basically didn't have a day off for about eighteen months.
Why isn't the rest of the troupe in your movie, and second question, are they all horribly bitter because of it?
Trevor: Well, they're not bitter to our faces.
No, we thought about having everyone do cameos in it but it was kind of this thing where we want to do a Whitest Kids movie at some point and- with this movie, we took the whole road trip genre and tried to make a movie that kind of fits with the Whitest Kids mentality. So we sort of tried to make one of these road trip movies for people who like the Whitest Kids show.
But we want to do a Whitest Kids movie at some point that'll just be completely the show and we didn't want to confuse brands, almost. We wanted there to be a difference between this and the Whitest Kids show.
So you're just trying to keep yourself separated from Whitest Kids for this one?
Zach: [without hesitation] The monkeys. He's got tons and tons and tons of monkeys.
Trevor: Yeah, he's got a pit of them.
Zach: And you can shoot them with paintball guns.
Trevor: And if you kill one, he lets you take it home.
He makes an appearance in the film, Hugh Hefner. What is it like to hang around him? I assume that your answer will include the word "awesome" at some point.
Trevor: [laughs] It was cool. We only hung out with him for like two hours when we were shooting it. But he was a really nice guy, very charming. Very open to whatever we wanted to do. He wasn't taking himself too seriously. We have him crying in the movie at one point, which we didn't know how cool he would be with. But he was totally fine with it.
We found out afterwards one of the Playmates, Sarah Jean Underwood, was on tour with us for a little while- and she was saying that the day before he was shooting, he was really, really focusing on his lines and studying them like all day. I thought that was cool because he doesn't need to do this. He's got plenty of money so he doesn't need to be doing movies, but he just liked the project. I think this was his largest cameo with the most speaking lines he's ever had so I think he was a little nervous but he was awesome on set.
Craig Robinson is getting pretty big lately. How did you get him in the movie, and can you explain his character's name a little bit?
Zach: Horsedick.MPEG is just kind of a ridiculous name and as soon as we thought of that for a rapper, it just kind of wrote itself. But Craig auditioned. He came in and this was the first audition he ever did after Knocked Up and he just aced it. He just walked in the room and just was the character. There was no doubt in our minds; as soon as he walked out it was like, "Okay, that's the guy, let's get him."
Trevor: "Let's get him."
Zach: "Let's get him!" And then we got him.
Trevor: Yeah, the season's long now, it's going to air til June. And we're touring right now. We might go back to do another season of the show. We're trying to get the Whitest Kids movie up and running, and that's basically what we're filling our time with.
What would you say to all of the young comedians who want to become online sensations, before getting their own TV show, and then going on to star in their own movie in just a span of a few years?
Trevor: Just keep shooting stuff in all of your free time. Basically just give up all of your free time to it. I mean, that's what we did. After college, we worked at a network for five days a week and then Saturday and Sunday we would be writing our shows and performing them at Piano's and shooting videos and stuff.
Zach: Also, I would say one thing is to perform live as much as you can because there's so much to learn from performing live and you get to gauge instantly if a certain joke is playing. And you really get to learn like, "Oh, timing needs to be cut here." And lots of times, people will spend all of their efforts in videos on YouTube but you don't really get to see exactly how the laughs play. Sometimes when you do things live, you get to develop this instinct of timing, which is everything. So I'd say, perform live as much as possible.
Trevor: Oh, and upload your stuff to CollegeHumor. [laughs]