Jeff Richards, best known as Drunk Girl from Saturday Night Live, is the only person to have ever been a cast member on both MADtv and SNL. His comedy album comes out March 3rd, where part of the revenue will go to help relieve world hunger. Here I asked him about his famous character on SNL and the motivation behind his new album.
How did you get started in comedy?
When I came out of my mommy, I peed in her face. She laughed and I think I giggled a little bit too. Cut to 17 years later, I hurt my knee in my senior year of high school playing football. I was in the hospital on morphine drip listening to Radiohead's epic The Bends album and thought about interviewing my football coach. I was also at the time very much into The Kids in the Hall, so I decided to create a show on public access and after I healed up I did that. The whole thing turned into a freak show interspersed with random weirdoes and community folk. That was the beginning.
Drunk Girl was a pretty legendary character in the later era of SNL. What was the back-story behind her creation?
I was doing stand-up in La Jolla at the Comedy Store and a drunk girl in the audience kept blurting out things right before I would get to the punch lines. I stopped and basically impersonated her to her and that was it. I made it a bit for the next night and kept doing it ever since.
When did you know you wanted to make this a career?
I still don't know if I want to make it a career. In my heart I am a pastry chef. [fart noise]
I joined an improv troupe called C.H.I.P.S in my senior year of college at UNC-Chapel Hill. Zach Ward, who was in the troupe, took me to the comedy club Charlie Goodnight's in Raleigh. I didn't plan to go on that night but I did. I did the open mic thing for a few months and then started hosting on the weekends. I suppose that's when I knew.
How did you come up with the idea for this? Licking butts usually isn't the usual topic when it comes to benefit albums.
First came the song and the music video and then came the cause. I thought it was a funny twist and also a good thing to do. World hunger is insane to me. Ass Wax is in many ways insane, so the marriage of the two I thought worked well. In other words, both causes feel really good.
What inspired you to create a song about tossing salads?
Right. You were on MADtv for a while before you went to Saturday Night Live. How bad does each show hate each other?
Not at all. Both respect each other in different ways.
Think that will change once MADtv goes off the air this spring? Like SNL will just start publicly crapping all over it and it will become a huge West side/East side gang war?
I don't know how the cast will handle such an epic change in the television sketch world, but I know what I am going to do. I will load my imitation police-style BB handgun and shoot Bobby Lee right in the ass.
You did crap loads of celebrity impressions on those shows. Which was your favorite to do?
Probably Gary Busey because I like him so much. He is so dangerous and you never know what he is gonna do next. I also enjoyed writing that sketch with the amazing Paula Pell and Emily Spivey. We would laugh and all do Gary at each other, writing down all the crazy shit that came out of our mouths. We had a blast every time.
Which character or celebrity impersonation do you get recognized from the most?
Drunk Girl. Even with a crew cut and the facial hair of a Lhasa Poo, people still see the intoxicated lady in me.
Who is the funniest person ever?
My Grandma Betty. There are two songs about her on the album. One is the theme song to a cooking show that she and I shot together. We both had bourbon and cokes and went for it. She didn't miss a beat. At 86, she is a true rebel and completely inspiring to me.
Anything else you want to say to people besides to grab A$$WAX?
Hit up my website Tastyjeff.com and stay in touch America!I love letters and pictures (unless they are of penises). Hearts out