T.J. Miller talks Dane Cook, Denver comedy and eating mustard out of a can
Denver native T.J. Miller is one busy comic. But even on the same day that his new comedy series, Mash Up, premiered on Comedy Central, Miller took the time to give us a call and chat about Hollywood success and why he still misses Denver. During our conversation, Miller was on the set where he's filming the new Fox comedy series Goodwin Games, set to premiere in early 2013. Always looking for ways to align himself with his hometown roots, Miller will be performing in two separate benefits in Denver this Saturday: The Grapes of Rad (a benefit for local comedian Mara Wiles) at Lodo's Bar, and a Yes on 3A + 3B benefit at the Lowenstein Culture Complex.
- Dive into T.J. Miller's "Denver" video!
- T.J. Miller's No Real Reason debuts on Comedy Central tomorrow night
- Too Much Funstival comedians on how Denver's scene has evolved
Westword: With Mash Up, you're kind of living out many comics' fantasy: combining sketch comedy with standup.
T.J. Miller: A lot of these standups are great in their own sketches -- and a lot of the sketch comedians are people who I worked with in Chicago. Three of the cast members of Mash Up were in my touring company at Second City. And another thing is, there have been shows that use standup themes in sketch, like Mind of Mencia and Chappelle's Show, but there really hasn't been a standup show that has other standups as guests and then mixes in sketch comedy.
I also get to showcase really great talent. A lot of my peers, people that I love and look up to in the standup scene, were guests of the show this season.
Denver's kind of like Chicago. I started [comedy] in Chicago, and Denver's now -- with the Fine Gentleman's Club, Grawlix, Deer Pile -- looking like it will be the place to breed the next generation of great comedians. I'm excited. I love all the Denver comics -- a lot of them are in that Denver music video. So not only am I optimistic about the Denver scene, I try and be a part of it as much as I can. Sometimes I'll force myself on shows.
But isn't a comic forcing himself onto a show the reason you got into it with Dane Cook last January?
Well, no, no, no. He's allowed to force himself onto any show at the Laugh Factory. My issue with Dane Cook is that he was abusive to the audience; he trashed the show and the crowd for like an hour and fifteen minutes, right before I had to go on. Joe Rogan and all those guys tried to make it seem like I don't like getting bumped. I've been bumped a thousand times -- I was bumped for Seinfeld and he did two hours, and I couldn't have been more ecstatic, it was like being a little kid in the candy store. But if Seinfeld or anybody had gone up there and trashed the stage and been mean to the audience, I would've mentioned it.
Now I wish I hadn't done it on Twitter, because then it became this big thing. I should've just told him directly. I would've made fun of him on stage, but Laugh Factory is kind of his kingdom.