Movie Interviews

Published on February 25th, 2014 | by Ryan Guerra

0

Pete Holmes Talks About His Very Funny The Pete Holmes Show

I have to admit. When I was asked to join an interview conference call with Comedian Pete Holmes, I

thought, “Sure….who is Pete Holmes?” I had not seen his work and didn’t know much about him. So I

did what anyone in my situation would do…I googled him.

 

I was happy to find that Pete Holmes is known for some hilarious Batman and EX-Men sketches, voicing

the e-Trade baby and hosting his podcast You Made It Weird which features in-depth and surprisingly

personal interviews with stars. Holmes rising stardom has led to his own late night show, where he has

been on record as saying, “If it’s just another late-night show, ‘then we’ve messed up.”

The Pete Holmes Show, which had a seven week run last year, has been renewed by TBS for 13 all new

episodes starting on February 24th. It will air Monday through Thursday nights at midnight following

Conan. The show features sketches, an opening monologue based on Holmes’ personal thoughts rather

than current events and an interview format that for the most part is not celebrity driven, but rather

focuses on funny people just being themselves…funny.

I can now honestly say that my exploration of his work and interaction with Pete Holmes has made me

fan. I look forward to his show and wish him the best. For those of you looking for something funny, that

seems similar, but feels different, tune into his show on TBS February 24th following Conan. Holmes’

witty and genuine charm will most likely win you over as well.

Below are some highlights from the Q&A conference call interview:

 

Q: Who were your biggest comic influences growing up?

PH: I love that question. I was a really big Steve Martin fan. I really loved him as a stand-up actually. Of

course I enjoyed his movies quite a bit, but his albums from the 70s were really, really great as well. And

also Bill Cosby was a big influence for me, kind of that storytelling. You know, I grew up religious so I

loved a lot of the cleaner guys and some of the more observational guys. My tastes remain with them a

lot, but you know, now I like more of a Bill Burrs’ and that sort of speed these days.

Q: Awesome and I also wanted to ask you, are there any superheroes you wouldn’t want to fire?

(Referring to Holmes’ skit EX-Men)

 

PH: That I wouldn’t want to fire? Yes, I would never ever, ever fire Batman, one because he’s completely

self-sufficient and wonderful and amazing and two he would probably – he wouldn’t kill me because

he has a code of ethics, but he would – he’d give me a once-over that I wouldn’t want… You see, the

thing here is I love Batman, so, so much. The Batman Superman parody that we did was actually very

much from my perspective where I’m not a very big Superman fan. I’m not a very big Wonder Woman

fan, certainly even less than I am a Superman fan, not because of the character, just not really familiar

with the world. So like this whole mish-mash and throwing in your lesser characters and getting them all

solving crimes together isn’t my favorite thing. I like Batman.

 

Q: Are we going to see you as Magneto firing members of the brotherhood of evil?

PH: I’m going to write that down. You know, we didn’t give it any thought this time around. I mean, for

the stuff we’re shooting right now, I do not have a Magneto helmet in my possession, but that is not

a bad idea. We were moving a little bit more – I don’t want to do a spoiler, but we’re moving that kind

of scenario more into the video game world, just for this first kind of couple weeks of the show. But I

would not be surprised if we go back to comic books sooner rather than later.

 

Q: Are you in awe of joining you know, the late night talk show realm of characters so to speak?

PH: Yes, I would definitely use the word awe. That’s the perfect word. I actually got to sit down with

Seth Meyers not too long ago and we were both talking about what a specific group it is and to be

invited into that world is a – is of course a huge, huge honor, and it’s something that you know, I enjoyed

growing up, specifically Conan enjoyed (watching) you know, throughout college and stuff. It is a still

surreal and remains quite a trip for me.

 

Q: Absolutely. I mean, working with Conan, I mean, how directly, indirectly, has he been a huge

influence and supportive?

 

PH: Conan couldn’t be any better if he tried. I mean, he’s fantastic. He’s always available. It’s this really,

really surreal world that I live in where our offices are right – we’re in a different building, but we’re

right next to his building, and literally you know I’ll give a little heads up out of courtesy but I can just

kind of pop over, ask him a quick question, and to be honest sometimes I just go over because like it

energizes me to see a hero of mine and to talk to him a little bit, and then we’ll go and tape a show and

I’ll have like a little extra pep in me because I got to talk to him. So he couldn’t be more available. He’s

wonderful.

 

Q: : In a hypothetical world based on the 1979 film The Warriors where your talk show went to

war with other talk shows, what would the theme of your talk show gang be? I know it’s a random

question.

 

PH: Yes, that is random and very specific and random at the same time. That’s a rare mix. I think we

would be a group of people in open robes kind of like Tony Soprano getting the newspaper on Sunday

morning. I just love an untied robe. There’s something so freeing about it, and there’s something so

freeing about our show. The spirit of our show is an untied robe on a Sunday morning.

Q: So you talk on your show a lot about how you are trying to not worry as much about people not

liking you.

 

PH: Yes. It’s funny that you say that. I have a post it note on my desk right now that says “Allow people

not to like you.” We’re going to write a monologue about that…Yes, it is really difficult but I don’t know

if you listened to the (Mark Norman) episode but that’s where we really started to kind of uncover how

manipulative and inappropriate and almost sociopathic it is to try and make everybody like you. And

I know that’s kind of a strange thing to say but – especially in the framework of a TV show, but that –

we’re just being honest to what we want to do. And it’s completely – I haven’t run into many haters of

the show, but if people don’t like it, if it’s not for them, that’s okay. Similarly if people don’t like me as a

person, that’s also okay. Like we – it’s all of our jobs as human beings to be genuine, and to be truthful,

and not to just warp and adapt to be what we think people think we should be so they’ll like us. That’s

like the wrong – that’s the wrong way to live in this world.

Q: Well, do you think that’s difficult interpersonally on set, because you’re supposed to be this very

fun, sweet character guy on the show, right?

 

PH: it’s important that they like you, and it’s important that your audience likes you. So there is a certain

amount of forfeiting that idea in small, you know, not that noticeable ways, to try and remain like a

likable television person. But you know, we’re such a small show, I really enjoy that. These are like – I

hope these are the early years of our show that we’ll look back on and remember when there was just

one room for the writers and we’re all on top of each other, but…it’s not very Hollywood, you know? It’s

very down home. I like to think of ourselves as an underdog but I like to think of ourselves as doing some

really special stuff because we don’t have that fancy shine.

 

The Pete Holmes show will return to TBS with new episodes starting February 24th, and will air Monday

through Thursday nights at midnight following Conan.


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