The Kroll Show’s unique blend of classic sketch comedy and reality TV

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Although Nick Kroll may not be a household name like more seasoned comedians like Will Farrell or Steve Carell, his star has only been rising since his days of performing improv in college nearly a decade ago.

With the taste of life on stage, Kroll was hooked and fell in love with the art of comedy.

Since his improv days of hosting low profile events to gain exposure, he has since guest starred on Parks and Recreation, Community and Portlandia among many other shows.

Kroll has also dipped a talented toe in the water of comedic writing as well.

He has written for I Love the ‘30s, a TV series short titled Shutterbugs, and his own array of characters for Comedy Central stand-up specials, such as Fabrice Fabrice and Bobby Bottleservice.

Kroll, along with his college friends, even managed to sell a story to the highly successful Comedy Central show Chappelle Show.

It was a storyline about a white family whose last name was spelled “N-i-g-g-a-r.”

“We sold them that idea, they then turned that into the sort of the Leave it to Beaver ‘50s mold, which was so, so smart,” Kroll said.

Kroll continues his career in comedy as a member of the hit FX show The League, which follows a group of friends obsessing over their fantasy football league, teams and trophy.

As if that isn’t enough, Comedy Central premiered Kroll’s new sketch comedy show Jan. 16 that he created, wrote and stars in.

The Kroll Show gives viewers an honest reflection about current pop culture trends and situations, particularly the reality TV obsession.

Although you can likely guess who inspired some of his bizarre characters, you’ll never hear him name names.

“We wanted to make something that felt relevant and completely current, but without being tied to references to people and things that will not feel important in six months,” Kroll said.

Although it may be hard to imagine that all of Kroll’s unique characters have been drawn from pop culture references, a deeper look will give viewers a huge laugh about the overall message of his show.

One character, Dr. Armond, is a canine plastic surgeon who literally lacks any type of facial movement aside from the occasional flick of his eyebrow.

Kroll said that he likes to think of his show as “a bunch of mini-series” that will have something to appeal to everyone.

Another similarity, other than the one between his characters and our reality TV-based culture, is that between almost all of his characters.

“It seems as though a lot of my characters like to think that they’re very important when they’re not,” said Kroll. “I guess there’s something funny to me about that, people who aren’t self-aware.”

Although a character like Liz may be physically uncomfortable for Kroll to play simply because she’s a woman, there may be other awkward times on set when the jokes about a character or situation become clear.

And although Kroll is not one to shy away from awkward situations, he says that he will never use shock just for shock’s sake.

“Part of it is the joy of sitting in the awkwardness,” Kroll said. “There’s a lot to be learned from those awkward moments, and I tend to enjoy that.”

Regardless of the awkwardness, viewers can expect wit and idiocy in a beautiful combination with all of the characters and situations that are depicted on Kroll Show, as well as a slew of surprise guest appearances.

Kroll says that among the many things he loves about his job and the industry he’s a part of is the collaborations and friendships made along the way.

“The comedy world is an incredibly collaborative world and I think a real model for how artists can create their own material and also participate in other people’s material … the water really rises,” Kroll said.

Regardless of being on two TV shows, one of which is named after him, the comedian does not expect to be a paparazzi target anytime soon.

He jokes that “they’re not really interested in me, I’m not handsome enough.”

But if this is as far as his star is meant to rise, he appears to be satisfied.

“If this is what the career is, then I’d be over the moon about it,” Kroll said.

Viewers can watch the Kroll Show Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. after Workaholics on Comedy Central.

About Sima Sarraf

Sima Sarraf is a journalism major in her senior year at CSUF. After serving as assistant editor for the Detour section in the Fall of 2012, she is thrilled to return as editor of the section. She will be traveling to Vietnam for two weeks this Spring with a medical mission, which she will report on while shadowing doctors and nurses. With a passion for live music and writing, she hopes to one day grace the pages of Rolling Stone magazine beside her writing heroes Matt Taibbi, David Fricke and Peter Travers among many others.