David Cross is an American comedian, actor, writer and voice artist known primarily for his standup work, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and his role as Tobias Fünke in the sitcom Arrested Development. Cross created, wrote, executive produced, and starred in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret; developed and had a prominent role in the Comedy Central animated sitcom Freak Show; and has a recurring role in the ABC sitcom Modern Family. Cross portrayed Ian Hawke in the live-action / CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks films.
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Hey everybody. As I understand it, you've got some Q's - well, I've got some A's.
My latest is HITS, which I wrote and directed. We've been releasing it in a nontraditional way with a pay-what-you-want model (you can read more about that here ). Because it's out today in all those cities in the aforementioned link, tonight is the night to go see the movie, and if you wanna see if it's playing at a theater near you (and we're in 50 cities and towns) go to HitsFilm.com and that has a list of theaters.
Alternately, you can also go to VHX to check out the film too.
I'm here once again with Victoria from reddit to answer your questions. AMA!
Update Thank you for your time. Thank you for being fans. I'm gonna keep on making stuff that I hope you like, or if you don't like it, at least it's mildly interesting and didn't waste your time? And I'll see y'all at the next A.M.A.!
'Georgian' refers to the period 1780-1820. As a period, it covers the years between 1714 and 1820.
Georgian architecture is classical in the majority of the exteriors, influenced by Roman Architecture. The interiors were more elaborate with a wide colour palette. In this period, walls in fashionable houses were paneled from floor to ceiling and divided horizontally into three parts to represent the classical proportions of the column. Walls would have been painted in a single colour, although a darker shade might have been used to emphasise details such as the skirting and door (stronger colours were expensive). Plasterwork reached a height of delicacy and elegance. Ceilings were divided into segments defined by moldings around the ceiling rose with details highlighted in white against delicate muted tones. The colours most used were light blue, lavender, pink and pea green - never primary colours. Fixtures and fittings were also used to introduce colour.
Generous proportions with high ceilings External doors with 6 panels and a fanlight Flat or shallow roof partially hidden behind a parapet Stucco-faced external ground floor Yellow bricks replaced red (it gave a more stone-like appearance) Marble or stone fireplace shelf supported by pilasters Niches shaped like scallop shells for ornaments Plain openings, with deep double-hung sash windows Doors and windows have entablatures, pediments, consoles and either pilasters or columns Wallpaper using wood blocks, stenciling or flocking Greater use of pine and fir, and less of oak Wrought and cast iron balustrades on staircases in one sweeping curve only rising to the first floor (higher floors being served by a secondary staircase) Colours of outside ironwork blue or steel blue, doors green or blue, windows dark brown in plain paint or grained Plasterwork with smaller compartments arranged around the sides of ceilings leaving large compartments round, square or octagonal in the centre.
As an architectural style, 'Edwardian' refers to the period 1901 to 1918. As a period, it covers the years between 1901 and 1910.
The Edwardian era was a period of revivalism, taking ideas from the mediaeval and Georgian periods, among others. Houses mixed and matched many influences.
Houses had wider frontages so there was often more room for a hall, in larger houses this was even used as a living room. For example, it would be furnished with a desk and perhaps even a fireplace.
The underlying themes of buildings and interior design of the Edwardian era were for expensive simplicity and sunshine and air. Colours and detailing were lighter than in the late 19th century, looking back to the Georgian era of a century before. The desire for cleanliness continues. As gas and then electric light became more widespread, walls could be lighter as they did not get so dirty and looked better in the brighter light. Decorative patterns were less complex, both wallpaper and curtain designs were plainer.
There was less clutter than in the Victorian era. Ornaments were perhaps grouped rather than everywhere. Displays of flowers were placed to complement the floral fabrics and wallpapers.
Today, fine examples of these homes can be most often found in areas like Dulwich, Southeast London or in the "garden suburbs".
Rough cast walls Small paned leaded windows Magpie work Rustic bricks Art Nouveau (*) influences in fire places, light fittings, stained glass and door furniture Jacobean details such as gargoyles, heraldic devices, mullioned windows, studded doors and Dutch gables Houses with Neo-Georgian influence: large bays and sash windows, columns and pilasters Half timbering Small feature windows to create a picturesque effect Wooden porches with turned spindles Brackets and decorative fretwork No dado rails, leaving only the picture rail Walls decorated in uniform colours with contrasting woodwork Bare floorboards decorated with rugs
Hey David thanks for doing this AMA, and thank you for one of my favourite characters of all time with Dr. Funke. The scene where Mrs. Featherbottom jumps and crashes through the glass table may be my all time favourite scene. Gets me every time.
My question though revolves around Grand Theft Auto. How did it come about to get the voice over part as Zero, and have you ever tried Zero’s remote control plane mission? Damn it’s hard.
Yes! Agreed! I skipped that mission, I tried for two days, and it was beyond frustrating to have to hear my nasally whiney voice berating me. But the way that happened was I accosted one of the Rockstar Games guys at a party, and I was drunk, I was visibly drunk, and I told him I loved the games, I was a big fan, and I would do anything, I'll work for scale, just if you have anything you want me to do for the next game, please let me know, I'd love to be a part of it.
Can you ask me a question?
stares out window
What is the difference between Georgian and Edwardian architecture again?
Good Morning David, let's cut the crap. Is this new Mr. Show thing going to be a tv show, movie, or tour?
Also, I'd love to see Pit-Pat reprise it's role as a magical, pansexual, non-threatening spokes-thing.
Wish I could say more. Hopefully in the next 48 hours or so we have something more to say.
And Pit-Pat, unfortunately, was kidnapped by Boko Haram. We're in the process of trying to negotiate its release.
I read that you helped kickstart Kickstarter. Does that mean you get free gifts from every Kickstarter project? Like 1000's of shitty CD's?
No, and that's a good thing. But yes, I was literally the first person to support it.
Really! Very first person!
I had to sign an NDA. And I met the guy, nice, sweet guy, in - you know, jeans and a t-shirt and a ripped flannel at a coffeeshop in the East Village, and he explained the idea, and I thought it was brilliant, kinda surprised nobody thought of it before, and I was like "whatever you need to help this, I think it's a brilliant idea."
What is your favorite type of firework?
The kind that comes from Katy Perry's tits.
Who's at your dream dinner party?
Oooh! That's a good one.
Bill Hicks, The Prophet Mohammed, The Prophet Mohammed's Handler, Kanye East, Lizzie Borden, Andy Kaufman, and Amber Tamblyn, Tyrese, and Mark Spits.
With food provided by Big Kev's Bar-b-que.
Do you think you'll ever do another standup tour?
Absolutely. I've just been so busy, but I have been dying to do one. I've amassed a bunch of material over the last couple years, because it's been several years since I've done one. I just need to make the time to get it ready. And my wife keeps nagging me about going back on tour.
Mr. Cross, I am a very big fan of your work, and I am excited to see your new film!
My question relates to a recurring dream that I’ve been having for the better part of seven years. It’s caused me to be restless and confused, and I am hoping that maybe (just maybe) you’ll be able to provide some clarity and closure for me. I asked Bob this question, but recieved no response. I haven't been able to sleep for the past few years.
You and Bob Odenkirk are standing in an empty arena. It kinda’ looks like Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, but also has flair similar to that of The Docks in season two of The Wire. You are both there for a bitter fight to the death (as far as I could tell, the rules are pretty vague from this point onward) Both of you get to select one of two weapons. Whoever selects first forces the other combatant to have the remaining weapon. The first weapon is one of those giant q-tips from “American Gladiator,” but instead of a patriotic color pallet, it’s purple and yellow with a rather odd fuzzy outline on the handle. The other weapon available are a pair of boxing gloves but, instead of foam cushioning, each glove is equipped with a copy of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” In the times that I’ve had this dream, you’ve selected the boxing gloves 65% of the time, for the record. You guys are told you can’t hit each other in the knees or the feet, but are reassured that this is a Last Man Standing battle for some unknown prize that you both desire with a passion that burns with the intensity of Eta Carinae.
When the fight starts, both of you are suddenly adorned with flowing bronze robes. Similar to what Jedi’s would wear if they weren’t shopping at a discount robe store. Lots of golden markings and streamers, it’s quite the sight. This, combined with the suit ties and jackets, makes for an interesting juxtaposition. During the battle, the music that plays ranges from the dramatic (Dmitri Shostakovich's “Symphony #5” movement IV [Allegro non Troppo]) to the not-so dramatic (Ace of Base’s “The Sign”). The fight usually lasts 10-22 minutes (with the exception of one two-second K.O. courtesy of Bob), but I always wake up immediately before the prize is announced by the announcement team (Werner Herzog and Scatman John) and the in-ring referee (The witch from H.R. Pufnstuf)
My questions are as follows:
1-What weapon (of the two listed) would you really select?
2-Who would actually win, and in what fashion?
3-What would the prize be?
When Bob does another one of these, I’ll ask him again as well. I really need to get a good night’s sleep, it’s been far too long.
1.) Ugh. I get this question ALL the time. Okay, here we go again: Q-tips.
3.) A $5 coupon to Sizzler.
And you might want to try some Ambien.
Will we ever see anymore of Todd Margaret?
I head over to London on May 1st. We have a 3rd series planned, which I have absolutely no desire to do. I didn't even know how you could even have a third season, since everybody dies? But IFC was adamant, and apparently it's done very well on Netflix, and I reluctantly went back to the other writers and said "Hey, can you think of any other ideas, I just said out of professional respect and courtesy that I would ask y'all" and the one of the writers, Mark Chapel, emailed back about 45 minutes later with the most genius, cool, trippiest idea I could've ever imagined. And the scripts are written, i was over there in the fall writing them, and they are all written and ready, we start shooting on May 25th, and hopefully they'll be airing in October.
And it's the craziest, coolest idea, and I don't think it's ever been done.
What is the specific threshold between a selfie and a dick pick?
About 6 inches, hard.
Hi David greetings from England! I am a huge fan! What was your best memory from the making of Arrested Development and do you have a favourite episode?
Well, thank you, first of all. My favorite memory, oh boy... uh shit, I had so many. I guess when Jessica Walters kept tripping over the light cable, and then blamed it on her wardrobe. And my favorite episode? I liked, oh shit, I don't know the names of 'em, but "Pier Pressure."
Hey David, big fan. How much will it cost to have you narrate my internal monologue?
Um... I'm working with Tesla Musk - no wait, Elon Musk - to develop the technology which will allow that. Right now, it's cost-prohibitive - it would be somewhere in the range of $1 Billion dollars. We're trying to knock it down to $10.50.
So sit tight.
What was your most awkward interaction with a fan?
With a fan? Well, this is going to sound very humble brag-ish, but for a brief time, I had a stalker in New York - actually, the first year i lived there. And this girl - it's easy to find out where people live, and I lived on a 3rd floor walkup, so there was no doorman, or security, or anything, and she used to appear, quite frequently.
And that was probably the most awkward, disturbing fan. But believe me there have been dozens of awkward encounters. Sometimes my fault, but mostly the other person's.
How's married life treating you?
What's your NFL team?
It's awesome. I'm married to one of the most amazing women on the planet. And you can view this as fortunately or unfortunately, it's the Atlanta Falcons.
Have you been enjoying Better Call Saul? Any chance of doing a cameo on there?
What did you think of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy being cast in Ghostbusters!!?
I love Better Call Saul. I was at the premiere, in LA, and I was just blown away, I thought it was just fantastic in every way. Bob is great. And I love well-crafted storytelling, and I'm looking VERY much forward to watching the rest of the episodes.
And it is certainly not for me to dictate if I would do a cameo, although I would happily do so.
But I think that's great, for the GHOSTBUSTERS. I don't have that kind of preciousness that a lot of my generation has to things in their youth. I truly don't give a shit. So I think Kristen Wiig is as talented as any male comic actor out there, and it should be great.
Yo David, what city is the most humorless in the US?
Oh, that's a great question!
I haven't been to all of them, but St. Louis - I always had, I just stopped doing sets there, but personally I've had very bad sets in St. Louis.
I figured I wasn't the only one. I considered a support group, but I was a bit too nervous to come out in case I was the only one.
Thank you David. And I'll try some of this "Ambien" that you suggest. I heard Brian Eno provides the best Ambien around.
I get it!
Would you make a guest appearance on Portlandia if asked? You'd fit in perfectly on that show.
Oh, I have been asked, a couple times, and I would absolutely do it, I love those guys! But I just haven't been able to (because of my schedule) get there.
From your first open mic, how long did it take you to get in your stand up "groove?"
Oh, a decade. Easily.
What's one thing in your comedy career that you haven't done yet that you REALLY want to do?
Oooh, that's a great question!
I guess... tour Antarctica.
Who is your celebrity man crush?
Let me think here.
I'll be spending money like a chimp at a beat-off contest
Run Ronnie Run may not have ended up like everyone wanted but I still appreciate it. The line above is one example. I ponder this phrase now and then and it never ceases to make me laugh. Did that phrase pop out of nowhere or is there a history of events that led to it's creation? It doesn't really matter, I've just been dying to use that phrase.
I look forward to Hits.
Well, thank you for that.
I don't recall specifically, but that seems like one of those where we're all in the writer's room and we are riffing in 'RonnieSpeak' and character is near and dear to my heart. I grew up in Roswell, Georgia, and it's one of those dumb phrases that you don't think about. So it's just one of those things that Rednecks say that sorta sounds like it makes sense but doesn't make any sense? so it's sorta like that.
Is never nude a real thing and if so are you?
It is a real-thing. There's an actual scientific term for it that I'm forgetting at the moment. But I'm the opposite. I always have to be nude.
Hi David. How are you?
Is the a project you've worked on in the past you wished more people knew about?
Uh... yeah! Gosh. Yes. Icelandic Ultra-Blue. It was actually called "Paid programming." adult swim completely and totally ripped off the idea - we did it for adult swim. Jon Benjamin and I did it. It's really funny. And the idea that I pitched to Lazzo, in his office, standing in front of him, back in 2008? I wanna say? was to do a fake infomercial that would air at 4 in the morning, and it would be called Paid Programming so that the viewers wouldn't know it was fake, and it starts out very realistically, and then subtly devolves into this crazy nonsense.
But it would really fuck with people's heads.
Let me make it clear - I think the people who had the concepts for TOO MANY COOKS didn't rip us off. I think adult swim was the one who ripped off the idea. And they actually aired it once - it aired at exactly the time I pitched, in that exact way, and they didn't pick up the show, which I guess makes us a couple years ahead of our time?
So fuck Mike Lazzo. He's a thief.
But go to Youtube, and see if you can check out either "Icelandic Ultra-Blue" or "Paid Programming" or even Wikipedia it. Because it's really, really funny.
I think you'll like it.
Oh god, I'm actually on time for an AMA...can't think of a question, uh uh
What's your plans for valentines day with Amber?
Ugh I hate myself
Edit: I've been gilded due to my panic. Thanks!
I actually had specific plans. I was going to take her to Eataly, here in Manhattan, and then we were going to walk up to the ICP - Institute of Contemporary Photography, and then walk back down to Eataly for round two.
But I have a full day of stuff I have to do for HITS, and I have to be at the theater, the Village East theater in - oddly enough, the East Village - to intro and do a Q&A. So we don't really get to have a proper Valentine's day.
Hey David, I've been waiting all morning (10 minutes) to ask this!
What brand of ketchup do you use?
Sir Humphrey Willigan's Ye Olde Fancy British-Style Antiquarianized Hand-rafted 1919 Catsup.
Congrats on your first film, David! I am excited about the possible opportunities BitTorrent brings for film and music distribution. Were you the one to approach them first and was this idea inspired by Thom Yorke’s latest album?
It was inspired by Thom Yorke's latest album. And it was the producers' idea. I would love to take credit, but the producers had the idea, and BitTorrent was exceedingly helpful and enthusiastic.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only listen to 3 artists/bands while stranded, what would they be?
The Who (but nothing post-Keith Moon's death)... um, probably The Replacements... and for balance, I'll say Bjork.
What does Bob smell like?
Two parts dandelion wine, three parts Midwest, one and a half parts broiled steak, and two parts Penzoil.
Hi David, as a southerner- I think you have a lot of great observations in your standup. I especially love your take on Atlanta. Has your opinion of the city changed at all over the years?
Well, i have a love-hate relationship with Atlanta.
There are so many great, wonderful things about it. In fact, I was just there for Thanksgiving, visiting family, I was there for 5 days, and I remember I was walking around Decatur, and just thinking man, people are so nice here! They're just nicer! Just pleasant people!
And I miss that in my travels. And I've come to appreciate it, now that I'm away from it.
But it's also a frustrating city. It's so blatantly pro-business, at the cost of trees and neighborhoods and history. And what the Atlanta Braves did is unconscionable. I can't believe they are moving to Cobb County. That is so upsetting.
stares out window
But I do love the people there. And the music scene's always been great.
Do you ever get lazy at night and decide to go to sleep without brushing your teeth?
Never. Not once. No matter where I am. I've been on a safari in Southern Africa in the Okanago - I can't remember the spelling of it - Delta and I still brushed my teeth and everything.
How do you think Tobias would react to The Interview?
Well, I didn't see THE INTERVIEW, I have no plans to.
But I suppose he would misinterpret it as being a primer on how to get booked.
Hi David! Great to see you doing an AMA here.
What was your experience like voicing Crane in Kung Fu Panda?
Did you enjoy being on Tim and Eric Awesome Show?
P.S. Are you still out of breadsticks?
I enjoyed being on Tim & Eric's show very much. And voice work is really fun. It's surprisingly satisfying, and the end result is really neat, when you go to the theater and see it all put together, it's really cool.
And I do it for the kids.
What is your dream project?
I'd like to do a - I guess a hundred-story mural of the Prophet Muhammed that would be on the side of the Trump Tower.
do you still hate Jim Belushi ?
You know, I hate what he did. But I don't hate him. I don't walk around with - it's not like it's a constant anger towards him.
Hey David! Looking forward to your movie. As someone who is from Upstate NY, what made you want to make a film about upstate people?
I live in a small town in Sullivan County, I've been there, it'll be 7 years this April. And it seemed the perfect setting for this particular story. And it meant that I could shoot it cheaply.
Will Zero ever make another appearance in Grand Theft Auto?
Yeah, fuck yeah!
Hi David! I recently saw you at Bone Lick BBQ. What's your favorite Q in the A?
You know, I do love Bone Lick. Their smoked wings are some of the best I've ever had. But I always get indigestion after I eat there, so I try to keep it light.
What was your first time in Chicago?
I was driving cross-country, and I stopped with a friend of mine - this would've been in '86, I think? - and I don't remember completely how it all shook down, because my friend and I were on Rush street, we were drunk, and then somehow I ended up on a rooftop of a building, like maybe 4-5 stories, nothing major, and I was sitting there smoking a cigarette, maybe I wanted the view (when I was younger I'd break on roofs all the time) and I was sitting there and people on the street were starting to go "JUMP! JUMP!" and then I pretended I was suicidal, and I kept the whole thing going, and a crowd gathered, and then cops came, and I ended up bolting and running out some back door.
Again, it's very vague, but I remember that my friend Jimbo had to come get me.
About how many time mugs have you gotten from fans since your Skymall bit?
I haven't gotten any time mugs - wait, I might've gotten one. But the best gift I ever received from a fan - and this saying a lot, because I've gotten some great stuff - is a real, working, E-Meter.
In your recent years of flying/reading SkyMall, have you come across anything that struck you as being even more ridiculous than Timemug™?
Oh MAN. There are so many.
The giant pillow that you're supposed to put your tray table and rest your head on, that always makes me laugh. It's GIANT! It's huge! It's not one of those little neck things, it's a pillow the size of a stool.
That, and also... I'm so saddened by the news that they're going bankrupt.
Skymall was what brought my wife and I together. True story.
Hey there, glad you stopped by Reddit to answer some of our questions!
Since you've done voiceover work before, what is an animated show you would like to do again, or an animated show you've always wanted to work on?
Well, ARCHER was a blast. I know most of those guys, and the guy who runs it, Adam, is fantastic. So I guess... what I haven't done? BOB'S BURGERS.
What's your favorite dinosaur?
The Bar-b-que place in Harlem.
David! What was it like working with Tim Curry? Is he more professional on set, or does he goof around?
He hated being there. But he was professional, for sure. But he clearly didn't enjoy his time there.
Hi David! You're awesome! :) My question is, who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
Inspiration? Probably Lenny Bruce. But I didn't think he was all that funny, but I was just amazed at what he did. And also, Andy Kaufman. Some combination thereof.
I am genetically predispositioned to go bald in the near future. What advice do you have about becoming a baldhead to a strapping young lad?
hands on hips, pacing
Own it, seriously. Don't try to get creams and gels and try to make it look like you're not balding. Just own it, and be comfortable with it, and believe me, that's less about anybody else than women. Women will appreciate it much more.
What is your favourite cereal?
I don't really eat cereal.
I guess, when I was a kid, I loved Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries. And there was a cereal called "Freakies" that i used to love.
What's the most vivid dream/nightmare you've ever had?
I had a recurring dream when I was a kid - I had 2, that ended up being nightmares. One was that I was walking to school (this was when I was 7-8 years old) and a brighter-than-normal snowflake was following me, and I knew in my dream it was chasing me, and when I would finally get into the school building, I would have to wake up and count to ten and hold my breath for everything to be ok.
The other was I was in a completely red house - everything was giant, I was smaller than everything else in there- and I would hear somebody coming after me, and I would have to get a chair over and flip on the lightswitch, and if I did, same thing - I would have to hold my breath, count to ten, and everything would be alright.
I have no idea where or why those dreams happened.