Andrew "Andy" Daly is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for starring as Forrest MacNeil on the Comedy Central series Review. He is also noted for playing Terrence Cutler in the HBO comedy series Eastbound & Down and for his two seasons as a cast member on Mad TV from 2000 to 2002. He has also had recurring roles on television programs such as The Life and Times of Tim, Delocated, Reno 911! and Comedy Bang! Bang!.
• Adam Conover (Adam Conover is an American stand-up comedian and television host. He is the host of the half-hou...)
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Season 2 of Review premieres tonight at 10 on Comedy Central. Well folks, thanks for all the questions and sorry for all the typos. I really enjoyed this! I have to go eat lunch and get a haircut and so on and so on. Gotta go! Please watch Review! - @tvsandydaly
Will there be another season of The Andy Daly Pontius Pilate Project?
I hope so! I think so! But when?! I don't know.
what is the square footage of Jimmy Bongos human hair rug?
Now that you've done an episode of "Me 2 I’m Talkin’ U2 To U Too," when should we be expecting you to appear on U Talkin' U2 2 Me?
You know what. I saw the recent U2 tour and was kind of underwhelmed. Scott asked me if I wanted to go with him a second night and I actually turned him down. Now it sounds like he got to meet the band or some shit?! I fucked up! Anyway, I think if I had gone with him, he would have had me on the show to discuss the concert so I doubly fucked up. But really, it's U2's fault for only doing a so-so show the night I went.
Dear Mr. Dimello,
I've been trying to bring out the girls for years now during my small playhouse production of Disney's Lady and the Tramp, where I've got all these whores covered in dog fur with human bones in their mouths. I've got them all fucked up on heroin but they seem reluctant to come out even when I threaten to take away their sweet, delectable candy. Any advice?
Thanks in advance.
Honestly, it sounds like you're doing everything right.
who came up with there all is aching?
Hello! Holy shit, there are a lot of questions here! This is the first one I'm answering! I don't know who came up with the germ if the idea that Forrest should be asked to do something impossible but the task of pulling that off was given to the great Andy Blitz who is, among other things, a master of absurdism. He really ran with that one!
Any advice for someone who wants to give handjobs and flip through vaginas at the ArcLight?
Follow you dreams! And have a good bail bondsman in your contacts.
You were great as the Ben Franklin impersonator in The Office. Have any good anecdotes from your personal experience working in an office or having syphilis?
I have been completely useless in every office setting I've ever been in. I once completely screwed up the filing system of a neurologist's office and I may have driven a small equity theater out of business with my totally incompetent administration of their box office. Terrible.
I know PFT pretty much gushes about Travel Bug w/ Augustus Lindt being one of the best experiences of his life (I literally could not drive during that episode, it was too dangerous)- what's your favorite Podcast Pilot?
Also, are you gonna do Spontaneanation someday? Please?
Paul asked me to do one but schedules didn't work. I believe it will happen. I have a soft spot for Hot Dog's podcast. There was a real sweetness to that one. But yeah man, that August Lindt thing. Everyone was on fire. Someday maybe I'll release the raw audio for superfans because I edited a lot of insanity out of the last act in particular.
Andy, I'm your biggest fan, as evidenced by the quickness of my reply. I wanted to ask you about Scott Aukerman. What kind of character is he playing on his TV show? How would you describe his shtick, from a comedian's inside point of view.
Man, that is a great question and I shouldn't have clicked "reply" because I don't think I have a great answer. I just think it's weird and wonderful and he and the show kind of exist in a weird universe, alternate reality kind of thing. It's all not quite real in a very specific and oddly satisfying way. Wish I could answer this better.
Your performance as Cutler in Eastbound and Down was the most underrated part of that show. Do you enjoy playing more of the somewhat straight man role or the zany characters?
How can I choose? I really don't know. Both are satisfying in very different ways and I'm thrilled to have opportunities to do both.
Have you ever been on any kind of water-transportation vessel in International Waters?
No! But here's a fun tidbit for you that I don't think I've ever said anywhere else. My interest in international waters as a place where anything can happen began with an interview Richard Belzer did with Howard Stern in, like, the early 90s. Stern asked him if he smoked pot and Belzer said, I think totally seriously, that he only did so on international waters where there was no danger of arrest or prosecution.
Who said that this is the way it's gonna be?! I didn't sign off on this!
Gimme a break!
Hi Andy! Big fan of all your stuff, especially Review and your many podcast appearances! (please oh please do the podcast pilot project season 2)
My question is about review. It's actually a two part question.
One, how did you come up for the idea of the show? It's a great premise and the way you play Forrest just seals it so perfectly.
and Two, how much creative freedom do you have in the making of the show/do you guys improv at all? Something about it feels like you have quite a bit of freedom in this show but I could of course be wrong.
Above all Andy I just want to say I love your work and seeing your name on the episodes of podcasts makes me so excited. I'll be tuning into review tonight! Best comedy of 2014, I'm sure that'll remain true this year!
Also Andy, a quick plug. I mod a subreddit here called /r/earwolf it's a small community made up of very big fans of comedy podcasts, and if you ever stopped by we would be thrilled.
We are very free creatively on Review, to a surprising degree actually. Comedy Central gave us a good handful of very helpful notes in season 1 as they - and we - worked to find the show, but in season 2, they really trusted us to do our thing. It's been kind of amazing to see how they've let us go. A dream work environment really.
What is your best behind-the-scenes-story from The Informant?
Just that Soderbergh never gave me any direction but always seemed so happy with what was happening. Not what I expected. I think he's a great guy.
How much of the "Kiss Me, I'm Patrick McMahon" episode of the Podcast Pilot Project was pre-planned?
There was a rough outline and I thought of a bunch of things to say beforehand but there was no script. The songs were, of course, written beforehand, with the exception of the apology song, which they amazingly came up with in on the spot.
Hey Andy! Huge fan of Review, it was my favorite new show of last year. The pancakes/divorce episode is one of the funniest episodes of television I've ever seen. I'm so excited for season 2.
On to my question. I have a vague memory of you dropping some obscure music knowledge on a podcast you were on and being really excited. Who are some of your all-time favorite bands/favorite recent discoveries?
As a teenager, I very obsessively educated myself about early rock, the origins of rock music, the inter-connectedness of 60s bands and so on. I then got heavily into prog rock and then into REM and U2 when they were newish. I retain a lot of that knowledge but to be honest, keeping up with music now seems to be a challenge.
Your improv often finds its way to satanism. Aside from Aukerman and Mantzoukas pimping you in that direction, why is that? It seems a bit too emotionally genuine to be just a silly punch line.
The occult is so funny to me. The idea of anyone believing in black magic and satanic rituals, it's just so silly. The image of candles and pentagrams and black robes and chanting. What's funnier than all that?
Andy, greatly looking forward to the new season. Will any of your CBB personas appear this season (Dalton Wilcox, Cactus Tony specifically)?
No! But watch it anyway please.
I recently Listened to your Dead Author's Podcast where you played L. Ron Hubbard. I laughed so hard I got a cramp at the gym and almost fell off the treadmill. Is there anyone, living or dead, you would love to play in a movie/tv show/podcast/etc?
I am the age F. Scott Fitzgerald was when he died and would love the chance to play him at the end of his life.
How much research did you do for the L Ron Hubbard Dead Authors Podcast? It was amazing btw
Thank you! A lot. I hope people go right from listening to those episodes to reading Going Clear because you'll be like "holy shit, he made none of that up!"
Do twisted characters like Don Dimello ever make you worry about yourself?
Don grosses me out. He really does. I often think he goes too far and I am sometimes ashamed of myself for the things he says but I don't worry. I'm in control! By the way, Andy Daly interviewed Don DiMello for Comedy Central's Sirius XM station. It'll be out today and it is very shameful.
I really enjoyed the season-long storylines in season 1. Is there anything we should pay extra attention to in tonight’s season 2 premier that will provide the viewer extra pay-off throughout the season?
Yes! But I think it would be too spoilery to tell you. Basically, this is a season about Forrest trying to build a new life while still doing Review.
First of all, I love everything you do and can't wait for season 2 of Review. You and Jason Heynongmantzoukas are my favorite guests on CBB, what inspired Joe Bongo/Jimmy Bongos? It sounded like you were hinting that he fed on the students of Marina Del Ray High but Scott and Jason didn't catch on, was that where you were heading?
I originated that character for the Womp It Up podcast and he is loosely based on a health teacher in my high school who went by the nickname Joe Driver Ed because that's what he taught. His first name was Roger, by the way. He also played guitar in the student band I was in. But he didn't sound like my character and wasn't insane or inappropriate (particularly).
Andy, you made Semi-Pro semi watchable with your role as Mr Richard Pepperfield. I wanted to ask about Paul F Tompkins. He had a couple of great shows in London. Do you have any plans to perform in the UK soon?
What are your favorite British TV shows?
I love The Mighty Boosh and Snuff Box! I have never performed in Britain but would really love to. But when?! I don't know.
Howdy Andy, I'm Tremendous fan of Review and your character work on Earwolf/Superego/etc. In fact, I did some fanart of Review a while back.
My question is, what character of yours would you be most excited to see in animated form?
As someone who went from being "that guy in that thing, the one with the glasses?" to "Andy Daly, highly compensated comedic superstar," what has changed the most? Hearing (most recently) Joey Bongo/Jimmy Bongos on CBB made me realize that you're one of the few people who has continued to get better and better with more opportunities to put yourself out there, and I've got to assume humility plays a part...I'll take my answer off the air.
Thank you, thank you. What a lovely thing to read. But to be fair, I am not all that highly compensated. It is the only thing I would like to change about my life. More money!!
Hey Andy. Love your work, can't wait for the Season 2 premiere tonight.
For my money, the Dalton Wilcox episode of the Podcast Pilot Project is the funniest thing I've ever listened to. I think I've listened to it at least 20 times since it's release. Any chance this ever becomes a regular podcast?
Probably not but Dalton may very well return to the podcasting racket. And thanks!
Are you sure that your poem isn't about more than a cowboy fucking a hole in the ground? It's so beautiful...
Yes it truly is. Please feel free to write a think piece about what else it might be about.
What's your favorite memory from all that you have done?
Oh you know, dumb shit like kids being born and the first time I laid eyes on my wife. Blah blah blah.
If you could pick one of the characters from your Earwolf podcast appearances to develop into a full television show, who would it be and why? I'll accept no answers other than Dalton Wilcox.
I think that is the answer, yes.
I love "Review" and I'm so happy Comedy Central renewed it.
With cable channels caring less and less about overnight Nielsen ratings and more about critical acclaim, how are you guys feeling about a Season 3?
(Yes, I realize Season 2 is just about to start airing, but I must know!)
I truly have no idea! But I hope it works out. It's true, ratings have become less important for networks. They're just one of the measures of success. That's great, truly, but it makes things a little hard to predict, pickup-wise.
Hello Andy! Looking forward to the new season of Review. What would you say is the biggest difference between this season and the first season?
Things go off the rails further faster for Forrest this season. And I think in general, the show feels faster paced and tighter and more assured.
I just want you to know, that Review is the only TV I've cared enough about to write and angry letter to a TV channel about.
I may have been a little over enthusiastic about prophylactically letting Comedy Central know how mad I would be if Review didn't get a second season and it may have been unwarranted.
But I got Review back so maybe not?
Either way can't wait.
Was it like, an actual letter? On paper and stuff? If so, and you're under 80, I love this! The internet has robbed our culture of cranky letters. Let's get them back!
A lot of the MADtv cast members seem to have varying opinions about their time on the show. What was your experience like?
I didn't like it very much. I loved a lot of the people. I have several wonderful friends I met there but, in my opinion, in many ways, the show was not worthy of the people who worked on it. But look, I didn't know how to create material that would work there or how to connect with the audience and I wanted to, so there's an element of sour grapes here, I'll concede.
Thanks for doing this! I really enjoyed season 1 of Review, and it makes my day anytime I see your name in the lineup of a new CBB ep. I have a couple questions:
Thanks again! Absolutely loved your “take five dollars home” quip on Match Game, it was the highlight of the night. I hope Kevin & Bean went well!
I don't know what STEM is! But the advice I usually give to anyone starting out is to get yourself into constant proximity with talented people who have similar aspirations to yours. Discuss and discuss what we want to be doing, the work and the business of it, collaborate, take risks, put stuff out there. I've always felt the UCB communities in NY and LA are perfect places for all of that.
Thanks. Kevin and Bean was delightful.
As you well know, Review with Myles Barlow is considerably darker than Forrest Macneil's show (Myles' triple homicide in Episode Two comes to mind). Which of Myles' reviews or experiences, if any, would you want to do if not for Forrest's relatively less sociopathic mindset?
Also, I've got a question for Forrest: What is it like to go to prison?
I do love the way that triple homicide plays out. I also love their treatment of Betrayal but that one does feel crueler than Forrest usually is. This season, in our fourth episode, we do my favorite of all of Myles' reviews and I love the way ours turned out. As for your second question, stay ye tuned.
Is Krombopulos Michael the greatest role you've ever played?
I think it might be.
What exactly is happening in your twitter avatar?
That's a screen capture from the episode of No You Shut Up that I did. Check it out on YouTube and all will be clear.
Is there any podcast character you DON'T like to play, but do it anyway because you are persuaded?
If Review was a reality show, which real-life personality could best replace Forrest MacNeill?
Thanks for all the laughs. I always get excited to see your name in upcoming appearances. We need a Joe Bongo/Hot Dog collabo or an LRon/Dalton Wilcox essay contest.
I honestly don't believe I would ever do anything in the podcast realm that I didn't totally want to do. It's a playground, pure and simple. That's what's so magical about it for so many of us.
Hi Andy! First off, you are so, so funny. I had tears streaming down my face trying not to laugh listening to the Don DiMello music teacher sketch on Superego, while sitting on the bus, and an old lady kept giving me sympathetic looks, so thanks for that.
I started taking improv earlier this year, and our class had our second show ever last night. While it was a blast, I found myself having a really tough time figuring out where to take scenes after initiating them, and ended up spending some time on stage grasping for something to do to move the scene along. What advice would you give to a new improviser who gets stuck in her head and ends up hesitating?
Thank you for being great, and I'm REALLY excited for Review tonight!
I think you need to rewire your brain through repitition and steeping yourself in improv for a good long while. See tons of shows and do tons of shows.
What was Forrest Mcneil's journalism career like before stumbling into the review format?
He was a movie reviewer somewhere, some small market. On the wall behind Forrest's desk are two framed movie reviews he wrote. I don't know if you can read them at all but the headline on one is "American Pie Takes The Cake", so that'll give you an idea. I don't know who came up with that, but I love it!
What is the one Review we won't be seeing in season two that you'd like to do for season three?
We had a card on our board that simply said R2D2. I'd like to explore that in season 3. We also talked a lot about "What's it like to be a character on Game of Thrones?" We didn't do it because that kind of pop culture parody seemed wrong for us but now I kind of regret that we didn't do it. Might revisit.
First off thank you for doing this AMA, You are hysterical in everything your in and like many people I'm a huge fan of your work on CBB. You also seem to be a permanent fixture in the alt comedy scene so my question is when did you first get into comedy and specifically the alt comedy scene?
I moved to NY after college in 1993 and that was the beginning of boom times for "alternative comedy". There was a great show at a place called Rebar in Chelsea where Louis CK, Todd Barry, Jeneane Garafalo, Marc Maron, etc would do weird shit, whatever they wanted. I loved it an knew I wanted that kind of creative life. I was in a comedy duo at the time with Andy Secunda - The Two Andys - and we worked hard to get into that world. I've been floating around in some kind of proximity to alt comedy ever since.
Any chance of you being on the new season of Playing House?
I'm not in it, no. But I did just see the first two episodes of the new season and it is so so good!
How do you balance work and family?
It's really hard. I struggle with it, particularly in this iPhone era when important information can come at me any time. I wish I knew who tweeted this but someone said: "I was just trying to get my dad to look up from his phone" - how all future comedians will describe how they got started. That's so sad and feels too true.
What advice would you give to someone just starting improv? I'm taking Level 1 classes, and I'm having trouble coming up with ideas to initiate scenes.
Yeah, that's the hard part for me too. Knowing when to initiate. You might want to focus on being great at working with other peoples' initiations, an important skill. Also, you and your team could focus your energies less on initiating hard and more on finding games together. Soft initiations, you know?
What is your favorite moment you have performing with The Swarm?
Too many to mention but I do remember doing a Harold in the very early days and ending it in such a satisfying way and hearing later that Matt Besser had been in the lighting booth for the show and had told the person running lights that Harold had entered the room. That meant a lot!
Hi Andy, do you think we'll see a DVD release of Review?
I've never been party to a discussion of that but I'd love it because we have a lot of crazy deleted scenes and moments.
Hi Andy, The Andyverse on CBB got me into the podcast permanently. When meeting a fan on the streets, how would you prefer they interact with you? high-five? creepily wheezing "bring out the girls..."?
Don't touch me!
If I started a Kickstarter to have a top-level psycho-analyst put together a psychological profile of you SOLELY based on your Comedy Bang Bang characters a) what do you think they would conclude? b) would you be cool with that?
I would be cool with it and I think they would conclude that I am a totally well-adjusted, delightful person. I honestly thoroughly believe that.
We heard it from Forrest, but as Andy Daly, what was it like partaking in a totally legit Eyes Wide Shut orgy on Review?
Bad. That was an abandoned mansion with no heat and it smelled bad and was so so awkward to have all these people in skintight, flesh colored cover-ups. It also happened to be our last night of shooting and it ended at like, 4:30 in the morning. It was grueling. Also I'm not sure how much confidence we had in the script. There was serious consideration given to scrapping it the day before we shot it. But I'm the one who insisted we do it and I now love it love it love it.
I've noticed you've laid off of the characters involved in the Oh, Golly episodes since they have aired. Is this because you just wanted to give them a rest or because building on everything established in those episodes would be difficult? If Don, Dalton, etc. return will you just ignore the fact they were involved in a war between good and evil?
Really I'm just too busy to make a habit of coming back and also it's fun to come up with new people.
How was your experience working on Yogi Bear? It looked like quite a bit of fun.
It was crazy because I spent 3 months in New Zealand and spent 21 days on set. That's a lot of downtime in a weird and beautiful country. Such a strange life experience. But I loved that cast and the movie seemed to have potential to be really great while we were making it.
Andy, what is your favorite alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverage?
I don't drink but I will sometimes drink a non-alcoholic beer, though I know that is the saddest of all drinks.
Has this show inspired you to go out and try new experiences in your personal life, or has it completely ruined certain things (like pancakes)?
I was never a huge fan of pancakes honestly. But I really love the word pancakes. Also flapjacks and griddle cakes and hot cakes. All of those are good. Why did one food get so many wonderful names?
Hi Andy! I'm a huge fan of your work and can't wait for season 2 of Review. 'Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes' is one of my favorite episodes of television. Will you ever release another album similar to Nine Sweaters?
At the moment, the idea of a Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain-style L. Ron Hubbard venture is appealing to me as some kind of future project. Could that be an album?
Andy I am a huge huge fan. How did you become such a good improviser and how do I become as good as you? Should I have someone constantly backing me into a corner and making me yes and into a murderer/satanist?
Oh and what's the darkest children's movie?
Brave and Toy Story 3 come to mind. Do lots of improv. I know this might sound awful but I got myself into a community of improvisers who used to go out to eat/drink together and just do bits all night long. It's exhausting as hell but all-in-all we probably taught ourselves more at MacManus than we did onstage.
What would you like to review but feel would be too touchy a subject?
I don't think we've ever shied away from something because it's too touchy, which is how we ended up with Forrest reviewing "what's it like to cure a gay person" in our second episode. Oh dear.
You nail L. Ron Hubbard in such an incredible, hilarious way. Did the voice just come to you? How long did you study Scientology to be able to just go on about it for so long? Any plans to bring your L. Ron to the screen?
I don't think the voice I did sounds much like him actually. I started with the physicality of his mouth. He had this very large mouth and his back molars are very visible when he talks. I also decided to play him as a confident blowhard, which is not the way he usually chose to come across in reality. But I wanted to play the real LRH, the internal monologue come to life.
Letterman : "What do you think Paul?"
Paul Shaffer: "Time to close the mailbag"
Wow Andy, Paul really fucked you after you left the stage. Paul Shafter. Have you ever thought about this moment? It was 98 I think.
I honestly think that was not a commentary on me or the bit. I think Paul was just not paying attention and didn't give a shit and just wanted to know if it was time for him to play his stupid song.
Will your Review ever go as dark as the Myles Barlow one did with Murder? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6UE-nvNUuo
Yeah I think they'll get as dark as that but in a very different way. I don't want to say too much here but we take Forrest to some very heavy places this season. He reacts to being there a little differently from Myles Barlow I'd say.
I watched season 1 all in one day, twice. Now I have to wait a week between episodes. Why are you so mean?
Thank you! I think/hope that the experience of watching one episode a week of Review will be satisfying to people, even those who binged on season 1.
Do you think a certain level of high confidence/self-esteem is important when it comes to being a comedic performer? Wanting to eventually be one myself I've been doing a lot of work on myself to get to overcome some of my bad mental tendencies before I really dive into it. It just seems obvious to me that you'd kind of really have to believe in yourself and be pretty positive if you want to have a chance at making it anywhere.
I think you need to feel like you have something unique to share and you need to believe that whatever anyone else may think about it, it's worth sharing. And if you don't quite believe all that, you know what they say, fake it till you make it. One thing I can tell you is that many of my characters have vastly more confidence than I do and that is a very helpful thing indeed.
Before Forrest completely sabotaged his relationship with his wife in Episode Three, Suzanne seemed oddly willing to indulge Forrest in his mission while apparently understanding very little of what his TV show was actually about. In light of her surprised realization in the Season Finale that Forrest's behavior has been for the show, what exactly did she think Forrest was doing with a camera crew this whole time? In other words, how did Forrest explain the purpose of Review to the people closest to him?
We have said internally that he probably said something like "they're making a documentary about the life of a reviewer".
When Review was being remade for American television, what was the thought process behind changing the name of the main character? Was there any reason Myles Barlow was renamed Forrest MacNeil?
We just wanted it to feel, to us and anyone else, like we were creating a different person which our character was inevitably going to be just by virtue of the fact that a different actor was going to play him.
You're in all my favorite shows; Review, Delocated, Rick and Morty.
What was it like being Jon's lawyer?
So great! Glaser is a true genius and a sweetheart. I always love working with him. And John Lee too. Lots of improv, so much fun.
Your appearance on never not funny a few months ago was hilarious. How sad was that lady at the 711, buying that awful pizza?
I did find that sad. She wasn't allowed to have a hot dog for health reasons so she was having a 7-11 pizza and scraping off some of the cheese. There's got to be a better way!
Was there any material that was shot for Review that had to be left on the cutting room floor? I can't seem to find it again, but I recall an interview where you mentioned that there was the equivalent of an extra episode's worth of stuff that was floating around.
The rough assemblies for most of our episodes come in over 30 minutes and they episodes need to be cut down to 21:45 so yeah, there's a ton of stuff left over. I'm not saying all of it was painful to cut but I think if we ever get a DVD release and have the time to really pour over that stuff, there'd be a lot of fun outtakes for fans to explore.
When you grill, do you use propane or do you prefer charcoal?
I prefer charcoal but I use propane.
What type of method acting did you employ to become Dick Pepperfield?
Well I don't know about method acting but I definitely started with the voice for that character. I said "IF this guy talks like this all the time, THEN what else is true about him?" and went from there.