Actor and comedian Steve Rannazzisi kills it as Kevin MacArthur on the FXX show The League but on December 26th though December 28th (Friday-Sunday), you can ditch the family (unless they're cool) because he'll be rolling into town to bust up your holiday by bringing down the house at the Brea Improv. We chatted it up with Rannazzisi before his Brea dates to see what he thinks about the Sony leaks, what's in store for him in 2015, and to whine about how sad we are that The League will be filming their final season.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Since you're in the industry, what are your thoughts on the Sony hack? If you'd rather not comment I understand because this interview will in fact be leaked publicly.
Steve Rannazzisi: Oh I mean to me, I don't have any direct impact with the movie or anything like that but in general, I understand they're in a tough situation. They made a movie for a certain amount of money, they want that money back in return, and their hands are tied. To be able to censor yourself and not put it out is a very difficult process. I'm sort of in the camp where I understand the business perspective because of obligations but, I'd rather have seen it released in theatres. And I'm sure that they will figure it out on some platform. People will see this movie. But yeah, we can't let a dictator actually start dictating. What's ridiculous is that it's a Seth Rogan movie so it's not like it's some serious important piece but, that's the level that it's been taken to now. It's not like they're doing Schindler's List here! So yeah, I'm in full support of them getting the movie out.
I feel the same way because come on, it's a comedy! I was also thinking that if they release it on some download platform, it could change the way the world watches movies. I would think if that's successful, people would follow suit.
Of course, yeah. I know they'll figure it out whether it be some sort of Netflix release or online the way Louis CK does his specials. They'll absolutely figure it out. It's just a tough blow when it actually isn't going to be released on a wide screen on Christmas day. That's a tough thing for them and for people across the country I think also. It's also the most talked about movie all over right now so it's turned into a cultural thing. There's a lot of social awareness about it right now so I think that it'll end up being huge in the long run. It's a comedy and it's important that it not be censored or anything get censored for that matter.
Well I think the movie looked great anyway but you're right, I want to see it now more than ever. I'm bummed to hear that The League's seventh season will be its last. Any ideas on how it will end? Maybe a giant plane crash but no one finds the bodies so it can come back one day pretty please?
Oh yeah, the dream sequence of sorts? [Laughs.] I met with the creators last weekend and they haven't even started thinking about what we will do next year yet. We just finished last season about a month ago so we're just trying to cleanse our palates on the filth that we brought forth last season. We'll get down to writing in the next couple of months but in all honesty, seven years is a great time for a show. We feel like we've exhausted a lot of storylines and characters. There are a lot of jokes that we've made so we're excited about going out on our own terms and it'll be really, really funny.
I'm guessing The League is partially scripted but seeing as how you are around so many funny people and have such great banter with each other, is there a lot of improvising?
There is! The show is mainly improvised in the form of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Seinfeld” because there really is no script per se, it's more of an outline. It's like a twelve page outline that'll say, “In this scene you're in a bar with Jenny and Taco and you're playing Pete this week.” Then we shit talk back and forth. It's more conversational so we bead out a path and there is always room for going off of the path and deviation. It's a fun way to shoot a show, it really is. Editing is a nightmare but that's not my job so I don't worry about that. [Laughs.]
With 2015 right around the corner, do you have any cool new projects that you'll be dazzling us with?
Yes! I am going to be writing a new show for FX with my friend Ari Shaffir that we sold. I'll also be doing some promotional work with the fine people over at Buffalo Wild Wings next year as well. Also, I'll be getting all of my material together for a new special.
Is that what you're doing now then? Working out material for a new special?
Yeah, this is a whole new hour apart from “Manchild” and will hopefully be shot around April. It's all new stuff that you guys haven't seen before so it's a lot of working, fixing, retooling, messing around, losing stuff, and gaining stuff. That'll happen from now until I shoot the special. That's how it works.
So give us a sneak preview. What kind of things will you be talking about to the people in Brea who are wasted off holiday eggnog?
Oh I'm sure! Everyone is going to be balls out and sick of their family. They'll just want to be drunk and have a good time. At least that's what I'm hoping for! I'm still a dad because they let me keep my kids so I talk about them, I'm very self-deprecating although I have a high sense of myself which is a battle I have, there's some really funny stories about my wife in there as well, and I talk a little about drugs again. There's a lot of cool and different material this time around. I haven't been to the Brea Improv in a while and I love that club. It was one of the first road gigs I ever did. Pauly Shore took me there in 2002 and that was the first time I ever performed there so I'm looking forward to coming back!
Check out Steve Rannazzisi at the Brea Improv December 26th through 28th, 120 South Brea Blvd. Brea, CA 92821. (714) 482-0700. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info and to see where he'll be next, go to Steve's website www.SteveRannazzisi.com, follow him on Twitter at @SteveRannazzisi, and on his Instagram.