With impressive showcases on television, radio and in the realm of prank calls, Roy Wood, Jr. is becoming much, much more than just a comic. Having Chelsea Handler, Craig Ferguson, and David Letterman all thinking you’re hilarious doesn’t hurt too bad either. And now the Twitter-holic comedian/actor with shows like Def Comedy Jam, Chelsea Lately, and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend already under his belt has set his sights on sitcoms. Cast as “Roy” in the new TBS comedy Sullivan & Son, Roy looks to be on your screen and DVR for years to come. So I thought it was time to pick up the phone and chat it up with the scene stealing funny man and see how life has been with on the set of the new show. He dares you to change the channel.
What has the experience been like so far with getting everything ready for the premiere of Sullivan & Son?
It’s fun yet hectic. We work an average of 8-10 hours a day rehearsing and doing all of our walkthroughs for the show. And then on the 5th production day we tape that episode in front of a live audience. It’s been a rush to do shows live in front of people. In that regard it makes this aspect of acting feel a lot like live-stand-up. My only concern is that my mom approves of the crazy two button polo shirts and khakis my character has to wear. People who know me, know that is an outfit they’d NEVER see me in. And they damn sure wouldn’t see me tuck my shirt in.
How did you get involved with the show?
The usual audition process. It’s funny how in LA an audition for a role that you’re not right for can easily lead to a role that you are right for. The casting directors for this show remembered me from a previous audition and called me in for this project. I ended up auditioning three or four times for the project before landing the part. The other stand up comedians on the show (Steve Byrne, Ahmed Ahmed, and Owen Benjamin) I’ve known from past TV gigs and festivals, but this was my first time working with comics in a capacity other than straight up performing.
What similarities are there between you and your character?
In the sense of needing a drink now and then to navigate through life I think in that regard we’re the same. What I can’t relate to is the cause of his drinking. My character runs a home video store that still rents VHS tapes and sells electronics. Now THAT is a depressing life. Even for a comedian that’s a hard life. My character is married but I am not. That’s probably the biggest difference.
The show is executive produced by Vince Vaughn. How hands-on has he been and what has it been like working with him?
Vince has been extremely helpful along with other executive producers Rob Long (Cheers) & Peter Billingsly (Ironman). Taping days go about 7-8 hours and on those days Vince Vaughn is right there in the thick of it all making decisions on camera angles and giving actors notes between takes. Considering that he’s gearing up to promote his own movie this summer (the Watch).
What are some big dates coming up in your calendar?
Well this summer myself and the other aforementioned comics on this show will be on tour through September on the ‘Sullivan & Son’ tour. Dates are on my website (roywoodjr.com). Outside of that I’m preparing for the release of my first ever comedy album this fall as well as my final prank call CD.
Sullivan & Son premieres on TBS July 19 at 9pm CST.