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Comedian Nick Kroll Talks NOLA Routine, Hip-Hopera Before Civic Gig
As New Orleans’ local comedy scene continues to grow, the newly renovated Civic Theatre is attracting some pretty big national names. Nick Kroll, widely known as Ruxin from The League, and the titular star of his own sketch comedy show, is coming December 7. NoDef spoke with Kroll about his latest projects, the star’s affinity for the Big Easy and diarrhea.
While Kroll only recently rose to A-list comedy success, the 35-year-old honed his comedic skills with the Upright Citizens Brigade in the 1990’s. Now, the comedian’s work is a mix of sketch comedy with beloved characters such as Bobby Bottleservice, occasional roles on shows like Parks and Recreation as The Douche and stand up.
When asked where Bobby Bottleservice originated, Kroll said it was his attempts at flirting that led him to the popular persona.
“It was really a way to talk to girls, kind of as a joke to my friends like ‘This kind of guy hits on you,’ Kroll continued, ‘But really I’m kind of hitting on you now, maybe it’d be funnier if it was just a character."
Bobby Bottleservice is a regular on The Kroll Show, where Kroll said he and his love interest, Farley (Chelsea Paretti) will be popping up together quite a bit in season 2.
“One of the things that I’m going to show in New Orleans is a sketch from season 2,” Kroll explained. “It’s a kind of hip-hopera, the ‘Ballad of Bobby B,’ with him and Farley,” said Kroll. “Sort of like Trapped in the Closet-esque,” said Kroll, referencing R. Kelly’s modern classic.
When it comes to standup, Kroll said that he rarely encounters troublemakers in the audience, save for a few drunken divas.
“There is usually one super drunk girl at a show who is genuinely excited to be there but just doesn’t quite keep it together. I try to reason with her, it’s not the easiest to reason with someone who is crazy drunk and excited,” said the seasoned performer.
The native of New York seldom finds time to come to the Big Easy, but when he does, he says it is always distinctive.
“Before I do standup, specifically in New Orleans, my routine is pretty regimented. I eat like a poboy, a really hot Bloody Mary or two, then I get half drunk and really tired, and I drink like a very rich cup of coffee to get myself some energy, and a couple of beignets. Then I get diarrhea. At that point I feel focused and ready to perform,” said Kroll.
On a serious note, Kroll said that he is really disappointed that he won’t be able to spend more time in New Orleans.
“There are two or three cities in the country that I get really excited about the hang and also the audiences,” said Kroll. “New Orleans is definitely one of them.”
While standup routines traditionally stick to a kind of playlist from venue to venue, Kroll said he tries to tailor each show to its respective city.
“I think it makes it more fun for the audience to make them think that they’re seeing something on that one night only. At the end of the show, I’ll take some questions and requests,” Kroll said.
Kroll’s last trip to the Crescent City was during the chaotic Super Bowl/Mardi Gras season of 2012.
“I’m excited to have it just for me and the City of New Orleans,” said Kroll. “Heads up that the lights will likely go out for about 25 minutes in the middle of the show.”
Kroll's show is Saturday, December 7 at the Civic Theatre (510 O' Keefe) at 8 p.m. Buy tickets here.
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