By Ryan Meehan and James Draper
Brad Sherwood is a regular cast member on ABC’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? and was a regular on the British version on Comedy Central as well. His credits include The Drew Carey Show, The Green Screen Show, The Smartest Guy In Town, Jury Duty, VH-1’s I Love The 70s, 80s, & 90s, and over 100 sketch appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Brad was last seen in the ABC improv series called “Trust Us WithYour Life”, produced by the makers of Whose Line and co-starring Wayne Brady and many of his that show’s cast members. The series hosted by Fred Willard had famous celebrity guests who told stories about their lives and the improv cast reenacted these scenes in their own funny way. In 2011, the entire cast was reunited in Vegas for Drew Carey’s Improv-a-Ganza, a new series which aired for one season on GSN. Brad’s other past credits include a season on LA Law, To Tell The Truth, The Newz, guest hosting Talk Soup, and hosting The New Dating Game and the Science Channel’s “Punkin Chuckin”. Brad is currently touring North America with Colin Mochrie in the very successful and critically acclaimed, two-man improv show appropriately titled “An Evening With Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood”. We are delighted to have him as our guest today in 5 questions.
RM: As an American born comedian, how did you end up on British television?
BS: At the age of ten, I was smuggled aboard a steamship to Wales, where I worked as a coal inspector for several years until people just assumed I was from the United Kingdom. Then, I shined shoes outside Channel 4 Studios for farthings and scraps of meat. One day, a tall, Canadian man wearing enormous, blue, leather Oxfords invited me into the television studio to sing a hoedown. The rest is history.
JD: Are there any projects you’ve turned down, for whatever reason, that you now regret? Are there any projects you’ve put together that never came to fruition, but you still hold on to? (scripts, show ideas, plays, etc)
BS: Well, this is actually TWO QUESTIONS. And looking ahead at the rest of your questionnaire entitled “5 Questions”, I see that four of your questions are actually 2 questions each, for a total of ten questions that are masquerading as five questions. As to your questions, I haven’t ever passed on a show that turned into something amazing. Showbiz has become a bus terminal full of reality stars. You can now be famous for making moonshine, shooting gators, or getting pregnant at fifteen. The TV landscape has really changed. Reality TV is like global warming for scripted comedy & drama programming. And writers and performers are standing on the ever-shrinking talent glacier.
RM: Do you feel as if you have more freedom with doing standup as opposed to improv?
BS: I don’t do stand up. (This is Question 4, posing as Question 3, by the way) I can’t imagine having much more freedom than doing improv. I get to say whatever I want in every show.
RM: You’ve done a lot of sketch work on “The Tonight Show”…What’s it like working with Leno? Is he generally helpful when it comes to fellow comedians asking him questions about the industry?
BS: I did sketches on the Tonight Show when Jay first took over. He was always very nice to me. I never asked him questions about the industry. (You should never ask a lot of questions of a big star on a set.)
JD: As a stand up, I have a few jokes I can go to a lot and know they usually go over well. However, saying them so often, they’ll feel overdone (even in front of crowds that have never heard them). Having performed improv as much as you have, is there a specific character you’ll go to a lot of times? Is there one that you’ve played so often, you get tired of it?
BS: We sometimes play characters, if we are doing an improv scene in a certain film genre, but mostly we are just trying to get ourselves into and out of trouble in a funny way. I may start with an attitude, or an accent, but I don’t have a bag of characters that I consciously go to, during a show. Generally, the genesis of an improv scene is dictated by an audience suggestion, so you just hit the ground running in a “nuclear power plant being attacked by monkeys”. Your brain is so busy addressing that reality, that it is not trying to inject a previously conceived character into the mayhem.
RM: What’s coming next for Brad Sherwood in the remainder of 2013? Anything in the works that we should know about?
BS: Colin Mochrie and I will be at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal in July, and we tentatively have a tour this winter in Australia (their summer), and a return tour to India. (Yes, we are very popular in India)
Official Website: http://www.bradsherwood.com/index_flash.html
Brad on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBradSherwood
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