by Ryan Meehan
Colton Dunn is a writer and producer on Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele”. He has performed and taught with the UCB theater since 1999. Other credits include NBC’s Park’s and Recreation, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, FX’s The League or E!’s Burning Love and the upcoming films Lazer Team and Killing Hasselhoff. He’s also written for Mad TV and Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time. On stage you can find him at Asssscat or The Ernie Barnes Experiment. He loves you, and he’s my guest today in 7 questions.
RM: How did you come to be known as Captain Dope?
CD: It’s my gamertag on both Xbox and Playstation. I was just trying to come up with a fun name and that’s the one I chose. I also think it’s a good nickname because dope can mean “cool” or “dumb”. I consider myself a pretty cool dumb guy.
RM: When you were in high school you quit the varsity basketball team to join the local ComedySportz improv troupe…What was the initial reaction that your parents had to that decision; and how long did it take you to really feel like you had made the right choice?
CD: My mother was very supportive. I was okay at basketball, but didn’t really like playing on the team. They took it very seriously. A former student named Jason Wooten started a Comedy Sportz team. I joined up with Nick Swardson. About 2 weeks into it I realized it was the right choice.
RM: Which one of the four original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade did you work with the most during your training at the theater; and what was it about working that particular individual that allowed you to strengthen your chops and mold yourself into the comedy writer that you are today?
CD: I never had a class with any of them. I learned from them by watching Asssscat. They all inspired me in different ways. Walsh showed me how funny just being real could be. Amy showed me how funny being committed could be. Ian showed me how funny emotion can be, and Besser showed me how funny logic could be.
RM: You recently made this list of comedians to watch in 2015 on Timeout.com…Who are some of the performers on this list that you’ve actually gotten to work with; and what do you have in common with the other individuals on that list that you’re familiar with?
CD: I know Neil Casey from UCB NYC. We didn’t do a lot of shows together but we used to drink too much at McManus. He’s very funny. I know Eliza Skinner from touring together years ago with a group called Chicago City Limits, she’s the funniest lady I know. We also date. I know Kate Berlant from the LA comedy scene. I’ve seen her multiple times and it’s always funny. Nicole Byer I know from UCB. She is also super funny.
RM: How would you best describe a day working on the production of “Key and Peele”? Why do you think that the working relationship those two share allows them to work so well together as a comedic team?
CD: A great day. Everyday writing on that show is a blast. The staff is all friends and the process is fluid and fun. Jordan and Keegan are genuine friends, that plus the fact they are both extremely talented makes for a great team.
RM: What is the “Blind Taste Test Pizza Challenge”; and how did the first installment of that come about?
CD: Haha! I had to look it up – I forgot about it. I believe that was Charlie’s idea. We ordered pizzas from all the major chains then “contestants” tried to match what pizza was what through a blind taste test.
RM: In all of your experience working as a writer on television shows, what have you found is the best way to clear your mind when it appears that all of the writers seem to be momentarily out of ideas? Is there any activity that you’ve found helps to ease everybody’s mind and allows them to temporarily escape from what’s going on in that room?
CD: Ping pong.
RM: Which portion of the joke writing process would you say that you struggle with the most; and which aspect of constructing new bits would you consider to be your specialty?
CD: Monologue jokes are tough. You have to write a lot to get a little. My specialty would be quickness – once we have an idea, I can write very fast.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
CD: Yes. I’ll be featured in movie called Killing Hasselhoff starring Ken Jeong, Jim Jefferies and of course David Hasselhoff. I also star in another upcoming movie called Lazer Team. It’s from Rooster Teeth and was the largest crowd funded movie on indiegogo. Those both will be coming out this year. You might also see me pop up in the final season of Parks and Rec. And of course look out for the second part of Key & Peele season 4 on Comedy Central.
Colton on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColtonDunn
Colton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/captdope
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