Adult Swim interview
Adam Ramos | Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Recently the U.S. news system has gone a bit off the deep end, and lucky for us, Adult Swim has taken sweet advantage of it with their hilarious show “Newsreaders.”
Smart, funny and relevant, with an impressive cast to boot, Adult Swim’s “Newsreaders” gets it right.
I had the opportunity to speak with two of the show’s stars, Alison Becker and Beth Dover, about the show’s strong second season, currently underway. Check out Adult Swim’s “Newsreaders” Thursdays at midnight.
AR: I just wanted to start off by saying the new season of “Newsreaders” is going really well. Really funny — every episode has been great.
AB: Thank you!
AR: This season has a new list of guest appearances. Who, for you, has been the most fun to have on set?
BD: That’s hard to say because a lot of these are shot separately, so I never got to meet David Hasselhoff. I never got to do that. It was a real sad moment for me.
AB: I got to meet David Hasselhoff!
BD: See, Alison got to meet David Hasselhoff.
AB: I was very excited to meet David Hasselhoff. Not gonna lie, I did not get to work with him — but he was the there the same day that I was shooting. He is very tall guys, like I didn’t realize.
BD: Like how tall is he?
AB: He is like 17 feet tall.
AR: Right, that sounds right.
BD: Wow. See, I was thinking like 16 feet —
AB: No [laughs] he’s tall, like 6’3, I’d say.
AR: Now, when you are doing improv I know a lot of the time it’s between exaggerating your own character and just picking up a completely new character. What’s it like for you guys for your characters Sadee Deenus [Dover] and Xandra Dent [Becker]?
BD: Well, I will say the show is not improv. There are improvised moments at the beginning and the end you can kind of play with and all that, but I mean yeah, we’re all stuck in our bodies so there will be some semblance of me in there.
But, I mean, Sadee Deenus is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. She’s overtly sexual, she likes much younger men, and I don’t — not that there is anything wrong with that.
BD: I mean, you’re in college…
AR: No it’s okay; the insult has already set in.
AB: She’s married, back off!
BD: I mean, for Xandra Dent, there are definitely characters I have brought more of myself to, this is not one of them, just because she is just so outrageous and so out there. So that’s a lot of fun for me, to just completely be another kind of character.
And that’s also why, you know, we get away with some of the really extreme jokes and stuff we make. It’s clearly not us saying it, it’s not our view. These like asinine views; they’re the views of these idiot characters.
AR: Right, which is kind of my favorite thing about “Newsreaders,” that mix between deep, smart satire and just pure, fun silliness. How do you manage that in your correspondences?
BD: I think we kind of take how the news approaches things, and we just talk about absurd things, you know. Because we trick you at first into thinking it’s a real news program, and were just talking about ridiculous nonsense.
AB: And you’re right, it’s kind of this mix between silliness and satire. We like to think we are making fun and we’re parodying the actual news media, like the way news is handled on these “60 Minutes”-type shows and these network news shows. They often just sensationalize the news and have these crazy graphics.
In a couple of pieces that I did, Xandra Dent pieces, the graphics department did such an amazing job with it. I’ll be talking about an iPhone and this graphic of a circuit board graphic will come up and I’ll be jumping over it. It’s just so ridiculous.
AR: So then what would you two say is your critique on how we receive the news in this nation?
BD: I mean, the 24-hour news cycle is ridiculous, just constantly needing something to say all the time. Like following a car chase — I have friends that watch these car chases. It’s just ridiculous.
AB: I have a lot of issues with it. I don’t like that we only focus on what’s happening in America because the rest of the world is going to affect us. I also don’t like how news presenters become celebrities because I don’t think they should be celebrities. I think they are just there to inform us, and I don’t they should be movie stars. I don’t know. That just really bothers me.
AR: I really think you can tell that you guys are making fun of that sort of thing on “Newsreaders” as well.
BD: Oh, absolutely.
AB: Oh good, I’m really glad that came through.
AR: Now, the new host for the season, Alan Tudyk, has been really funny, but to be honest I was a little hesitant because I liked Mather Zinkel so much last season. What changes have you noticed and how do you like them?
AB: Alan knocked it out of the park
BD: Yeah, I mean we’re so lucky to have Alan. He’s fantastic, and we love Mather too. They both bring such different — but equally great — things. You know we miss Mather, but we are very lucky to have Alan.
AR: Any big surprises left for the end of the season? Anything you could tell us?
BD: I am going to be talking about car testicles.
AR: Wow, okay.
BD: Yes, that’s the big story. It’s hard-hitting news presented by Dannah Phirman.
AB: And I will be in an upcoming episode in a dress made of entirely made of meat
AR: Perfect, channeling in your inner Lady Gaga
BD: And, I will be entering a “World’s Creepiest Man” contest.