Sketch & Solo Performances
Film & TV
The Jester Interviews
How would say you’ve become a better performer over the years?
CS: Hard work. Although I don’t practice as much as I wish I would, I do
firmly believe in perspiration over inspiration. What’s really affected
my performances is always doing shows. As soon as one ends, you put the
next one up and just keep constantly working at it. Not ever take a
J: Will you be doing more television or film?
CS: Yes. I’ve been acting in bits on Conan for a couple years now.
They’re super nice to me. I do those pretty frequently.
J: What would you say have been your best and worst experiences in
CS: Let me go worst first. Worst would be a show I did in Comedy Sports
in Minnesota. Comedy Sports is a little different from the improv you
see at UCB because it’s short form. It’s more gimmicky. You play
pre-decided games rather than discovering or creating the games
yourself. They would try to tailor … we call them ‘remote’ shows, or
they were called 'touring shows.' We would have to tailor those
shows to a group we were performing for. If it was some business thing,
they would give us a list of buzzwords we’d have to work into the show.
There was one, I can’t remember what the group was but for some reason
they had it in an airplane hangar. There’s a thing in Minnesota called
the Planes of Fame Air Museum. They had old World War II planes and etc.
-- which was cool because I like World War II stuff.
J: It sounds like it wouldn’t be conducive.
CS: Yea, it’s a hangar, so the acoustics are horrible. It had something
to do with aircraft carriers. Anyway, we had to dress up in sailor suits
to do this improv show. They had these sailor suits for us that were so
lame -- that looked like the gondola dudes from Venice. We had to wear
these silly round hats and tight white pants. I remember we were saying
‘I can’t believe we’re about to do an improv show dressed as sailors in
a fucking airplane hangar.’ It’s totally embarrassing and bizarro -- I
relish the memory because it was hilarious. That’s what always pops into
my head when people ask about the worst show.
J: I bet not too many of your current colleagues can boast that kind of
CS: Who knows? People have been in some weird situations.
The best experience -- I have a couple in my head. Bob Oedenkirk is one
of my heroes. I admire him and think he’s the best. Through a series of
circumstances, he found out about my show and came to see it. I did a
special show for him last October -- he wasn’t the only one in the
audience, but I set it up just for him to see, with a big sold out
audience, and he came. I got to do “You’re Welcome” for him to see and
it was like a dream come true, getting to do a show I was really proud
of and I really liked for the guy I really look up to. I got to meet him
afterward and talk with him for a bit. I totally had no idea what to
say, but it was a really cool moment in comedy for me. It was great to
have a little five-minute conversation with your hero.
The other one … my other hero in comedy, who I’ve been very lucky to
actually become friends with, is a writer for Conan named Kevin Dorff.
He used to do Second City. I first saw him performing Assscat when I was
an intern at UCB. He’s the best improviser, a great writer, he’s
awesome. I got to know him from doing Conan bits.
We’re both into history and play Axis & Allies, which is sort of like
Risk but hyper-complicated. I forget why they called me for a Conan bit.
It was at the last minute and for some reason they needed me at the last
minute. I would drop anything to do a Conan bit. So I ran in, got there
and did the bit, and it went pretty good. I came out of the studio and
Kevin says ‘You’re one hell of a soldier.’ I remember that as a
particular moment that sticks out in my mind as ‘Wow!’ A dude I really
look up to gave me this awesome compliment.
J: Are there other influences as well?
CS: My main two are the two I just mentioned. Bob Oedenkirk and Kevin
Dorff are probably the ones I look up to most in comedy. But also, it
may be standard answers, but of famous people, Steve Martin, David
Cross, Richard Pryor -- those are the comedians I watched when I was a
kid and really love. But a lot of my influences are guys I know who
write for shows or do stuff on shows that I like -- I like other Conan
writers -- all the Conan writers are great and funny. I would aspire to
be like them as a writer and performer.
J: Do you also think about writing more?
CS: I write for all the sketch shows with
Bobby, Eugene and PCR, and I wrote my one-man show. I want to write and perform for TV and movies --
J: Any upcoming projects?
CS: At the moment we’re just running Buffoons and I’m doing improv with
Reuben Williams on the weekends. Me and Bobby are working on trying to
pitch TV shows. If anything like that happens, that would be awesome.
When this one ends, we’ll just write the next one. Maybe I’ll try to do
another one-man show, like a story show. My last one man show was about
characters. The kind of one man show where you tell stories about your
life. I’m fiddling around with that in my brain but haven’t started on