Liked Funny People? Then You'll Love Randy: The Movie! (Or Not)
Among the varyingly funny people in Funny People is Randy, an obnoxious comedian played by actual comedian and truth-in-giant-movie-screen-advertising consumers' rights activist Aziz Ansari.
Randy's Indian, but he delivers his scabrous, mean-spirited routine like a black man, has a tendency TO YELL THE UNDERLYING PREMISE OF HIS JOKES, then punctuates his punchlines by shouting things like "WHOAWHOAWHOA --- WHOOAAAAA!!!" while spinning with his arms in the air or doing a side-to-side shuffle. The general effect is one of making you want to get out of your seat and literally punch a hole in the movie screen. Who Raaaaaaaandy (he insists you spell his name "with 8 As") is parodying is up for debate: Is it Apatow confronting the audience with their own approval of his signature, juvenile brand of crass dick-humor? Is it supposed to draw a line between "bad" comedians and "good" comedians? Or is it just a Möbius strip of insider parody, funny because it's not funny because it's funny because it's not funny?
Whatever the case, Apatow's into it, and he told Movieline about his plans to spin Raaaaaaaandy off into his own movie:
Is it true that you want to do something for the Randy character -- his own project?
We have been kicking around a funny idea for a Randy movie. Now Randy has a small part in the movie, but Aziz created such a hilarious character that we instantly felt bad, and wanted to do more with him. So with my own money, I financed all these documentaries about what Randy's personal and work life are like, and we put those on FunnyOrDie.com. There's three mini-docs and a couple more going up. And recently we hashed the thought for what could be a really funny Randy movie, so we'll see. We'll see. Aziz is one of the great comic minds, and I think he's going to do something amazing, and I hope I'm there when it happens.
Is it easier to write bad comedy, or parody bad comedy, than it was to actually write legitimately funny comedy?
Generally all I have to do is try to write something good, and it will come out like a parody. So my friend Joel Madison, who wrote for Undeclared and is a good friend of mine, we sat down and wrote some of the Yo Teach! material with our co-producers Brendan O'Brien and Andrew Cohen, we did roundtables like it was a TV show, and came up with episodes. And we put a lot of extra episodes on our website, FunnyPeopleMovie.com.
So you actually "broke" this in a writers' room?
We sat at a table -- it becomes a writers' room instantly. And then we have an iTunes podcast that has a lot of documentaries about how me made all the aspects of the movie. But it was really fun to come up with all of those ideas. It was important to me that they felt like real movies, not like gigantic parodies of movies. Because I wanted to make sure that I didn't destroy the reality level by going too far mocking these things. Because the truth is every one of those movies has either been made or is in active development right now. It's not a stretch that they would make any of these movies. There might even be a good version of them. These movies are all execution. I'm the first guy to go to a merman movie, but if you pulled it off... ♦