Fresh off the success of his special "Live at the Village Underground," comedian Robert Kelly is making big moves and stirring all kinds of pots. (Calm down, it's not a "food in a pot" fat joke.) And just when you wanted more of Bobby (of course you did), you'll be getting it Thursday nights when he plays "Bam Bam" the drummer extraordinaire for "The Heathens" on Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll on FX. And if you think that living the lifestyle of a comic differs from a "rock and roll lifestyle," well, you'd be wrong but don't be too hard on yourself! We didn't really realize it either until Kelly rang us up at 3:30am proving that at least the hours they keep are quite similar. Oddly enough, ours are too. On his way to do press, Bobby agreed to give us some comedic press relief about his new gig with an impromptu Q&A about the show straight from the airport. Talk about a multitasker!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So you were saying on The Anthony Cumia Show that your part in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll was actually written with you in mind so I'm wondering, how was the audition process? What if you fucked it up?
Robert Kelly: Well actually, I found out after that they wrote the part for me but I thought I was auditioning for it. I knew the character was a drummer and that I didn't know how to drum so I went and learned how to. I know there are a lot of comedians out there that can play drums and are in the age bracket so I didn't want anyone to fucking get it because I didn't know how to play drums, you know? I didn't know he wrote it for me though. I didn't even need to audition, that was crazy.
So when you found out that Denis wrote it for you, you were still happy you learned how to play drums right? I mean, this is now a skill you'll have for a lifetime!
Oh yeah, it's great! If I could go back and change it I wouldn't. It would've been a lot harder for me if I didn't do any learning or practice on my own, I would've been fucked. People don't realize how hard it is to make your feet, hands, and arms do different shit at the same time. It's stupid ridiculously hard! And then add in my egghead brain and it's even more ridiculous.
I asked my parents for a drum set a couple of years in a row at Hanukkah and I never got it. I get it now but damn, I could've been a way cuter Ringo Starr by now.
That's such a sad story. That makes me want to buy you a drum kit. You could've been in a girl band touring Europe right now. You could've been in Europe right now blowing some Irish guy. [Laughs.] Hellllllo!!
Who knew getting a drum set could've potentially helped my social life? And yet here I am, alone on a Thursday at 3:30am talking to you...
Hey, it's just another way to look at it. And, you have no Irish jizz in your mouth. It really is sad.
I'm sure they won't be happy about me talking about Irish jizz so let's move on. I know all about it but for our readers, care to break down your character on the show? The short version if you will.
The short version? Fuck that, you're about to do some work mother fucker! [Laughs.] OK, the short version. It's about a band that never made it and I play a typical drummer. He's kind of neutral and loves the band but he's not the lead singer or the guitarist so you know, he always kinda gets pushed to the back. So he used to be a sexy and hot mother fucking heathen and now it's 2015 and I'm bald and fat with an eating addiction instead of being addicted to drugs and pussy. He looks like every lesbian comedian on the planet right now. It's just about adjusting to that lifestyle.
Gotcha. I was reading the bio on Bam Bam and he bears a striking resemblance to you. So really, is it a character you're playing or is it you as a drummer?
Well I think because Leary wrote it with me in mind, I was that guy. It's weird because it has my life in there with food problems and struggling with weight so yeah, I would say it's part me. [Laughs.] Leary basically said, I'm writing it for this crazy cock sucker.I would think that if you were tight with Denis Leary that you'd name drop him more because, I would! I didn't even know he was your homeboy!
Yeah! I mean, look, he's from a different time and he's a legend in the business for twenty years and then some! To be iconic enough to voice a Ford commercial or Chevy or whatever the fuck it was and people knew, that's big. He's got that man voice that's all man. That's some crazy shit! He's just got this cool punk and rock and roll vibe to him. He's got a parallel to everything. I met him in 2000 on "The Job" and the first day we shot was on 9/11 so it was pretty epic. I think "Rescue Me" spawned because of 9/11 and his support for the fire departments with his charities, it's such an asset.
There really is no denying how kick ass he is but you avoided the name drop scenario. If I knew him I'd be like, yo me and Leary, sushi. Me and Leary, hitting the club! You know...
[Laughs.] I mean, what bigger name drop is there than to have someone put you on a TV show? There's no bigger name drop. I mean, my name is next to his on everything! It's pretty surreal, you understand?
Yeah you're right, I get that. So real talk. I'm a huge fan of yours and I'm seriously elated this is happening for you. It's so god damn exciting. Are you just like, FINALLY?!?!
I don't know. It's a job and if it gets picked up, it gets picked up. It's finally like, I'm on a show as a regular and I'm not doing these tiny things which are awesome, but yeah, it's great to be on this. I get to hang out with the cast and they're cool as shit so this whole thing is really great. I usually come in and do a couple of days on something but to film an entire series and to be a family is crazy. So yeah, I'm overwhelmed about it. I just gotta make sure people like it now!
They will. I really have a gut feeling about it and I'm pumped for you. Your look on the show is a touch different in real life sooo....ever rock the wardrobe at home and engage in a little role play with the wife?
No! Some of the stuff was mine but not the shirts and the vests. I mean, I'm not going to wear a vest! I will wear John Varvatos Converse though. You know who should get an Emmy? The poor wardrobe lady who had to dress a fat guy to look cool. They don't make cool leather jackets in my size.
Jesus H. you are so hard on yourself! OK last thing. If you had to pick one friend to do a cameo as like, a gay groupie or something, who would it be? Also, please say Keith Robinson.
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Well the only one who would do it would be Jim Norton because he'd be the one to pull it off. I mean, I'd want it to be Keith Robinson but he wouldn't do it. If I asked him to be a gay fan of mine he'd hit me over the head with a red wine bottle. If I could though, I'd make him say something like, "Hey big daddy. Can I hold your sticks?" [Laughs.] I'd love to see that!
Tune in to Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll on FX Thursday nights starting July 16th at 10pm and for more info on the show, check out www.FXNetworks.com and follow the action on Twitter @SDRRFX. For all things Bobby, go to his website www.RobertKellyLive.com, tune into to his podcast YKWD on Riotcast, and follow him on Twitter @RobertKelly.