On the heels of a successful tour with his boys and co-stars of the TBS hit show Sullivan & Son, Roy Wood Jr. is more than ready to shine all on his own. This Thursday through Sunday, the Alabama native headlines the Brea Improv and we used it as an excuse to drill him about his alcohol consumption, to get the scoop on his show and cast mates, and we just had to give him a little shit about his TV wardrobe. Seriously, have you seen it?
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I heard you just got back in town. Where were you?
Roy Wood Jr: I had gone over to Thailand for a couple of days and then to Hawaii with the guys from Sullivan & Sons. We just concluded our summer tour in Hawaii so that was pretty cool. Hawaii is a very different place to say the least.
Hawaii is just too nice, and I know that sounds weird. But I grew up in a high crime neighborhood in Birmingham and I've lived in L.A. for the past seven years so you just get used to a certain level of asshole. You become comfortable with it and in Hawaii everyone is so nice so you literally stop trusting people. Hawaii just needs a town asshole, some jerk to ride around and keep it balanced. Just riding up and down the street screaming expletives like the ice cream man.
Ha! Can you imagine? Some guy riding around doing random shanking's just because?
[Laughs.] Yeah something to keep people's heads on swivel! No one locks doors in Maui and I'm in a fortress! Maybe I'm just a paranoid idiot who needs to relax a little bit.
You're not, it is really nice over there. Well congrats on Sullivan & Son getting picked up for a third season.
Yeah that's good news. I'm more excited at the fact that we get three extra episodes next season. It should be a good time. There is just something about having thirteen episodes instead of ten because you can really take your time with these characters. We're not like most comedies because we have a ten man cast. So we have a lot of personalities and storylines to feed every week. You have to make sure everyone gets a line and I think when you have thirteen episodes, it's not as prevalent for the writers.
I know you're off now but when do you start taping?
We probably won't start until February of next year so we're done for a while. I'm excited to break away from those idiots for a little bit and work on my own endeavors. [Laughs.] I love the tour but when you spend three months on set and another two on the road with the same four dudes, you kind of want to get away for a minute. [Laughs.]
Yeah that's what I was wondering. You guys are together so much. There must be some quirks that start driving you all crazy.
I think we all have something that annoys the other in a brotherly type of way. I'm always late to the lobby for hotel pick up, which does nothing to help the stereotype of black people. Hey, sometimes I'm just late! I don't know what it is! The most embarrassed I've ever been was when I missed a Saturday 8p.m. flight. Like, how do you miss a Saturday 8p.m. flight in L.A.? There's not even any traffic at that point. I literally had no excuse. I just told them, it's because I'm black. It is what it is. The only guy that I sometimes beef with on the show is Owen Benjamin. We'll sometimes hit a bar after the show and he has the ability to attract the most fun people in the room and the weirdest people in the room. And it's just his vibe, it's nothing he's doing deliberately. Owen will do high fives and a couple shots and the next thing you know, Owen is gone and I'm left talking to some dude telling me how he used to hunt sheep. First of all, you can't hunt sheep sir. You can herd sheep or buy sheep. And he was saying it all braggadocios like he was a buck hunter!
That's insane. Speaking of bars, you drink a lot of beer on the show and I was wondering what it is actually made of.
We drink a lot of different things on set because I think legally, you can't drink on camera. The main thing is O'Doul's, which is a non-alcoholic beer. We also drink ginger ale and apple juice. I go for the ginger ale because it's a lot lighter than most beers. When you see people on set drinking whiskey or any kind of cocktail, it's basically just colored water with fake ice cubes in it. It's very weird to see on set. In real life I can't stand beer. I can drink some of those ciders but for the most part if I'm going to enjoy something to get a buzz, beer takes too long! It's a waste of real estate in my stomach. If I'm going to drink something to get in a more celebratory mood, it should be something with a higher alcohol content. That's all I'm trying to say.
You also rock the fuck out of khaki pants and a polo shirt on the show, do you wear them in real life?
No! I've never really enjoyed them. I mean, I wore khaki's a little bit when I first started stand-up because I was nineteen. I'd wear khaki's and a blazer on stage because I thought it made me look older and then people would take me a little bit more serious. But no, now I hate khaki's. It's crazy though because now I actually don't mind a nice two button polo shirt but now, I'm weary of even wearing that.
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So I'll assume that you'll be styling in Brea then.
[Laughs.] Exactly! I have a new stand-up CD coming out this fall tentatively titled, "Things I Think When I Drink," but most of the stuff I'll be doing in Brea is new and separate from that. My hour is a little more intense as far as the subject matter and how I approach edgier things. Because when you only have twenty minutes like I do when I'm with the Sullivan & Sons tour, it's not a lot of time to build an act the way you want to. When you're trying to build up something and take the audience on an emotional journey, you don't have a lot of time for that in twenty minutes. With an hour, I'll be weaving it all together!
Roy Wood Jr. performs at the Brea Improv September 12th through 15th, 120 South Brea Blvd. 92821, (714) 482-0700. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info, check out his website www.RoyWoodJr.com and follow him on Twitter: @RoyWoodJr.