In my dream job, I would sit in a comfortable chair and interview rad people about rad stuff — apparently I conceived of this job back in the early 90s when people still used terms like “rad.” But Geoff Garlock and Mike Pace are pretty much living my dream job (except for the comfortable chairs part — those chairs look “just okay”).
Geoff and Mike have the enviable gig of interviewing celebrities about the hard road to the top. While they touch on a few other points as they arise, the crux of the show is getting to the absolute bottom of the absolute bottom, and finding out at what point each guest was at their performance low — the moment when shit just couldn’t get any worse (and, fortunately, to this point, hasn’t).
The duo, in their transition from a hit podcast team to YouTube channel hosts have already scored a major interview in their first guest: one H. Jon Benjamin, the voice behind the likes of “Sterling Archer” and “Bob” of “Bob’s Burgers. That’s pretty much the definition of a rad guest, but these guys seem to be taking it all in stride (their guests for the just-released episode 2? The Scottish Rock band “Frightened Rabbit;” vid above). They’ve come up independently together on the music circuit and somehow it all came together at a little dog park in the New York area. Hell, maybe one day someone will put up a plaque at that dog park? And maybe dogs will pee on that plaque out of blinding respect … or indifference. Somehow I think it will be all good either way.
The point is, Official Comedy has Geoff and Mike now, and clearly they are in capable hands. I could say a whole bunch more about them (and most of it would be really nice), but I figure it’s best to just let the guys speak for themselves. For the new media win, here’s NMR sitting down with the hosts of the hot, new Worst Gig Ever (of course, there’s about 3,000 miles between us, but so what?):
I hear that Worst Gig Ever was adapted from your podcast — what was the reason for the move? And be honest: is it because no one listens to podcasts anymore?
Geoff Garlock: We had been recording our podcast, “Worst Gig Ever,” for a little over a year and had some modest success; we had gotten solid guests and had some great episodes. And even though as you say, no one listens to podcasts, someone was listening … and that someone was Official Comedy. They approached us about developing the podcast into a web show, which honestly we had never even thought about. We just enjoyed doing the podcast. As we started talking, we realized the universality of the concept and how well it would work visually and on YouTube. That being said, we are preparing ahead of time for the death of the internet, so get ready for the future “Worst Gig Ever” hologram input. Stick it right in your brain and enjoy as our faces take over your mind and body. It will be like a Philip K. Dick novel come to life.
How in the hell did you guys score H. Jon Benjamin for your first guest?
Mike Pace: We’d love to tell you that he’s Geoff’s father, but the more mundane answer is that our very talented booking agent convinced him.
What do you guys consider your worst gig ever?
Geoff: My worst gig ever was an ill-fated three-week tour of the UK that my old band Panthers did around 2005. We had no record out over there, almost every show was terrible, our van was broken into, we fired our driver who ended up dying not that long after, and got mentally broken a thousand times over. It will all be documented in my book, “Why A Band Should Never Tour The UK For Longer Than Two Days Unless You Are Pink Floyd.”
Mike: I once did stand-up comedy in the cafeteria of a halfway house way out on Long Island in front of 40 of the most down-on-your-luck dudes in rehab and lost their collective interest within 30 seconds. Guys started sighing loudly, getting up and walking out, and after about three incredibly uncomfortable minutes I apologized and sprinted out of the room.
How did you come up with the format for the show in the first place?
Mike: Geoff and I knew each other peripherally through playing music, and living in the same neighborhood we’d run into each other at the dog park. What was weird was that neither of us had dogs. We’d kibitz about our lives, 90s Tri-State area hardcore bands, movies, and all types of comedy and realized that we had a lot of these experiences. “Oh, you played that place too? Yeah, that sucked!” I took one of Geoff’s sketch classes at UCB (Upright Citizen’s Brigade) and we tossed around the idea of a web series about a band that just plays awful shows (based on our own experiences). That seemed a tad ambitious, so we scaled back and decided to go the “talk” format, and between the two of us, we knew quite a few people in the New York music and comedy scenes, so things started to organically come together.