david cross

David Cross! AMA!

Hey everybody. As I understand it, you’ve got some Q’s – well, I’ve got some A’s.
My latest is HITS, which I wrote and directed. We’ve been releasing it in a nontraditional way with a pay-what-you-want model (you can read more about that here). Because it’s out today in all those cities in the aforementioned link, tonight is the night to go see the movie, and if you wanna see if it’s playing at a theater near you (and we’re in 50 cities and towns) go to HitsFilm.com and that has a list of theaters.
Alternately, you can also go to VHX to check out the film too.
I’m here once again with Victoria from reddit to answer your questions. AMA!

Do you think you’ll ever do another standup tour?

Absolutely. I’ve just been so busy, but I have been dying to do one. I’ve amassed a bunch of material over the last couple years, because it’s been several years since I’ve done one. I just need to make the time to get it ready. And my wife keeps nagging me about going back on tour.

What is your favorite type of firework?

The kind that comes from Katy Perry’s tits.

Who’s at your dream dinner party?

Oooh! That’s a good one.

Bill Hicks, The Prophet Mohammed, The Prophet Mohammed’s Handler, Kanye East, Lizzie Borden, Andy Kaufman, and Amber Tamblyn, Tyrese, and Mark Spits.

With food provided by Big Kev’s Bar-b-que.

Can you ask me a question?

stares out window


What is the difference between Georgian and Edwardian architecture again?

I read that you helped kickstart Kickstarter. Does that mean you get free gifts from every Kickstarter project? Like 1000’s of shitty CD’s?


No, and that’s a good thing. But yes, I was literally the first person to support it.

Really! Very first person!

I had to sign an NDA. And I met the guy, nice, sweet guy, in – you know, jeans and a t-shirt and a ripped flannel at a coffeeshop in the East Village, and he explained the idea, and I thought it was brilliant, kinda surprised nobody thought of it before, and I was like “whatever you need to help this, I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

What was your most awkward interaction with a fan?

Oh god.

With a fan? Well, this is going to sound very humble brag-ish, but for a brief time, I had a stalker in New York – actually, the first year i lived there. And this girl – it’s easy to find out where people live, and I lived on a 3rd floor walkup, so there was no doorman, or security, or anything, and she used to appear, quite frequently.

And that was probably the most awkward, disturbing fan. But believe me there have been dozens of awkward encounters. Sometimes my fault, but mostly the other person’s.

Is this new Mr. Show thing going to be a tv show, movie, or tour?

TV show.

Wish I could say more. Hopefully in the next 48 hours or so we have something more to say.

And Pit-Pat, unfortunately, was kidnapped by Boko Haram. We’re in the process of trying to negotiate its release.

What’s one thing in your comedy career that you haven’t done yet that you REALLY want to do?

Oooh, that’s a great question!

I guess… tour Antarctica.

My question though revolves around Grand Theft Auto. How did it come about to get the voice over part as Zero, and have you ever tried Zero’s remote control plane mission? Damn it’s hard.

Yes! Agreed! I skipped that mission, I tried for two days, and it was beyond frustrating to have to hear my nasally whiney voice berating me. But the way that happened was I accosted one of the Rockstar Games guys at a party, and I was drunk, I was visibly drunk, and I told him I loved the games, I was a big fan, and I would do anything, I’ll work for scale, just if you have anything you want me to do for the next game, please let me know, I’d love to be a part of it.

As a southerner- I think you have a lot of great observations in your standup. I especially love your take on Atlanta. Has your opinion of the city changed at all over the years?

Well, i have a love-hate relationship with Atlanta.

There are so many great, wonderful things about it. In fact, I was just there for Thanksgiving, visiting family, I was there for 5 days, and I remember I was walking around Decatur, and just thinking man, people are so nice here! They’re just nicer! Just pleasant people!

And I miss that in my travels. And I’ve come to appreciate it, now that I’m away from it.

But it’s also a frustrating city. It’s so blatantly pro-business, at the cost of trees and neighborhoods and history. And what the Atlanta Braves did is unconscionable. I can’t believe they are moving to Cobb County. That is so upsetting.

stares out window

But I do love the people there. And the music scene’s always been great.

Will we ever see anymore of Todd Margaret?


I head over to London on May 1st. We have a 3rd series planned, which I have absolutely no desire to do. I didn’t even know how you could even have a third season, since everybody dies? But IFC was adamant, and apparently it’s done very well on Netflix, and I reluctantly went back to the other writers and said “Hey, can you think of any other ideas, I just said out of professional respect and courtesy that I would ask y’all” and the one of the writers, Mark Chapel, emailed back about 45 minutes later with the most genius, cool, trippiest idea I could’ve ever imagined. And the scripts are written, i was over there in the fall writing them, and they are all written and ready, we start shooting on May 25th, and hopefully they’ll be airing in October.

And it’s the craziest, coolest idea, and I don’t think it’s ever been done.

How much will it cost to have you narrate my internal monologue?


Um… I’m working with Tesla Musk – no wait, Elon Musk – to develop the technology which will allow that. Right now, it’s cost-prohibitive – it would be somewhere in the range of $1 Billion dollars. We’re trying to knock it down to $10.50.

So sit tight.

How’s married life treating you?

It’s awesome. I’m married to one of the most amazing women on the planet.

Is there a project you’ve worked on in the past you wished more people knew about?

Uh… yeah! Gosh. Yes. Icelandic Ultra-Blue. It was actually called “Paid programming.” adult swim completely and totally ripped off the idea – we did it for adult swim. Jon Benjamin and I did it. It’s really funny. And the idea that I pitched to Lazzo, in his office, standing in front of him, back in 2008? I wanna say? was to do a fake infomercial that would air at 4 in the morning, and it would be called Paid Programming so that the viewers wouldn’t know it was fake, and it starts out very realistically, and then subtly devolves into this crazy nonsense.

But it would really fuck with people’s heads.

Let me make it clear – I think the people who had the concepts for TOO MANY COOKS didn’t rip us off. I think adult swim was the one who ripped off the idea. And they actually aired it once – it aired at exactly the time I pitched, in that exact way, and they didn’t pick up the show, which I guess makes us a couple years ahead of our time?

So fuck Mike Lazzo. He’s a thief.

But go to Youtube, and see if you can check out either “Icelandic Ultra-Blue” or “Paid Programming” or even Wikipedia it. Because it’s really, really funny.

I think you’ll like it.

From your first open mic, how long did it take you to get in your stand up “groove?”

Oh, a decade. Easily.

Who is your celebrity man crush?



Let me think here.

Jon Hamm.

What city is the most humorless in the US?

Oh, that’s a great question!

I haven’t been to all of them, but St. Louis – I always had, I just stopped doing sets there, but personally I’ve had very bad sets in St. Louis.

What was your best memory from the making of Arrested Development and do you have a favourite episode?

My favorite memory, oh boy… uh shit, I had so many. I guess when Jessica Walters kept tripping over the light cable, and then blamed it on her wardrobe. And my favorite episode? I liked, oh shit, I don’t know the names of ’em, but “Pier Pressure.”

What is your dream project?

I’d like to do a – I guess a hundred-story mural of the Prophet Muhammed that would be on the side of the Trump Tower.

Is never nude a real thing and if so are you?

It is a real-thing. There’s an actual scientific term for it that I’m forgetting at the moment. But I’m the opposite. I always have to be nude.

Congrats on your first film, David! I am excited about the possible opportunities BitTorrent brings for film and music distribution. Were you the one to approach them first and was this idea inspired by Thom Yorke’s latest album?

It was inspired by Thom Yorke’s latest album. And it was the producers’ idea. I would love to take credit, but the producers had the idea, and BitTorrent was exceedingly helpful and enthusiastic.

Would you make a guest appearance on Portlandia if asked?

Oh, I have been asked, a couple times, and I would absolutely do it, I love those guys! But I just haven’t been able to (because of my schedule) get there.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only listen to 3 artists/bands while stranded, what would they be?

The Who (but nothing post-Keith Moon’s death)… um, probably The Replacements… and for balance, I’ll say Bjork.

Have you been enjoying Better Call Saul? Any chance of doing a cameo on there?

I love Better Call Saul. I was at the premiere, in LA, and I was just blown away, I thought it was just fantastic in every way. Bob is great. And I love well-crafted storytelling, and I’m looking VERY much forward to watching the rest of the episodes.

And it is certainly not for me to dictate if I would do a cameo, although I would happily do so.

What did you think of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy being cast in Ghostbusters?

I think that’s great, for the GHOSTBUSTERS. I don’t have that kind of preciousness that a lot of my generation has to things in their youth. I truly don’t give a shit. So I think Kristen Wiig is as talented as any male comic actor out there, and it should be great.

About how many time mugs have you gotten from fans since your Skymall bit?

I haven’t gotten any time mugs – wait, I might’ve gotten one. But the best gift I ever received from a fan – and this saying a lot, because I’ve gotten some great stuff – is a real, working, E-Meter.

What was your experience like voicing Crane in Kung Fu Panda? Did you enjoy being on Tim and Eric Awesome Show?

I enjoyed being on Tim & Eric’s show very much. And voice work is really fun. It’s surprisingly satisfying, and the end result is really neat, when you go to the theater and see it all put together, it’s really cool.

And I do it for the kids.

In your recent years of flying/reading SkyMall, have you come across anything that struck you as being even more ridiculous than Timemug™?

Oh MAN. There are so many.

The giant pillow that you’re supposed to put your tray table and rest your head on, that always makes me laugh. It’sGIANT! It’s huge! It’s not one of those little neck things, it’s a pillow the size of a stool.

That, and also… I’m so saddened by the news that they’re going bankrupt.

Skymall was what brought my wife and I together. True story.

What was it like working with Tim Curry? Is he more professional on set, or does he goof around?

He hated being there. But he was professional, for sure. But he clearly didn’t enjoy his time there.

Do you ever get lazy at night and decide to go to sleep without brushing your teeth?

Never. Not once. No matter where I am. I’ve been on a safari in Southern Africa in the Okanago – I can’t remember the spelling of it – Delta and I still brushed my teeth and everything.

What brand of ketchup do you use?

Sir Humphrey Willigan’s Ye Olde Fancy British-Style Antiquarianized Hand-rafted 1919 Catsup.

Looking forward to your movie. As someone who is from Upstate NY, what made you want to make a film about upstate people?

I live in a small town in Sullivan County, I’ve been there, it’ll be 7 years this April. And it seemed the perfect setting for this particular story. And it meant that I could shoot it cheaply.

Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?

Inspiration? Probably Lenny Bruce. But I didn’t think he was all that funny, but I was just amazed at what he did. And also, Andy Kaufman. Some combination thereof.

Since you’ve done voiceover work before, what is an animated show you would like to do again, or an animated show you’ve always wanted to work on?

Well, ARCHER was a blast. I know most of those guys, and the guy who runs it, Adam, is fantastic. So I guess… what I haven’t done? BOB’S BURGERS.

I am genetically predispositioned to go bald in the near future. What advice do you have about becoming a baldhead to a strapping young lad?

hands on hips, pacing

Own it, seriously. Don’t try to get creams and gels and try to make it look like you’re not balding. Just own it, and be comfortable with it, and believe me, that’s less about anybody else than women. Women will appreciate it much more.

What was your first time in Chicago?

I was driving cross-country, and I stopped with a friend of mine – this would’ve been in ’86, I think? – and I don’t remember completely how it all shook down, because my friend and I were on Rush street, we were drunk, and then somehow I ended up on a rooftop of a building, like maybe 4-5 stories, nothing major, and I was sitting there smoking a cigarette, maybe I wanted the view (when I was younger I’d break on roofs all the time) and I was sitting there and people on the street were starting to go “JUMP! JUMP!” and then I pretended I was suicidal, and I kept the whole thing going, and a crowd gathered, and then cops came, and I ended up bolting and running out some back door.

Again, it’s very vague, but I remember that my friend Jimbo had to come get me.

What’s the most vivid dream/nightmare you’ve ever had?

I had a recurring dream when I was a kid – I had 2, that ended up being nightmares. One was that I was walking to school (this was when I was 7-8 years old) and a brighter-than-normal snowflake was following me, and I knew in my dream it was chasing me, and when I would finally get into the school building, I would have to wake up and count to ten and hold my breath for everything to be ok.

The other was I was in a completely red house – everything was giant, I was smaller than everything else in there- and I would hear somebody coming after me, and I would have to get a chair over and flip on the lightswitch, and if I did, same thing – I would have to hold my breath, count to ten, and everything would be alright.

I have no idea where or why those dreams happened.

What’s your plans for valentines day with Amber?

I actually had specific plans. I was going to take her to Eataly, here in Manhattan, and then we were going to walk up to the ICP – Institute of Contemporary Photography, and then walk back down to Eataly for round two.

But I have a full day of stuff I have to do for HITS, and I have to be at the theater, the Village East theater in – oddly enough, the East Village – to intro and do a Q&A. So we don’t really get to have a proper Valentine’s day.

What is your favourite cereal?

I don’t really eat cereal.

I guess, when I was a kid, I loved Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries. And there was a cereal called “Freakies” that i used to love.

How do you think Tobias would react to The Interview?

Well, I didn’t see THE INTERVIEW, I have no plans to.

But I suppose he would misinterpret it as being a primer on how to get booked.

Do you still hate Jim Belushi?

You know, I hate what he did. But I don’t hate him. I don’t walk around with – it’s not like it’s a constant anger towards him.

What news source(s) do you read for daily national and international information?

I go to a bunch of different sites in the morning, depending on how much time I have. You know, just the general aggregate news sites – Huffington Post, Raw Story, Talking Points Memo – I go on daily. And then you end up getting linked to other things. Huffington Post is like 70% crap, but there’s links to other sites that have the real information. But I’d say TPM is probably the one I’m pretty consistently going to.

What are your thoughts on McDonald’s recent “Pay with lovin'” campaign?

I think it’s not as cool as Burger King’s “Pay with Hate” campaign.

What’s your favorite nighttime snack?

For real, I like to have a glass of red wine, and then pretzels and peanut butter, and I just dip the salty pretzel into the jar of crunchy peanut butter. Not any of those shitty kinds with sugar in ’em. Just regular old peanut butter. And eat that, and sip on the wine, and that’s my favorite snack.  I just had that last night, to be honest.

Who are your favorite, non-American comedians?

HUGE fan of Daniel Kitson, he can do no wrong.

Sarah Pascoe is also amazing. Both British comics.

Zimm Kowallskii is an amazing Latvian comic.

What’s your favorite type of cheese?

It really depends.

If I’m having my period, then Burrata.

But if everything’s kinda cool in life, then Muenster.

Do you think the Kardashians are evil?

Evil? No.

I think what they represent is minorly tragic, but no, not evil.

Are you trying to put any sort of “higher message” in your comedy or do you just do it for fun or money?


Well, I don’t know it for money, but I do do it for fun.

And if you suss out a higher message, then that’s fantastic, and if not, that’s okay too.

Do you have any new tattoos?

The last one I got was a couple years ago? It’s the cover of the original edition of MASTERS OF ATLANTIS.

Have you ever considered starting a podcast? And, if so, what would it be like?

I haven’t. I just feel like talking into the air is not my – I really like having an audience.

But if I did one? I guess it would just be minutiae, my take on things, and me and obviously Martha Stewart, hanging around, talking about stuff, things in our lives, and which one of us is going to pick up the kids.

My earliest memory of watching you was as Donnie on Just Shoot Me. Do you have any interesting stories about working on that?

Not really? I wish I did. The most interesting thing, I guess, was how popular, how popular it was and how quickly popular it was, nationally. Like after that aired, within days I’d be stopped -airports, and malls, wherever I happened to be in the country. And it’s still surprising to me, because I’ve seen it and it didn’t feel that funny.

Oh cool! It’s starting to snow here! Look, flurries!

What projects besides HITS which I can’t wait to go see, will you be doing in the near future?

Bob and I are getting together to do a sketch show. And then Todd Margaret starts shooting in May, in London. And then pending whether another show I have written a pilot for gets picked up, I’ll either be writing that series or doing a standup tour, one of those two.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Um, I don’t know if they’re hobbies per se but I like reading and playing video games. And I do collect baseball cards, but I’m not a die hard completist.

Oh! Also, I have a Green Egg, and have been trying to perfect smoking pork shoulder and making pulled pork.

So that I do, almost daily. I have extensive notes, what temperature it was, what wood was, the ratio of types of wood, and I’m just trying to protect my smoking capabilities.

I also tried to learn banjo, but I travel so frequently I wasn’t able to stick with one tutor. So I got to a certain point and then ended up giving up unfortunately.