thomas middleditch

I am Thomas Middleditch. You may know me as Richard Hendricks from HBO’s SILICON VALLEY or “the fishbowl guy” from WOLF OF WALL STREET. AMA.

I’m an actor / writer / comedian.

You can follow me on Twitter at @middleditch.

Victoria’s helping me get started. AMA.

How many times a week does somebody come to you and start to sing “she wants to be in the middle”?

Not as many I like. I sing it a lot though.

A couple of years back on an episode of You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes, you mentioned that you had sort of a strained relationship with Kumail at the moment. You said you didn’t want to talk about it since you didn’t have complete perspective on it. Now, you guys are on a TV show together and seem to get along. I was wondering, if you felt more comfortable talking about it now, what exactly happened, and how did you guys reconcile?

When you know someone for a long time, especially someone who is close to you, there are times where you don’t see eye to eye. I’m really thankful for this show, it’s brought Kumail and I closer together, and honestly, back to being best friends where we belong. Same with TJ. When you spend 15 hours a day with someone, you better figure out how to be pals again. This show has saved two very important relationships in my life.

What does Joey Tortellini think of reddit?

Lissun, u can even think about it, ok, cuz its like against the law an’ shit.

Richard and Jared make a nice and cute couple, don’t you agree?

Zach and I have been on dates. We see movies together. I need you to understand this.

Just how long are Amir’s father’s legs?

Imagine many strands of cooked spaghetti, firm not soft, tied together end to end. MANY strands.

How did you become such a cool boy and an inspiration to millions? Every time I see you I feel so euphoric

I am the cool boy. You must follow me and be my kinsman.

How much of the science do you understand? Also, out of all of your fellow cast-members, who is the most similar to the character they portray?

I know a little, only because I’m interested in it. But I do NOT know how to program. No one does. Mike Judge did in the 80s, Kumail studied it for a bit then forgot it. Basically, we’re actors. BUT, we’re actors who play video games, go to Comicon, and attend Renn Faires in garb, so…

Where did you get the sweater that you always wore on Jake and Amir?

A good second hand store clothing shop in NYC. Very premium.

What specs do you run on PC? Do you plan on buying a fully operational simulation cockpit for Flight Simulator?

When I get the space, a sim pit is definitely a possibility.

Specs I don’t know off by heart but it’s a Maingear Shift. I’ve swapped some parts out though.

Since your fame as come relatively quickly in this past few years, what has been the biggest change in your every day life?

I get asked for selfies a lot. We live in a world of selfies. Life is selfie.

How’s Riley Krilerson doing these days?

Crushing those gnarly waves, brah.

Can we expect you and Schwartz to ever take your two man show on the road?

I try to convince him of that all the time. Tell HIM.

What is your opinion on the hate the TJ Miller received after the Crunchies?

People love to get mad at things. TJ was being TJ. They hired him, not the other way around. He, and really no comedian should, censor themselves. So they brought a giraffe into a forest and got mad that the giraffe tried to eat the tree leaves. People are sensitive and love to express that via negativity to someone else.

Do you have any plans to get back on the CBB podcast again? The “calling china” segments are some of the funniest things I had heard in a long long time.

Was on there again just recently. When Scott asks, I shall heed his call.

I’m catching up on Silicon Valley Season 1 currently, and I really love the show, just wondering, how many gigabytes does their company own? I personally got to know you through Jake and Amir, although I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it now. I heard a while ago you talked about having fun working with the role of Doobs because you could be crazy, and it was glorious. Are you happy to have moved on with the role? If there ever is a Jake and Amir Television show, are you interested in participating? Hope all is well, Cheers!

Silicon Valley currently owns 6 gigabytes, which is A LOT. Remember, each gigabyte is a thousand megabytes — remember when they were big news? As for Doobs, I loved playing that character. If it comes up again and makes sense, I’d be into it. Love Jake and Amir, and we’ll get into doing comedy again for sure.

I just heard on the Nerdist podcast the other day that you’re a reformed hockey fan thanks, in part, to the EA NHL games, so: Do you play as the Kings or Canucks?

I’m a King’s fan. In the game, I’ll play as the Kings or the Leafs. On EASHL (which wasn’t in the last NHL game, shockingly enough) I’ll drop in with whatever game, but I usually turn off my headset because there’s too much racism and homophobia in random games. Sad.

Are you ever going to do a film with Schwartz in the future? You two are my favorite comedy actors and the more you do together the better!

I’d love to.

How’s the carpentry going?

No major projects now. I want to make a really nice wooden longsword though.

How fast could You jerk off the entire appropriatly gendered audience at tech crunch?

I’m really only good at jerking off women.

Who’s taller? Schwartz or you?

Probably him. He’s better than me at everything.

How did you react upon hearing Jake and Amir was coming to an end?

I get it. It’s been a long time. There’s nothing wrong with wrapping something up when it’s still positive as opposed to tired. It was a great series, those guys worked very hard on it.

How geeky/techie are you in real life? How familiar were you with the tech world and programming before Silicon Valley?


You came to perform at the college of charleston and I made all of my friends go to your show even though they had never heard of you. It was one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. I’m the annoying kid that you called doobs and then proceeded to make fun of my name for the remainder of your act. I ask for your forgiveness and do you plan on doing another stand up tour in the future?

You’ve scarred me for life and I’m giving up on the entertainment industry. If anyone needs me I’ll be in the Yukon.

What was your take on that salon article a couple weeks back that credited Kumail as an actor on the Big Bang Theory? Pretty ironic, eh?

In an article where they were defaming us for sexism they followed up be being racist in the most blissfully unaware way. It’s a great example of the type of journalism that Salon is interested in. Gotta find something to get mad at.

Have you ever had a crazy fan experience or something like that?

Nothing crazy crazy. Mainly creepy. Sometimes I’ll look over and there’s just someone with their phone taking a picture. That’s weird, you guys, just come over and say hi. You don’t have to be Kraglore The Kreep.

Do you have any experience with software development, like your character Richard in Silicon Valley? Do you understand what you say on the show?

I understand SOME of it.

How much time on an average do you spend on your hair every day? Or is it just naturally this beautifully curly?

You think my hair is beautiful? You are just a real charmer… I wake up and then I look in the mirror and then I put on a hat.

Which episode/scene in Silicon Valley has been the most fun for you to do?

There’s one coming up in this season where TJ and I talk to Zach about putting tampons up his butt. Look for it.

One of the things I love about Silicon Valley is that despite it being absolutely hilarious, all of the cast members are so committed to their characters. The acting is just superb. I’m curious if you’d ever consider taking a dramatic role?

I’d love to. Really, I would.

I saw you do improv at UCB before I ever saw you on TV/in the movies, and I’m extremely happy that you still make time to do shows as often as you do (loved Snowpants last night!). What keeps you coming back to the stage?

I love it. There are thousands of just-ok shows that are all good and fine and I like doing them… but then there are the truly great ones. Those are shows where everything comes together. You can’t get it through TV or film, but only through live performance. I’ll be in the pursuit of those for as long as I’m able.

Actually I know you more from CollegeHumor and Key and Peele! I think you are like the male version of Anna Kendrick 😛 Anyway, your favorite actor you’ve worked with and why?

She complimented my suit once. I was very flustered.

I think Will Ferrell is up there. He was so kind, so enthusiastic about comedy… he included my in conversation when I was a very small potato. Just a real tiny tot. And he was just a genuine dude.

I loved your episode of You Made it Weird with Pete Holms where you dissected your “bro breakup”. How did you feel about that experience and do you two still stay in touch?

Sure we do. We’re both busy boys though so we don’t hang out as much as we like.

How often do people come to you and call you Doobs? Does it still bother you? I remember you mentioning it you the Jake and Amir podcast.

I don’t really mind it that much. There’s a difference between recognition and support as opposed to spam and trolling. I was dealing with the latter for a bit but things have evened out for the time being. Part of the game, I suppose. Bummer though.

What is love?

Love is abstract and relative. There is no one love for everyone. Love for me is different than it is for you. And what’s more, to that, it changes. Love for me will be different in ten years, as it will be for you. Love is really only chemicals in your brain. It can be manipulated by environment, interaction, and even drugs. Mankind alone is not the only being capable of it. But what is it to a dog, elephant, or dolphin? The same thing? How can it be when it is so intangible? Does it make it less valid? Who is the arbiter of validity?

Love is your own and uniquely belonging to your experience, yet shared inextricably with the one you love.

If you could do one thing to Silicon Valley show, what would it be ? It’s awesome by default but I hope you’d have thought something that would make the show even more awesome.

We get to the end of the internet and find a portal to the Game Of Thrones world. We zap in, and I become the Father Of Dragons and marry Daenerys so we can all move on from her boring free-the-slaves plotline.

Was it difficult playing doobs again in the finale after all the harassment you got on social media? Can’t wait for your episode of Comedy Bang Bang!

Admittedly, I was reluctant. Then I remembered that for every troll there are thousands of people that are just straight up fans. I loved playing Doobs.

Which episode did you find most difficult to film and why?

In terms of sheer difficulty, the shows with a lot of tech jargon are pretty tough. I’m dumb, you see, and I have to pretend I’m smart. That’s hard for a dumb person to do.

I’m currently a student at iO Chicago. I know you were there for a bit. Can you tell any fun stories from your time there? Also, you kill it on every podcast I hear you on. I don’t know how to end this. Good bye.

I love Chicago. Great place to learn improv. One time, at an Improvised Shakespeare Company show, the logic was that the secret to the show, the thing we were all searching for, was inside this piece of gum that was on the edge of a woman in the audience’s glass. Like, she had chewed it there and stuck it there. It fell down and made a noise, then we all pounced. So the only way to get the secret out was to chew the gum. I chewed it. Then Joey Bland asked “what was the secret?” and I said “you have to chew it to find out.” We all ended up chewing that woman’s old gum, then wrapped up the show, then stuck the gum over the arch. It was great. Gum stayed there for a while, I’m sure it’s gone now though.

I feel like you kind of popped up out of nowhere, does it sometimes feel like that to you too? Obviously you worked very hard to get here, but now does it feel like you’ve “made it”? You’re on a pretty big HBO show, how has that changed your life?

I can see how that would appear. I’ve been at it for fifteen years now. SV has definitely changed a lot of things. That’s what happens to many actors. They hustle at it for a while until something pops. For me it’s been performing live comedy, writing, big parts in small films and small parts in big films, commercials, internet sketches… and then SV comes along. But believe me it’s not like it was my first audition.

Do you guys still grab each others dicks on set?

I wish I could say no. But we do. EVERY CHANCE WE GET.

I was wondering what your experiences were like working on the set of Wolf of Wall Street? How was working with Scorsese and all the other wonderful cast people?

I thought Scorsese was great. Small, enthusiastic, positive. Leo was a knockout. Seriously, he’s exceedingly charming. Other than that, I got yelled at for six hours (because that was the scene).

Did you ever see your fourth roommate stream?

Honestly, I’m not sure what that is.

What’s it like getting to work with your friends? And how much of the show is Retroscripted?

It’s the best.

I would say if anything, we improvise on top of the script. We get great scripts, and we just try to add a little character color or a little moment. If it’s good and can’t be used we might find another spot for it, but we like to keep it in-the-moment.

I’m a huge fan of doobs and Silicon Valley, so I’m curious- what do you mostly get recognized from, jake and Amir or Silicon Valley? Also, do you have a CD rom drive?

Silicon Valley takes the cake. And my CD-ROM drive hasn’t stopped spinning since the 90s, dude. Get with it.

What was your favorite scene from Wolf Of Wall Street, and what was it like acting alongside Leonardo Dicaprio?

Leo was great, but my personal scene was really between Jonah and myself. He was great, too. Scorsese likes to make sure he gets coverage, so we did it different ways a whole bunch of times.

I loved Leo on Quaaludes. A real physical comedian!

Do you do open jams at improv places such as Nerdist School? Are you planning on doing Beta Test? Nerdmelt is a great place to perform and see shows.

I’m going to try and do Beta Test tomorrow night, although I have no idea what I’m going to do or say. It kept me up last night.

I was intrigued by what you said about GURPS in the Rolling Stone. What’s the funniest scenario you’ve been involved with?

In GURPS? Well, I GM’d a game where everyone had to pick a signee of the Declaration of Independence. They had to research that person, then present them to the group. Then they had to make that person with 120 points as accurately as they could. The game kicked off just after everyone signed the DoI. Then… one man turned into a werewolf. They had to go find Washington, and he trained them into being psychic monster hunters.

You as Nightcrawler in the Ex-men sketch was hilarious. How hard was it to not break while working with Pete Holmes?

Pete and I like to laugh. It’s hard not to laugh around Pete, he’ll bring it out of you if it’s the last thing he does.

Off screen, do you have a love for computing and technology? If not, did you have to learn it all before the show?

Yes I do. Very much. It’s why, if I don’t understand what I’m talking about, I can grasp it in some way.

Hi Thomas, I love Silicon Valley and I’m a subscriber to your twitch stream. My boyfriend is a shy, somewhat awkward tech worker that wears hoodies and occasionally gets panic attacks just like Richard. Hell, you two even look alike. His name is Tom as well. Are you method acting his life?

I’ve been in contact with him for years. Tom and I are best friends.

How do you balance so many things? You’re a great actor, improviser, and standup. How do you decide which projects are worth your time and which ones to let go?

I just want to do stuff I’m proud of. If I think I’ll enjoy it and the end result will be good, I’ll get after it. Sometimes I’m wrong, but there ya go.

How did you first get involved with Jake and Amir?

Got involved through College Humor. All good people over there.

I just recently watched a 10 minute interview with you and TJ Miller with Hitflix and the interviewer could not keep up with you two and it was hilarious. Do you guys, and the rest of the cast, just have that sort of telekinetic humor that each other gets?

Zach, TJ, Kumail and myself have all been performing live comedy for over ten years each. It’s very fortunate that we’re doing a comedy show with comedians.

I actually recently saw one of your shows with Kumail and I really really loved it, especially your segment about what you think college dorm life is like. I just wanna ask – what’s going through your mind when you make up names like “Brialca” (that one killed me) for your stories?

Honestly, I just try and make myself laugh. That sounds self serving but I want to have fun up there. As you saw, my standup isn’t a lot of setup/punch-line, so I better have fun doing whatever else it is I’m doing or I’m sunk. SUNK, I TELL YOU.

What’s TJ Miller like in real life?

TJ is a funny, smart, and quite prolific. He’s a philosopher at heart, and it always a joy to wax poetic with him.

What are you watching on television these days, are you excited to see if ‘The Quest’ returns?

I don’t think The Quest did well enough. Shame.

I honestly love The Bachelor, it’s such a gong show. Other than that, and I’m not paid to say this, anything on HBO.

Do people ever call you Thomas M.D.? (You know, like a doctor.) And if not should they?

No, and yes. I have PHDs in funk, rhythm, and taking care of business.

I absolutely love silicon valley, i was wondering how many takes did you guys have to do to get the infamous (and glorious) “tip-to-tip efficiency/mean jerk time” dick joke?

We were pretty focused on that one. We wanted to get it right. It’s also very clever, not silly. We tend to break in the silly ones, but the clever ones end up being funnier when they’re all put together.

Is there someone you hope to work with in the future?

Honestly, it was Robin Williams. Jim Carrey is still up there for me.

Who are you? And what is Silicon Valley?

I’m your father. Silicon Valley is where you go after you drink this. hands you strange cocktail

What’s your favourite part of nature and/or technology?

When the two meet. Our world is in trouble, and since the habits of man are hard to break, it seems like innovation might be our only option.


Do you miss the days of standing outside of McDonald’s, rapping about mcnuggets? I love that video and the song is STILL stuck in my head! Love Silicon Valley, too.

I miss those old Chicago days. I don’t miss McDonald’s. My views of food and corporate culture have changed and they embody what greed mixed with capitalism can do. Too real? Too real.

I saw you in a rap battle at Upright Citizens Brigade about three years ago, and you made it to the semifinals but didn’t win. Question: have your battle rap skills improved since then?

They’ve only gotten worse. I’m not a rappist.

Can you tell us anything about your role in The Final Girls?

It’s coming out this year. People get sucked into a horror movie and I play the guy who knows about horror movies. It’s a fun one!

What’s it like being an international dubstep superstar?

It’s taken over my life. I am god now.

Has anyone told you that you look like a twin brother of Hrithik Roshan, a Bollywood star in India?

Every day.

What is your favorite GI Joe or Cobra character and why?

I liked Rock’nRoll. He had a sweet ass blond beard.

What are some tips you can give to improvisers who have only been in for about 3-5 years?

Love what you do. Chances are you won’t get paid, so you better like doing it. Embrace the philosophy of it. Be confident. Be you — that is to say you aren’t every improviser, you are the improviser that you are.

How do you and the ISC guys prepare before every show?

We do a bunch of old school warm-ups with new twists. We still do a version of zip, zap, zop. I’ve never been with a group that takes warming up more seriously and I think we benefit from it.

I should also add the warm-ups are genuinely fun, too. They are sometimes more fun than the show.