From the mind of acclaimed author Simon Rich comes the new FXX series Man Seeking Woman. The show stars Jay Baruchel as Josh Greenberg, a heartbroken romantic on the quest for love. However, don’t expect Man Seeking Woman to be your average RomCom. The series has a distinctly absurdist take, depicting the triumphs and perils of single life in a way never before seen on TV. Not sure what I mean? The first episode sees Josh headed on a blind date with a literal troll and it only gets more bizarre from there.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the set of Man Seeking Woman in Toronto, Canada. While there I sat down for an interview with actor Eric Andre, who plays Josh’s best friend Mike. He talked about why he was attracted to the project, working with Jay Baruchel, the craziest thing he saw on set, what he’s most excited for audiences to see, and more. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Before getting to the interview, watch the trailer:
ERIC ANDRE: Yeah, I auditioned. I think I auditioned for both Mike and Josh, Jay’s role and my role, and then I didn’t hear anything, then I met with Simon and put myself on tape for Mike again, and I got it.
The show has a lot of good qualities going for it, what was the main one that appealed to you?
ANDRE: I just loved this fantasy world that each scene went to. I thought it was like the best of sketch comedy and narrative sitcom combined. I just loved the creative team. Simon is a brilliant writer, Jon Krisel is a brilliant director, I love all his stuff on Portlandia, and Andrew Singer as well, all their stuff on Porlandia and the SNL digital stuff, all his stuff on Tim and Eric. And Jay is obviously an amazing comedic actor so just the core creative team was there. So I really wanted to get attached.
Is it fun for you to play the more outlandish scenes that are kind of unique to this show?
ANDRE: [Laughs] Yeah, totally, for sure.
Any of those you’ve done so far that you can’t wait for people to see?
ANDRE: Yeah, there’s this whole speech I give about why Jay should – we’re in a war room, it’s like a scene from Doctor Strangelove – and I give this whole General Patton type speech on why Jay should send some random girl a dick pic [laughs]. So I’m excited about that scene. It’s really ridiculous.
It’s interesting too, because as ridiculous as these things get you’re all playing them really straight.
Does that get difficult in these settings not to sort of wink about it or do any mugging?
ANDRE: Yeah, for me, because I suck at acting [laughs], and I’m just like, “Hehehe this is funny!” Yeah, it’s hard, but the straighter you play it the funnier it is.
The pilot walks sort of the perfect line on that, tonally.
ANDRE: That’s awesome, thanks.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on set so far?
ANDRE: I saw a Japanese dick monster jizz in Jay’s face.
The dick monster is a popular dude. The dick monster has come up in every interview so far.
ANDRE: Yeah, it’s a good one. It bukaked right in Jay’s face [laughs]. He’s going to be thrilled when that hits the airways.
It’s the internet age buddy, that’s never going away.
ANDRE: It’s never going away.
Do you guys get to do a lot of improv with this show?
ANDRE: Yeah, we get to improv a lot, which is awesome.
Have you and Jay developed a pretty good back-and-forth at this point?
ANDRE: Yeah, totally. We also try to incorporate inside jokes that we come up with in between set ups [laughs], for better or worse. We’re cramming our own stupid jokes into the scene, so hopefully some of those will make sense.
[Laughs] Are you guys establishing a continuity of inside jokes running throughout the season?
ANDRE: Shit, probably, I don’t even remember. Improvising is weird too, because you’ll say a whole bunch of shit and then five minutes later you forget everything you said. When I watched the pilot I was like, “Oh, I said that? Awesome. Nice.”
Do you have a lot of background in improv?
ANDRE: A lot with stand up. I’ve always improvised my way through. I do a show on Adult Swim and we improvise almost everything with Hannibal Buress, you should check him out, we improvise a lot.
How different is the project from when you first auditioned for it to what it’s become now?
ANDRE: It’s very similar. It didn’t change too much. There was some character stuff. Originally Liz wasn’t Jay’s sister, originally Liz was my girlfriend and Mike and Liz were swingers in an open relationship, but I think they wanted to keep me clearly single and have a stuffy, more successful older sister. I think they made the right decision. That’s the only major difference.
It seems like Simon came into this with a very clear vision.
ANDRE: Yeah, Simon’s a genius.
How was the show pitched to you, or how would you pitch it to audiences?
ANDRE: I don’t know. Gosh, in a concise way? Like a logline?
However you would explain it to your friends or something.
ANDRE: Um, it’s kind of like a classic dating show meets Walter Mitty. It goes down this fantastical fantasty world. Friends, maybe? Friends meets Walter Mitty? I suck at loglines. I would just say that it’s a classic sitcom on LSD. That’s how I would pitch it.
How would you say your character fits into that world. What part does he play on that LSD trip?
ANDRE: Well, I’m on acid a lot. [Laughs] But other than that I’m always pouring fuel on the flames and making Jay’s situation much worse, but thinking that I’m making it better. Like this one time Jay doesn’t want to break up with this girl and I’m like, “Just fake your own death, bro”.
Worst suggestion ever.
ANDRE: [Laughs] Yeah, it’s all my fault and I’m like, “Man, you really blew that one.”
Man Seeking Woman premieres January 14th on FXX.