Internet nerds and comedy geeks were brought perilously close together a few days ago when The Daily Show introduced Attack of The Show’s Olivia Munn as the latest guest correspondent on Jon Stewart’s political comedy series. Munn showed up as the “Senior Asian Correspondent”, reporting on the disastrous BP oil spill down in the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s probably not a coincidence that her debut bit was also one of the funniest we’ve seen on The Daily Show in months (which is saying something): Munn’s a gifted comedic actress– as she’s proven on G4’s AOTS many times over. With that in mind– along with the brand-new NBC series, Perfect Couples, she has on the horizon, Collider’s Scott Wampler talked with Olivia to get to the bottom of her awesomeness. Read it for yourselves after the jump…
In case you missed her debut sketch, head on over to this page to check it out. Go ahead, we’ll wait here. Good, right? Well, when I got in touch with Olivia, she was coming off four hours’ worth of interviews to promote her various projects. She was just settling in for a few rounds’ worth of margaritas at the end of the day (mid-afternoon, but who’s counting?). The whole thing’s got a really conversational tone to it, so I’m just going to go ahead and provide it to you, uncut and word-for-word. Here goes:
Olivia Munn:…Where are you at, by the way?
I’m in Austin.
OM: Austin, TX? I f-cking love Austin. My girlfriend, she went to Texas, but I went to Oklahoma, and it’s that weird thing where I feel close to people from Texas because Oklahoma’s so small. I’ll tell people, “You’re from Texas? Oh, cool, I’m from Oklahoma!” But I don’t think people from Texas feel the same way about people from Oklahoma. They don’t, y’know, feel close to you at all.
Why did you pick Oklahoma?
OM: Oh, I don’t think I picked it. Oklahoma picked me. I was born in Oklahoma.
Ah, alright. I thought you meant you went to school there–
OM: I did, I went to school there because my mother was like, “We can’t pay for out of state colleges, stop applying”. I was like, “Mom, what are you– I got into Yale!” I didn’t really get into Yale, but for the purposes of this story, we’ll say I got into Yale.
On a full scholarship, if I remember correctly.
OM: Yeah, so I was like, “Mom, I believe Harvard Med wanted me to come in, it was a straight offer”, and she said, “Really? I didn’t think they did that…”
But, no: you’re gonna dream big. You’re staying in Oklahoma.
OM: Yep. You know what, (as her Mother) “We’re Asian, and we’re going to make you feel terrible about not getting yourself into med school.”
Wait a minute. I didn’t think that Asians were allowed in Oklahoma. I’ve been to Oklahoma, and I’ve never seen an Asian in Oklahoma. I thought there was a very strict policy against that up there.
OM: Which is why I worked very hard to combat that. I only drive Asian cars– Toyotas, Hondas– because (as you know) Asians only drive Volkswagons, BMW’s. It’s that thing where, as Asians, we drive really expensive cars, but we live in really small homes with everyone packed in ’em. But really expensive cars.
Huh. Well, I’m learning something, because the entirety of my knowledge about Asian culture comes from Better Luck Tomorrow.
OM: (Laughs) Ah, well, I can have my mom give you, like, a daily reminder on what it’s like to be Asian.
CE: Ugh. That makes me think of Margaret Cho’s sitcom. Remember that thing? That’s not good to remember.
OM: My family’s more like My Big, Fat Greek Wedding meets Shawshank Redemption.
OM: Yeah, my family’s nothing like Margaret Cho’s.
What’s interesting, though, is that both Margaret Cho’s sitcom and Shawshank Redemption have the same amount of prison rape.
OM: (Laughs) But it wasn’t actually in Margaret Cho’s show. It was just what was happening, y’know–
–to the audience watching.
OM: Right. One was the show, the other is the cause of the show.
(Laughs) I watched your segment on The Daily Show last night, and– first of all– it was really funny. And congratulations on landing that spot.
OM: That means a lot. When I can hear that from other people, it’s just…With The Daily Show, I was up here for the upfronts a couple weeks ago and Jon Stewart was there, and he’d seen my stuff online and he was like, “I think Olivia should be on the show”. And then, next thing you know, I was on the show. I was literally like…I was just standing there thinking that I’d been picked by the hand of God. That’s not an exaggeration at all. When I found out, I just wanted to throw up. It was amazing.
When they came to you with the idea, were you immediately like, “Yes!”, or did you hesitate at all?
OM: Immediate yes. It was: “Jon Stewart has seen some of your stuff and he wants to meet with you.” It was an immediate, “OK, yes, when?” It just happened that I was in New York for the upfronts, and so they just said, “Well, come in tomorrow”.
I know it would be the obvious choice, but it also seems like it’d be a lot of pressure.
OM: It is a lot of pressure. And, you know, my NBC show just got picked up so…he was like, “Now, usually people come here, then they leave, then they get their own show. But you’ve already got the show and we’re asking you to come here”. Are you f-cking kidding me? If NBC can work it out and allow me to do both, I see no reason why I should need to sleep. I mean, sleep’s overrated.
OM: Yeah, first week of August. I think it’ll work. (Perfect Couples) is a single-camera show. We shoot three weeks on, one week off, and as long as NBC can work out the schedule, the guys at The Daily Show said they’ll be able to work it out. There’s always green-screen and satellites and all that…they can figure it out. I said to Jon on my first day, “This is a dream that I didn’t even think I was allowed to dream”. To be able to get The Daily Show and have an NBC show? I want to go back to the ten year old me and say, “Dude, stop crying. It’s all going to be good. At least for one week, it’s all going to be good.”
You’re answering my questions before I can ask them, actually, and–
OM: Well, I’m answering them from the future.
That’s a first. Enormously impressive. Your career’s really taken an abrupt upward trajectory over the past year, and you’re all over the place. Do you fear that you might be spreading yourself too thin with all these appearances and gigs, or do you think it’s all good? I mean, how do you feel about everything that’s happened?
OM: When it comes to spreading myself too thin, when it comes to my energy, I’m finding that I’m needing to lean on people a lot more than I’m used to or like to do. I can’t keep up with my emails anymore, I had to bring an assistant into my life– and that was hard for me. I like to do everything on my own, y’know? I like to be private. But I think when you actually reach out and you have really great people around you, it really makes things a lot easier. And then I’m able to do it all.
OM: Also, when you’re doing something you love, I mean…when I heard the (Opening Credits) music come on when I was doing The Daily Show, I was like, “Oh. My God.” And before the show, Jon Stewart comes out and he talks to the crowd, and before the show I heard him telling everyone that it was a historic night because they were bringing on (their fifth female correspondent), and everyone got excited and started clapping and was wondering, “Who is it?”, ya know? They get to be there for it! But then my anxiety kicked in, like they were gonna be like, “Olivia Munn? What?! Boooo!”
OM: Like, “Where did you guys get rotten fruit? Stop!” But when the applause came in, I felt so much better. I saw guys, like, jumping out of their seats and clapping for me! It was such a great feeling. And when you’re doing these kinda things, I don’t get very tired. It’s really exciting. And with both Perfect Couples and The Daily Show, you can see how much fun we’re all having with it. That’s the energy that everyone has there (at The Daily Show). There’s not a single person I’ve met there that I wouldn’t want to have over to my house, or to go out to lunch with.
OM: But on the other side of that “spreading myself too thin” thing, there’s that thing of, “Am I overexposed?” That’s a concern of mine. Cause, y’know, what the f-ck do I have to say? Are people like, “Really?!” But I’m so thankful, and I just wanna work. I wanna bust my ass and just work. And I want people to know me for my work, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities that I’m getting. Jon Stewart saw my work and decided he wanted me on his show, and it wasn’t because of some guy I was dating. And I got Perfect Couples because the lead creators wrote the part with me in mind, because they’d seen my stuff and liked it, too.
So, when I talk to my publicist about interviews– like, when I talked to her today about the interviews I’ve been doing– I told her…and this pertains to you, my friend…I told her, “I only want to do the ones that we can’t miss”. I want to get out there, but at the same time I don’t want to be overexposed. I’m sick of hearing about myself by now. I do get that concern, and I vocalize it, and– at the end of the day– I get anxiety about it, just talking all the time about my life and how I got here…
Well, so many people struggle for however many years to get somewhere in the industry. Some of ’em never get anywhere. So, if you’re getting all these offers, why not take ’em? As long as you feel like you’re doing the best work you can and they’re good projects, why not? You’re doing what you always wanted to do; f-ck “overexposure”.
OM: But it’s “overexposure” based entirely on publicity, not when it comes to work. With work, I’m only taking…well, I’m always very aware of my next step, and what it’s going to be. Not that long ago, I was busting my ass in commercial auditions. Like, “How did that Ross: Dress For Less audition go? Did I get it? No?! How about that Jordache campaign?”
OM: Literally, I was dying for those moments. And now, here I am. My first pilot season, and I had to pick between five projects. I thought to myself, “I have to say ‘no’ to four network projects?” Like, how is that possible?” How am I supposed to make that decision? So, when I made the decision, I just wanted to make sure I picked the right one. I know how it works: people like to build you up, and then they like to watch you fall. That may not be true, but that’s how I feel. And it helps me make good choices in my life, and to be appreciative. I’ve known people, friends in this business that had everything they wanted and then it all went away. It can be so arbitrary, and I’m very much aware of it. It’s not wasted on me how special this moment is. When I left (The Daily Show) earlier today, I said to Jon– I mean, Mr. Stewart– what am I thinking? God, if he heard me…
Actually, he’s here right now, and he’s really pissed.
OM: Oh, my God, I’m off the show now, right?
I don’t know, he just stormed out. I don’t know what he’s thinking.
OM: Oh, no. Well, I said to Jon, “Honestly, thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” And he said, “Everyone’s really happy with the show. You got it!” He was really happy with the show. I’m still reeling from it. It’s not wasted on me at all, how lucky I am to be here. And it just shows that…look, I just don’t believe it when people are like, “Well, if you can dream it, it’s possible”. I don’t believe that anything is possible. Not everyone can be an NFL player. I do believe, with all my heart, that if you have the combination of busting your ass, cultivating your talents, and if all the stars align at the same time– that’s what it takes. If you can do the two things and then the stars align– then it works out.
I agree. The likelihood of getting picked out of a crowd somewhere is slim to none, but you can create your own luck by working hard, putting yourself in the right position to find what you’re looking for.
At this point in the interview, Olivia had to excuse herself and promised to call me back in a few minutes. I decided to take the opportunity to transcribe what’d already been said, and this proved more difficult than I’d presumed: Olivia Munn, I discovered, talks roughly at the same rate as the speed of light. While transcribing this, it almost seemed as though words were intertwining with one another and creating all new, previously unimagined sentences. Then I realized I’d been drinking Absinthe since 7AM, and this whole “unimagined sentences” thing was very likely a product of that.
As promised, Ms. Munn (can I call ya Olivia?) got back to me shortly thereafter. We rejoin the conversation about two minutes after I should’ve hit the “Record” button. Very basically, I asked her about her role in Iron Man 2, which was originally shrouded in secrecy and the source for much debate amongst film geeks and comic nerds, all of whom had their own ideas about what superhero Olivia might be playing. As it turned out, they were all wrong– Olivia Munn plays a reporter in Iron Man 2– but I asked her if she’d be interested in playing a superhero at some point in the future. She said, “Of course”, and then we went from there…
OM: …I’ve taken 12 karate classes, because I think it’s always important to prepare for when that moment finally comes. And, finally, I’m working on building my own Iron Man suit, just in case.
(Laughing) In case of what? In case you have to fight terrorists?
OM: Well, any time I’m like, “Oh, sh-t, someone’s down, Samuel L. Jackson can’t make it, who are we gonna get? Oh, we got O. Munn, she’s available”. There ya go. I’ve also been doing jujitsu and tai-chi.
You also know how to pronounce “karate” correctly.
OM: Well, I’m Asian. I think everyone knows it’s kar-a-tay.
That’s true. Well, one of your most famous– or, rather, infamous– bits on Attack of The Show fearured you jumping into a giant pie while wearing a french maid’s outfit.
You seemed like you were game for just about anything on that show, but was there anything that they ever wanted to do there that you weren’t up for? Something you flat-out said “No” to?
OM: They wanted to handcuff old people to a fence, and then have us yell and berate them for being old. I was like, “Mmmyeah, even in a pinch I can’t find that funny, guys. Sorry.” So, I couldn’t do that…
OM: Yeah. I really have to say, though, I can’t think of a single other thing that I said “No” to. But now, I realize that every little thing I’d do, people would make .gif’s out of it, so…you know, if I jump into a pie as a French maid, it exists on the internet forever, and so I started editing a little bit. I will do this, I won’t do that. But other than handcuffing the old people to a fence, I did it all.
That’s the…I don’t even know what to…I don’t…that’s the most random thing I’ve heard in a long time.
What’s the creepiest encounter you’ve ever had with a fan? I’m sure it happens a lot.
OM: You know, every interview I ever do, someone asks that question, and they always say, “Because I’m sure it happens all the time” afterwards, but I gotta say…I’ve wracked my brain, and there just hasn’t been anything that creepy…but I will tell you one thing, and you’ll be the first to hear it, because it happened recently: I’m encountering fans that are somehow getting my phone number. I was with T-Mobile, and when I signed up for it, it was signed up under my name. So, I started getting phone calls. And not like prank-calls, but people calling saying they were from T-Mobile and wanted to see if I was satisfied with my service.
OM: Like, “This is Stanley calling from T-Mobile. We’re just calling to check on your service. Is this…uh…Olivia Munn?” And I’m like, “Uh, yeah”. “Oh, well, do you have any questions for us?” And it started happening all the time. So, I’m thinking to myself, what did you think was going to happen? You violate my privacy, go into your system and get my number, and then you call me– and what? What do you think’s gonna happen? “OK, we got her number, we’re gonna call her up, and then we’ll…” And then what? Like I’m going to say, “Oh, wow, you guys want to get together and have a threesome?” Like, they think I’m really cool, so that might happen. No, what’s going to happen is, I’m going to call T-Mobile, then my lawyers are going to call T-Mobile, and we’re going to say that if it ever f-cking happens again, you guys are f-cked. That’s not cool. I will do meet-ups– I was in Austin playing Red Rover, and you missed it, my friend– and I’ll go see a movie and buy popcorn for everyone that’s in the group…but it’s not OK to call me.
That definitely qualifies as creepy. Have you met any celebrities that were complete douche-bags?
Olivia Munn: Oh, yeah!
Anyone you wanna call out? Feel like namin’ some names?
OM: Well, I wrote about it in my book (ed. note– Olivia Munn has a brand-new book coming out called Suck It, Wonderwoman: Confessions of a Hollywood Geek, in July. Order eighteen copies of it through Amazon.com right now). It’s one of those things where– whoa, there goes Meredith Viera!
OM: Meredith Vieira (Olivia sees Meredith Vieira on the street in NYC). She’s wearing a turquoise shirt and walking her dog…
OM: Oh, don’t pretend like you don’t know who Meredith Vieira is!
Oh, Meredith Vieira. Yeah, I know who that is. Very exciting.
OM: Yeah, she’s just walking her dog. Anyway, if I call out the douche who’s actually a douche, no one’s going to be surprised. When people have read about it in my book, they’re like, “Is it this guy? Is it that guy?” Yeah. I can’t name names, but I can say this: what I’ve found in my lifetime– and not just in Hollywood, but in my entire lifetime– is that sometimes people are exactly who you’d expect them to be. Like, you’ll think, I’d totally expect that guy to hit on me even though he’s 78 pounds overweight and he’s got food stains on his shirt and can’t read Cat in The Hat, but then be appalled when I wouldn’t reciprocate. And guess what? They’re usually just like that. Assh-les are pretty easy to spot, I’ve found.
Yeah, the reason I ask is, you seem like a fairly down to Earth chick. And when you know that someone’s reasonably level-headed and they’ve been kind of inserted into that Hollywood elite circle, I’m always curious to see what they think of it.
OM: Oh, I can’t wait to start slinging my sh-t and start demanding room temperature water. You know, get to the point where I don’t even have to, like, do my own interviews. That’s gonna be great.
You could just have an android to answer all these stupid questions.
OM: That’s a dream. But, also, it seems like the douchiest people aren’t the ones that are the most successful. They’re the ones that kinda had a taste of it, and now they want more. And they feel like they need to be bitchy and douchey because the the only way they’ll be successful is if they see it in your eyes. Like, if you’re intimidated by me, clearly I’m successful. Or someone’s reached some monetary level with some mainstream, blockbuster bullsh-t, and they don’t feel they have the talent or the respect to get them to that higher level. They’re the worst to be around. Some people are as stupid as you think they’ll be.
OM: Scott, at the end of the day, here’s what happens: I go to my house, and I lie in my bed, and it’s just me. There’s no cameras or magazines, it’s just me. I don’t have a boyfriend, I’m single (ed. note– at this point, I almost called off the entire interview due to Olivia’s blatant attempts to hit on me. It is only through my incredible resolve and professionalism that I was able to endure for you, the gentle Examiner readers), and that’s how it’ll be until I get married or have kids. And if I’m a really douchey person, I don’t think I’ll get, like, a really great guy and have a really great family. I’ve seen really douchey people, and from the outside it looks like they’re doing great, but they’re suffering on the inside. They have to live with themselves.
OM: Let me make that a cleaner quote so you don’t have to transcribe it all (ed. note– too late). I’m a person that came from a place of having people in my world telling me I wasn’t good enough or smart enough or pretty enough. So to have gotten into this world now, and to make the dreams I was ashamed to have when I was younger come true, I think about how lucky I am every day. I think that a lot of people in that situation get sucked into acting like that because they can’t wait to get to the top and prove someone wrong. It’s all so arbitrary, it could all go away tomorrow. I know that, and I think that if it were to all go away tomorrow, the only way I could live with myself is if I knew that I tried and I worked hard and I did the best I could do. If I’m given these opportunities, I wanna know that I worked my ass off. That way I don’t end up crawling into the closet at the end of the day and cutting myself.
OM: The other day I was gearing up for my book tour, right? And it’s like seven hours of signings that I’m doing, just a really long day. My publishers said they wanted to set up some rules and regulations, just some stuff to help move everything along quicker. So, they said that we couldn’t have any personal pictures, I couldn’t personalize the book, just people saying “Thanks” and moving along. And everyone in the room was just like, “That’s a good idea, yeah, that’ll help move things along”. And I said, “You guys can’t do this. When you’re saying something like that, you’re putting out a message that looks like it’s coming from me. And that’s not the message I’m trying to send. I will stay in the stores, signing every last thing they bring and taking every last picture until the store kicks us out onto the street. I’m not gonna be the person that gets all this, and a book deal, then just gives out a signature to someone who waited in line”. I don’t wanna be that person. And I told ’em that if they did put out a sign saying that, I’ll freak the f-ck out and call you out for it. The fans are your friends. They’re making your dreams come true. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s how I feel. I’m gonna cry right now, I’m sorry (ed. note– not really).
Well, when I did standup–
OM: You do standup?
Yeah, I’ve done standup for a couple years.
OM: At The Daily Show, they asked me if I did standup, because a lot of the people there do standup. And I don’t, but I have such tremendous respect for people that’ll do it.
It’s a beating. A total beating. But it’s also great.
OM: I’m sorry, go on.
Well, in doing standup and doing this writing thing, I’ve encountered people that are– that were– heroes, people I really looked up to and people that I felt inspired by, and they just turned out to be assh-les. And it’s not just that they’re letting down a fan, but they’re getting that fan to turn around and tell all their other fans what a giant douche they are. So they’re doing even more damage than they realize by behaving like that towards fans. I mean, everyone came from somewhere–
OM: That’s the same thing as, when I started, I noticed all these people on blogs saying, “Who does she think she is?” And they felt like they had the need to go on and use different names to talk sh-t about me. Now I don’t even worry about what blogs or commenters are saying. Because it’s not those people that make you successful, it’s the fans. And they’re the ones that go onto those blogs and get your back. Not having to fight for yourself, having someone else do it for you? That’s something I’ve never had in my life. No one has ever said, “I’m going to stand up and protect you.” Not a parent, or a boyfriend, or anything. No one’s ever said, “I love you more than anything and I’m going to tell all these people to f-ck off for you”. So, for the first time in my life, to have these fans that’ll say “F-ck you!” for me, that’s one of the greatest things.
I think the people online– and it’s particularly bad online– but the people online that get so bent out of shape about someone and feel the need to vent all this hatred are just as weird as the ones that spend an inordinate amount of time defending someone that they don’t even know. I mean, fans are great, but it’s not as though they actually know anything about you. It’s equally weird.
OM: But those are two extremes. It’s the fan in the middle that’s like, “I think she’s really funny and why are you even on this board if you don’t like her?”, not the fan that’s like, “Shut up! She’s my girlfriend and I love her and she’s standing right here and she told you to shut up!” Not that guy. The guy that’s like, “I actually think she’s awesome”. Those are the people I relate to.
OM: Like, right now I’m doing a campaign with PETA for the Ringling Brothers and how they treat their elephants. And I know that PETA takes a lot of sh-t because of their tactics and the way they go about doing things, being too aggressive. I have a big thing with them there, because if you really speak to someone’s soul, you don’t have to scream. We’re all just trying to get from A to B. We’re all just trying to make it, and I’m just like everyone else. I just think it’s better to be a good friend, girlfriend, wife or mother. If everyone else realized that we’re all on the same team, it’d be better. Then again, maybe it’s just not that profound and they’re all assh-les.
Right, maybe all those people actually are just douche-bags.
OM: Yeah! You know, these people like to use their fingers to type out all this negative sh-t, maybe they oughtta do something else with ’em, like painting. Learn to play the piano or something.
I just think that anyone talking sh-t on a message board or getting all worked up over some entertainer online and raving about it, they’re just the world’s biggest p-ssies. These are people that wouldn’t dare speak up for themselves in real life, so they go to the internet– where they can be anonymous– to vent all their little frustrations with the world. Total p-ssies.
OM: With nothing to add but negativity. They’re sitting at home, by themselves, with no girlfriend, no friends, sitting there on the computer thinking, “I’m going to ruin someone’s day”. If we could all just make them realize that it doesn’t affect us…And the first time I actually saw one of these losers, I was like, “Dude, you’re like 58 years old. You’re a loser. You’re just mad at life because God granted you the gift of acne, you can’t quit eating carbs, and now you’re mad at me. I’m sorry.” I respect constructive criticism. I know that I can be annoying, that I can take the joke too far sometimes. But the people that’re like, “Grrrr, I hate her and her boobs!”, it’s just ridiculous.
OM: But I hate my boobs, too.
OM: No, not really.
Oh, good. Because we’ve been on the same page all this time, and it seemed like all of a sudden I lost you there. The Daily Show is a little more political than what you normally do. Do you have any hangups about that, or are you cool with it?
OM: Are you just asking how smart I am?
No, not at all.
OM: Like, “Olivia, do you like the government stuff?”
No, I’m just saying that– look, when I was performing a lot, I never bothered with religion or politics. It’s just two topics that were never worth it to get into. Especially living in Texas, my politics are way outta whack from what most people’s are down here because it’s primarily a Republican state–
OM: See, I think I’m the epitome of a swing-voter. Like, I’m a Republican in the sense that I think we should all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. My family moved here from Vietnam in the middle of the war, and all their money went away in the process of coming here. And now they’re like doctors and engineers. They did it. But I’m not one of those people that’s like, “We should all pool our money together.” I’m mostly Democratic. But at the end of the day, I have no problems pushing the boundaries of what comedy can do in this world. The Daily Show shows how stupid the other side is.
Well, don’t let me give you the impression that I think there are topics that shouldn’t be a punchline. I think as long as it’s funny, anything’s fair game. But once you’ve gone into the area of political or religious comedy, people have a way of painting you with that brush because you’ve taken a stance one way or another. It’s almost like you have to decide whether or not you’re a “political comic” or a “non-political comic”.
That’s their cause.
OM: — Right. Awhile back, I got quoted on FOX News about gay marriage. I said something to the effect of, “I think it’s ridiculous that Barrack Obama, as a minority, and after everything the black people have been through, that he’d tell gay Americans they can’t get married.” It’s ridiculous. Who the f-ck is anyone to say who’s allowed what rights? That’s my stance: how is that fair? Can we all really say that’s fair? And since that’s my stance, I’m going to say it and I’m just going to make it relatable. I’m not really scared about being painted one way or another. If someone’s like, “OIivia’s big on gay rights and baby elephants”. So, you’re upset because I want people to have equal rights and animals not to get hurt? That’s what you’re complaining about? That’s a good move. Have fun with that paintbrush.
OM: Which is why I’m going to have to announce my retirement from The Daily Show right now.
I’m sure they’re going to be very upset to hear it. And that you’ve chosen this platform to announce it.
OM: I’ve changed my mind. Hey, you ever come to L.A. to do standup?
No, I haven’t. I’m small-time. For the last few years, I was running a restaurant, and I started writing and performing, and eventually I was doubling the income I was earning running a restaurant with standup and writing. So, I quit my “real job” and just deal with comedy full time. Best decision I ever made. And I’ve performed all over Texas and the surrounding area, but never out in Los Angeles.
OM: That’s awesome!
Yeah. I just moved down to Austin a month ago. Bought a condo down here and moved at the beginning of May. I’ve been down here performing during SXSW and stuff, but I’ve heard the standup scene here is just as political as it is in Dallas.
OM: Well, if you’ll send me some of your stuff, I’ll get it passed around to some people. I know a bunch of comedy people, and I’d love to help. Lots of agents and stuff like that.
Wow. Well, I’ll tape the next show and make sure you get a copy.
OM: Great! My number is (ed. note– Muhahahaha!) and my email address is (ed. note– Muhahaha!). Send me that stuff.
I’m not gonna blow up your phone or give your number out to any strangers.
OM: Don’t give it to anyone at T-Mobile.
And no random strangers.
OM: Random strangers would probably be better than the people at T-Mobile.
OK, I have one more question for you. Specifically about Scarecrow Gone Wild, a film you did awhile back. I IMDB’d you before the interview, and–
OM: Scarecrow Gone Wild is a film I did when I first moved to L.A. I came out here knowing one manager, and this guy was like 70’s year old, had plastic surgery, really weird. And so I went to see him, and he told me to go to this acting class that turned out to be an audition course. Like, they teach you how to read things in front of a camera.
OM: So, afterwards, this guy calls me and he says that he’s casting a horror movie and he needs a pretty girl, and did I want to come in for it. And I was like, “Oh, my God, yes!” And that film was Scarecrow Gone Wild. I credit it for all my success. I’m not sure who had gone wild– if it was the Scarecrow, or me, or if the scarecrow was making the town gone wild. I had to figure all that out–
I’m sure you worked exhaustively on the backstory.
OM: Yeah! And when I got there, I had like one or two lines. But it was all in the eyes. Where did she go to school? Where were her parents from? What’s her favorite dish?
Who’s her orthodontist?
OM: (Laughs) Yes! And I found out that she was afraid of the orthodontist because her dog Ginger had a teeth problem when she was younger. I have literally journals and journals devoted to Scarecrow Gone Wild. I believe it’s important to do your homework when you’re putting your character together.
Well, I’m a big fan of bad movies. I’m fascinated by that sh-t. So, I had to ask–
OM: I did a movie called Insanitarium for Sony. I’m this nurse for a doctor that’s injecting people with this stuff that turns them into zombies. And I’m the good-hearted nurse who’s trying to run around helping everyone get outta there. So, I see my boss has turned into a zombie, and…well, you might come when you hear this line–
I already have.
OM: Good. Well, I see my boss has turned into a zombie, and she corners me and she’s about to eat me– because she’s a zombie– and I have a knife that I stab her with. And as she’s hunched over, in pain and dying, I whisper in her ear, “Consider this my resignation”.
OM: Tell me that’s not the best B-movie horror line you’ve ever heard in your life.
I’m gonna have to seek that one out.
OM: It’s on backorder on Netflix. Lots of people seeking that one out.
I’ll look it up. Well, you’ve given me so much to work with. Thanks so much for giving me your time–
OM: No, it was awesome! Thank you! And you sound like a really cool guy, so send me that stuff. Email it to me, or call me.
The next time you’re coming into Austin, lemme know. I’ll buy you a drink down on sixth.
And with that, my time with Olivia Munn was over. Of course, the likelihood that I’m ever going to get the opportunity to buy Olivia Munn a shot in downtown Austin is very slim, but what a cool chick, right? I’m happy to report that all the (nice) rumors you’ve heard about Olivia Munn are true: she was absolutely the most down-to-Earth, non-assh-lish celebrity that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. Be sure to check out Olivia’s run on The Daily Show over the next few weeks on Comedy Central, and also be sure to give Perfect Couples a chance when it arrives on NBC in August. If that’s not enough Munn for ya, Olivia’s book goes on sale in July. 2010 may just be the year of Olivia Munn, but I don’t think we’re going to hear anyone complaining.