Silicon Valley pair back for more laughs

IMG_20150725_131523x
Ask Miller (left) and Middleditch (right) for a photo and get comedy gold

Sunday marks the 3rd season premiere of one of TV’s funniest comedies–Silicon Valley (10 p.m. ET, HBO and HBO Canada).

Some other show comes back right before that, Game of Something or other. Veep is also returning, but as Hugh Hefner used to say, let’s stick with Silicon.

I had fun interviewing leads Thomas Middleditch and T.J. Miller last summer at Just for Laughs in Montreal. They had just flown in with executive producers Mike Judge and Alec Berg along with co-stars Zach Woods and Martin Starr.

Miller and Middleditch were running on pure adrenaline after jetting up from LA and partying the night before in Montreal. JFL is like this giant, week-long street party with simultaneous comedy outbreaks tucked into every available club.

Even if they’d been well rested, Middleditch and Miller just seem like sly, mischievous lads. They killed at the JFL panel session that day, turning the Q&A into a live improv set with the premise basically being “decontruct a Q&A session.” The moderator is probably still  in therapy.

Judge, in his droll, understated way, got into the act. He was asked why more women weren’t represented on the HBO comedy series about nerds in the tech industry. Said Judge—who previously created King of the Hill—“I never got asked why I don’t show more women in the propane industry.”

Judge and Berg say Silicon Valley is a challenging series to craft. Judge used to supervise writing staffs cranking out 22 King of the Hill scripts a year and Berg worked on Seinfeld. Neither can imagine feeding that broadcast network machine again.

Doing 10 scripts a year now “seems impossible,” says Judge. “This feels like making three movies.”

Berg says it’s their own fault—they made the series more challenging to write than most. Other comedies he’s worked on, most episodes are “stand alone”—there’s a situation, and a resolution 22 minutes later. “This show,” says Berg, “because the pilot was so much about Richard (Middleditch’s character) starting this business, it just seemed like that’s what the show has to be about going forward.”

For more on the series and the actors, follow this link to the Silicon Valley feature I wrote this week for The Canadian Press.

Leave a Reply