Brandon Johnson is the co-star of Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV::” He is joined by Paul Scheer, Kate Mulgrew, Rebecca Romijn, Martin Starr, June Diane Raphael and Rob Riggle. The show has just started its second season and already is shaping up to trump its first. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Brandon to find about what he like most about playing Alphonse and what we can expect this season.
Mike Gencarelli: What do you think makes “NTSF:SD:SUV::” so unique?
Brandon Johnson: I feel like you get a lot of bang for your buck. We think our audience is really smart. We know they are. We don’t try and hit it over their head, in terms of “Do you all get what a crime procedural is?”. One of the coolest things about Adult Swim and their shows is that they get really amazing talent to be able to come in and do these shows. What separates us from everyone else is our cameos. We have Ray Liotta in there. I have no idea how they got Kate Mulgrew, but she is hilarious. You look at it and it seems like just a little show but then you look closer and realize we have every member of “The Office”, the members of “Human Giant” and most of cast from “Freak and Geeks”, including Paul Fieg. If you are a nerd, we will appeal to you.
MG: If I wasn’t already a big fan, that is really a great sale for the show.
BJ: [laughs], I know right. If you are a computer nerd…we have a robot. If you like “Star Trek”…we have Kate Mulgrew. We are taking care of you nerds.
MG: Where do you get inspiration for Alphonse?
BJ: I love the contrast of LL Cool J and Ice-T as cops on television. Alphonse has these great one-liners that are pretty potent but he is terrified of everything. I like to be the basic cop like “Hey man, I may not have gone to college and don’t understand words on paper but I know your a criminal” [laughs]. As much as David Caruso believes that sunglasses improves his skills — LL Cool J believes that flexing his pecks makes him a better cop. I try to do the best I can to convey “I really don’t know what doing on here but I don’t like it”. [laughs]
MG: Have you gotten a script and just thought it was too over-the-top?
BJ: No. We are really happy that the writers are really really good at what they do. I am just really trying to keep up with them. The creators knew what they wanted to do with the show, so by the time we got there it was really tight.
MG: What can we expect from season two of “NTSF:SD:SUV::”
BJ: Season two you get to see the lovely NTSF:AK:CANOE, which is another NTSF in Alaska. We are going to Alaska to meet my father, who is being played by Steven Williams.
MG: How do you compare this season to the first season?
BJ: The first season, I think we were trying to win you. We went to different locations in each episodes and there wasn’t a lot of focus on some of the other characters. This season your are going to get more of June (Diane Raphael), a lot of Rebecca (Romijn), and Martin (Starr) gets his own episode. One of the things we wanted to do this season was say “Look now that you know how crazy we are, let’s go ahead and give you a look at each of the characters”. I mean there will always be (Paul) Scheer, since we need him and he is just amazing.
MG: Any room for improv?
BJ: It is a weird thing. It is like a Jeter situation [laughs]. “We know that you were a great baseball player once and still are and if we ever need those skills that will be amazing, but you trust the skipper on this one and just do your job” [laughs]. I thankfully don’t have to improv that much. The writers are really good and help me out on that.
MG: What else do you have planned next?
BJ: I do but I have to be loyal to this one. I think this show is going to be awesome this season!