Kurt Metzger Talks Emmy Nominations, Jim Norton, and Amy Schumer


Chappelle’s Show vet and Comedy Cellar regular Kurt Metzger says he’s done courting the ire of bloggers who feign outrage in the service of page counts: “If you like it, good, and otherwise don’t even watch it. I don’t need to break it down any more than that.” At the final party of Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy festival, he reflects on his recent successes…and his subsequent lack of leisure time.

See also: Hannibal Buress: “Bombing Can Be Good”

How has your festival experience been?
It was good! But I’m worn out. I think I did too many shows. At first I wanted to, but in hindsight I should have had a free day or something.

Any personal highlights?
Andy Kindler’s State of the Industry speech. And I went to the tail ends of the Green Room with Paul Provenza shows, but then the rest of the time I had to do my own shows. I had, like, three a night.

You were part of the Bill Burr Gala taping.
I’ve been here before, but I’ve never done a Gala. I thought it would be shitty; I’ve seen footage of really good comics doing really great jokes, and the crowd not laughing. Like that’s all the Gala footage I’ve ever seen, the crowd being not that into it. But this one was good.

You also performed your own solo show every evening.
That venue, Katacombes, is fuckin’ awesome! I had a good time, and then I slowly petered out. My last couple I was really like, “Ugh, I don’t want to say any of these stupid fucking jokes anymore.”

How much new time have you amassed since your debut hour special, July 11’s White Precious?
I think I’ve got about 20 minutes, but I haven’t done it all together. It’s decent enough to do, but they’re not all good yet.

How does it feel having your first hour special under your belt?
Like I took a big shit! It’s great! It feels like a real relief to get that out of me.

Tell me about the special’s promotional pamphlets.
They’re like fake Watchtowers, and they were supposed to be, like, eight pages! I can’t write that much! For a promo thing, it’s too much. So I found some old shit I wrote that I was able to cut and paste at the last minute. It’s like my “prophecies.” It looks great.

There’s still some irregular copies, and if people want them they can Facebook me, and I can probably give you some. Comedy Central made them, and I said, I’ll put it on my Facebook that the first however many people write to me, I’ll mail them to you, and you should throw them on the ground, like how you should find one of those. And they had codes on them to download the album version. A whole bunch of people wrote in, but I only sent it to, like, the first 10. Because Comedy Central wasn’t going to pay for all that postage. But it was a good promo.

The same week White Precious aired it was announced that the Inside Amy Schumer team was nominated for an Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Emmy.
If I don’t win, who gives a shit. No one cares about a nomination. I just want the actual statue, and then I’ll be happy about it.

What’s the significance of such a decidedly dirty show receiving that mainstream recognition?
They give it to dirty stuff. You can be dirty and get it, like South Park. But it’s a big deal. I’m pretty proud of it. The last season had really fucking good writing. And Amy’s smart in how she picked the writers. She got really diverse sensibilities, so it’s not “A Chick Show.” Jessi Klein’s the head writer, and we’ve got Neil Casey, who used to write for SNL, Christine Nangle, Emily Altman, and Jeremy Beiler, he wrote the one making fun of Aaron Sorkin, which I liked a lot. Dan [Powell] the producer, he threw in. Amy’s sister Kim writes some of the sketches, but she’s technically an associate producer, so she doesn’t get a statue. I’m proud of them. You almost never get to work on shit that you want to tell people you worked on and be proud of. That’s lucky to get.

What sketches are you individually most proud of?

The one that I really love how it came out is the one for “Low E.” It’s like the low testosterone commercials, but for estrogen. So if your stories are actually going somewhere and you feel like less of a woman, you rub this on your hands. I really like that, and the one with the ghost in the fancy hotel room. What else did I do? And the one I was in, the first episode of the season. The focus group. She’s good in it. She can really act, so that’s how we get all these famous, funny people to help us.

And now she’s finishing shooting Trainwreck with Judd Apatow.

I was on set for that. She’s fucking famous now. It’s fine with me, because she gives me jobs. It’s great for me.

Tell me about The Jim Norton Show.

The first episode is doing well as far as views. It’s a talk show on, and me and Jim wrote the sketches. Jesse Joyce helped out, and another guy, who used to help Jim when he did his Leno segments. They worked on monologues for it. I wrote mostly sketches. That was really fun. We’ve got a transsexual co-host, the lovely Bailey Jay, and the first guest is Mike Tyson and [UFC president] Dana White, which is pretty good. And Rick Ross. The drug dealer, not the rapper. He’s the drug dealer the rapper is named after, who’s now an anti-drug…something. But he was a kingpin. His episode’s going to be great. We did four, and we didn’t really know what we were doing, but hopefully we will do more and Vice will eventually become a TV channel or something.

Overall, 2014’s been a bit non-stop for you.

I keep having writing jobs. I hate working, so I haven’t gotten back to my life of leisure for a while. When it runs out I get desperate, but right now I’m like, “Ugh, I have to go to work?”

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