Rob Riggle Used To Drag John Oliver To Improv Shows And Recommends Watching ‘Angie Tribeca’ On Repeat

News & Culture Writer
04.17.17

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From his days as a Saturday Night Live cast member and The Daily Show correspondent, to acting roles in films like 21 Jump Street and The Hangover, comedian Rob Riggle has built quite a resumé for himself. Then again, the retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer and one-time Colonel Sanders has also made a name for himself in the sporting world as the head of Fox NFL Sunday‘s comedy sketches, which he took over from Frank Caliendo in 2012.

Riggle also dabbled in the world of stand-up (which Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver forced him to do), but sketch comedy and improv have always been the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater alum’s first loves. Hence why his new guest stint on Angie Tribeca, the brainchild of fellow ex-Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell and his wife Nancy Carell, is a match made in heaven. For as Riggle explained to us, the goofy series’ self-aware homages to Police Squad! and The Naked Gun are just the kind of silly comedy performers with scripted and free-form experience yearn for.

Angie Tribeca is a pretty goofy show by some old friends of yours, the Carells. Is that how the job came to you?

I hope that’s how it came to me. Sometimes you never know with these things. You just get a call. They say, “Hey, you want to do it?” And obviously, with something like this, you say, “Yes, please.” So that’s how I came on board the show. I was lucky enough to get the chance to do it.

Had you been watching it before that call?

Of course! It’s a funny show, with a style of comedy that I greatly appreciate. There’s not enough of it out there, so I love it. I was thrilled when they asked me to do it.

TBS recently re-branded itself as a home for strong, original comedy programming. Angie Tribeca was a sort of flag-waver, especially for the kind of oddball, gag-driven humor of Police Squad!

Definitely. I don’t think we’ve seen a lot of this kind of humor — either Police Squad! or the resulting Naked Gun movies with Leslie Nielsen. I mean, I don’t think we’ve seen anything on like it on television in a long time, so it’s kind of refreshing to have something like Angie Tribeca out there. It’s so much fun to return to, and pay homage to, a kind of comedy where it’s just bam, bam, bam — joke after joke after joke. There are no apologies or subtleties. You just go for it and I love doing that. It’s a lot of fun.

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