Reggie Watts On His Comedy Special, Doing His Own Thing, And Making Music With Donald Glover

During the opening scene of Spatial, Late Late Show bandleader Reggie Watts‘ new Netflix comedy special, a hooded figure talking about a “vestibule” and an “intergalactic council” addresses the audience. The smokey, darkened, effects-filled bit amuses just as many people as it confuses, though everyone in the room begins to break when the figure stops talking nonsense long enough to deliver a word joke.

“I know many of you, and some of you I do not,” says the figure. “But at some point, you will know someone who knows of someone that I have met, and at that point we will be vaguely acquainted.”

The beats that follow present viewers with a wide array of equally silly word jokes, musical improvisations, sketches and self-aware parodies that — except for the fact that Watts has combined them into a single viewing titled Spatial — wouldn’t necessarily go together. This is precisely how the “disinformationist” comic’s performances work, and while it may come as a shock to anyone unfamiliar with previous specials like Why Shit So Crazy? or the IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang!, Spatial presents it in an easily digestible manner for the surrealist-impaired.

Watts was gracious enough to chat with us about how Spatial came to be. He was especially amused by his fans’ excitement about Crowe’s Nest, a fake sitcom sketch he and fellow improv comedians Kate Berlant and Rory Scovel perform throughout the special.

Your fans seem to love the idea of an actual Crowe’s Nest show.

That was my secret plan all along, get Crowe’s Nest made.

It’s almost like your own take on Too Many Cooks. Was that your intent?

No, not really. I just like the format of the sitcom, and loved the idea of parodying it without any kind of script.

Longtime fans familiar with your surreal comedy won’t have any trouble with Spatial, but I wonder how confused newcomers more familiar with your role as bandleader on The Late Late Show will be.