Nick Kroll On Ending ‘Kroll Show’ At The Right Time And Starting ‘Big Mouth’

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TV shows end too soon or they end too late — there is no middle. But when The Kroll Show called it quits after three seasons, series star and creator Nick Kroll felt as though he had found the perfect moment to walk away and try something else. Now, more than a year later, we spoke to Kroll about not wrapping the show up in a more traditional way, what he does with the many characters that found life on The Kroll Show, and his new series, Big Mouth.

From all accounts, the finale wasn’t exactly planned. Any regrets that you didn’t get a chance to put together a true finale or even take in the fact that you guys were going through it for the last time while filming the last season?

Part of me likes that it kinda wasn’t organic. Like, we started to make the show and finished, and we were like, “Oh, well that cleans everything up pretty well.” For instance, the pressure of like, “This is the finale!” You know what I mean?

The toughest thing of all was being like, okay the show’s over. I’ve loved all these characters, it’ll be a bummer not being able to do it all the time. But we had such a good group of people — in front of the camera and behind the camera. The crew was awesome. There was a feeling at the end when we wrapped for season three that everyone kind of looked at each other and was like this is about as fun as it gets. I mean, that sounds silly and maybe braggy, but it really felt that way. It felt like we had created this thing together and it just ran briefly and everybody did what they were supposed to do and everybody was good at their job and everybody was having fun.

It just had that rare feeling where everybody was like this was a great… this was a really fun gig. And that was the hardest thing when I decided to end the show was that I was like, Oh, I might be stopping people from having a gig that they really like doing. But ultimately my selfishness prevailed.

Would you go back and do that kind of show again or is just not worth trying to top, and not worth trying to assemble a new group?

I mean, it was pretty exhausting. I think there are a lot of people involved that I’ll continue to work with, for sure, out of that group. Yesterday we did this thing on Brian Huskey’s Adult Swim show that he and Jason Mantzoukas and Rob Corddry are producing and the whole camera crew was there, our DP Carl Herse, and they were working on that show. So I get to see those guys and work with them again.

Obviously, me and Mulaney have gone on to do [the play] Oh, Hello, which came out of it… I mean, it preceded Kroll Show, but we obviously did it on Kroll Show and I’m doing this Big Mouth show with Mulaney, Mantzoukas, and Jenny Slate. And a lot of the other talent that was on Kroll Show will be on that show. I definitely will continue to work with them because it’s been such a gratifying experience. But it’s hard thing to do [a sketch show] and it’s something that I feel very lucky that I got to do, but I don’t know if I’d go back tomorrow and make another sketch show.

Do you still get ideas for those characters?

Sure, at times and I just try to figure out something. I have one or two things with Bobby [Bottleservice] that I’m working toward. I definitely have ideas. Hopefully, a lot of these characters will live to do other stuff.

Any chance at all for an Adventures of Young Billy Joel stage play?

Not a bad idea, I was just thinking about Billy Joel, yesterday.

You could focus on the darker era. The “No Man’s Land” era.

I know! Like getting in trouble driving on Long Island. It’s an interesting idea. I continue to work with Mark Rivers, who did a bunch of the music on Kroll Show. “Young Billy Joel,” “L.A. Deli,” a bunch of that stuff. I’m doing this new show for Netflix called Big Mouth and he’s doing the music for that as well.

What can you tell me about Big Mouth

It’s based on the real life experiences of me and my best friend, Andrew Goldberg, about a 13-year-old boy who matured very young and puberty ravaged him and I was a very late bloomer. And so, we were best friends but had a very different version of life… we seemed the same but he was very much a man and I was very much a boy. And so the show is about all of that stuff. All of puberty.

The third season of
 Kroll Show is available on DVD now.