T.J. Miller Thinks An Alien Perspective Is Necessary To Cut Through Talk Show Politics

News & Culture Writer
04.07.17

Getty/Comedy Central

Most of you probably know T.J. Miller as Erlich Bachman, a software designer on HBO’s Silicon Valley whose previous company was called “Aviato.” (His pronunciation of this word is mesmerizing.) Then again, just as many of you may know the 35-year-old as a stand-up comedian, a profession the Denver native has participated in for over a decade. After The Gorburger Show premieres Sunday, April 9th at midnight on Comedy Central, however, some of you may come to know Miller as an alien talk show host with a penchant for pop culture human flesh.

At least that’s what Miller and his collaborators Josh Martin and Ryan McNeely, a.k.a. The Director Brothers, hope will be the case. The oddly sweet weekly late night show, for which Miller voices and partially puppeteers the Gorburger character, operates much like any other talk show on television with a studio audience, guest interviews and a musical act. Unlike The Tonight Show and The Late Show, however, Miller stresses the surreal Gorburger Show offers viewers something decidedly “apolitical.” That is, a talk show that offers audiences an escape from other programs’ constant attention on day-to-day political news, though not necessarily as a form of escapism.

T.J. Miller: Uproxx. Andrew from Uproxx. You know I love Uproxx.

You mentioned us on Silicon Valley, which we really appreciated.

Of course. I just can’t stop referencing random things.

Having watched the original web series run of The Gorburger Show, it’s nice to see it coming to television.

We’re very lucky. We were lucky to have had HBO take a shot and do a pilot with us, and we’re infinitely more lucky they released it to Comedy Central. And Comedy Central thinks it’s the right time to do it, so we couldn’t be happier.

I noticed you and the Director Brothers have a lot of the same beats in the first Comedy Central episode as in the web series.

We tried to make that as minimally different from the original as possible. I think it had to do, mostly, with legality issues. Since we were doing the show on a new network, that meant having to reshoot and re-cut almost everything. But a lot of the original beats, including the intro, were precisely what we wanted, so we just stuck to it. I mean, fuck it. You’re getting another round of Gorburger, so let’s try to make the intro a little different but stick to the spirit of the original. I’m always fine with something that is equally funny, but strangely different. I was behind it 100%.

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