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Now, on Your TV: Comedian Nick Kroll and His Many Alter-Egos
The Kroll Show debuts tonight on Comedy Central, but which persona is the real Nick?
Maybe you spotted the billboard on La Cienega – the one advertising Dr. Armond’s canine plastic surgery with the slogan, “Is your dog a total ‘dog’?” No, Los Angeles’ obsession with physical perfection hasn’t reached a new low; it was just a clever bit of viral marketing for The Kroll Show, comedian Nick Kroll’s new Comedy Central show, which debuts tonight.
“It was such a funny L.A. thing,” Kroll says, “People were confused by it. Padma Lakshmi, the host of Top Chef, was living in New York and came to L.A. and tweeted a picture of it being like, “L.A. is insane”.” (Actually, she tweeted, “I love LA. #ridiculous #creepy.” But either description seems fair.)
Best known for playing Ruxin on The League, Kroll managed to parlay his most popular Funny Or Die bits into a full-fledged TV show. The Rich Dicks, an insolent, overprivileged duo, are known for making pronouncements like, "It's so funny when racism's casual." Alongside established characters, Kroll is introducing new ones, like Dr. Armond who hosts a reality TV shows inspired by Dr. 90210 but just wants to spend quality time with his pugnacious son and disinterested wife.
The billboard wasn't the only unusual advertising method for The Kroll Show. Kroll's coterie of characters are also using social media to express their larger than life personalities. Bobby Bottleservice, who describes himself as "A very cool, very white Jay-Z," has his own Twitter feed where he gives shout-outs to celebrities like Donald Trump, "u r my heero. Ur good at bizness an politicz. Pls hire me." PR agents Liz B and Liz G have a PubLizity Pinterest account where they pin their favorite pictures of animals wearing hats and drinking from straws.
A Los Feliz resident, Kroll left New York five years ago to pursue comedy and has been performing regularly at L.A. spots like Upright Citizens Brigade and Largo ever since. From writing for Chappelle's Show to doing live reads at LACMA with comedians like Rob Reiner and Paul Rudd, Kroll has become a major player in the local comedy scene.
"The most fun thing I get is from people being like, 'I ran into a Bobby Bottleservice today!', or 'Here's a picture of the "Oh, hello" guys',” Kroll says. “People taking real life things and being like, 'Oh my God, it's just like your character!' That is amazing."