Avril Brown Presents:
Amongst the multitudes of awesome stuff I got to experience at the San Diego Comic Convention, hanging out at the top of the list was the roundtable interview with David Faustino (Married With Children) and Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose) I got to be a part of. Gracing us with their presence to discuss their raunchy-as-hell fake reality web show entitled ‘Star-ving,’ we interviewers wasted no time in getting to the good stuff. Right off the bat, someone asked the question burning on all of our brains: Is there going to be a second season of ‘Star-ving?’ If so, what can we expect to see in the second season?
DF: We’ve been getting that question a lot, and unfortunately the answer really lies with the people in power, the Powers That Be, The answer lies with the PTB, suits, Sony, I think the plan is to see how the DVD release that’s happening today on Amazon is going to do, there are some television and cable outlets looking at it, but we honestly don’t know the future of the show. We had a lot of fun, though.
CN: Too much fun, it was hilarious; non stop laughs.
If another season does come about, one interviewer asked, who can we expect to see as guest stars in the second season?
CN: We can’t say any names of anybody, but you'd be surprised at how many of our friends who are known actors have said, ’Man, I would like to be on the show!’ or would start pitching ideas for episodes; it’s one of those shows we always say writes itself.
DF: Exactly, it totally does. And again, like he said, even the first season while trying to tell people ‘Come do a guest spot on our internet show;’ it’s a difficult sell, but luckily I think the material spoke for itself, and that’s why the Gilbert Gottfrieds and Seth Greens and Ed Asners were interested; they really thought it was just funny. So now that some of our celeb friends have seen it, they want to come on board.
Avril: So who approached who for the idea of this project? How did this first come about?
DF: Well, Corin, myself and our third partner, Todd Bringewatt formed a company; Corin and him had written a great script called 'Gimme That Chicken', not too much unlike ‘Star-ving,’ but in a movie version. We’re not playing ourselves, we’re playing characters, and that’s the script I read that I fell in love with it, and then we formed this partnership and then ‘Star-ving’ birthed itself out of that, and we decided to actually play caricatures of our own selves, the real David Faustino and Corin Nemec, the real us, but exaggerated versions of ourselves. I think really how it was birthed was by us hitting the sidewalks for a couple years as a company and going in and having some successes but more failures and coming up against dead ends and so at one point we said, ‘Well let’s just write this, let’s write these trials and tribulations and let’s exaggerate it and make it funny.’ So it really came out of being beat down.
CWR’s Elliott Serrano: What are some of the lessons that you've taken from this experience in putting the first season together, dealing with this new media? You’ve had a lot of freedom in it but I’m sure there are some restrictions too.
DF: I think what we learned was, first of all, like you said the freedom's been great, I mean, you've seen the show, you know we get away with a lot, that’s so cool, but at the same time, it is a new media and I don’t think anyone’s quite figured out how to make a lot of money yet, the bottom line is it’s harder for a lot of people to see, but the great part is the freedom, it’s challenging, but you just want people to get out there and you want them to see it.
CN: The other challenge especially in producing the whole show was having to do twelve episodes in basically eleven days, that was also the challenge as producers to figure out exactly how we are going to achieve that and keep the network quality, which is exactly what we went for and I think we hit our target on that.
David also mentioned another difficulty in shooting multiple episodes in one days was the constant wardrobe shift.
DF: ‘It was just a crazy shoot, back and forth, and we would be in one episode one minute and another episode the next.’
They couldn’t help be justly proud of their efficiency as well, saying how they were consistently wrapping at least an hour early nearly every day. David also mentioned that although this is a web show, there were still dealing with Sony pictures and had to play by their rules.
DF: Being on the internet we did get a lot of freedoms but at the same time, because it’s a giant corporation, it’s Sony Pictures Television, you have to abide by the rules and regulations and the clearances, and that just took so much of the budget.
CN: And we got banned! We got banned in Canada, and in Germany; I think we’re back on up in Canada now.
Corin mentioned it was the Scheisse flick episode which really stirred up the controversy in some countries. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, in the Scheisse Flick episode, David is recruited to star in a foreign film, which turns out to be a Nazi fecal fetish snuff film. In one very memorable scene, David wakes up on the bathroom floor wearing nothing but a pair of leather boots, shit on his face and a Nazi flag up his ass. Me and my perverse curiosity just had to know :
Did you actually shove a Nazi flag up your ass, or was that just kind of resting between the cheeks?
DF: It wasn’t actually in there, there was some gaffers tape wrapped on the middle.
CN: It was between the buns.
DF: It was a bit uncomfortable.
CN: You can see why they wanted to ban that particular one; it doesn’t exactly paint the best picture of the Deutschland.
Another interviewer wanted to know if a DVD release was something they considered from the beginning.
CN: It was negotiated from the beginning, whether or not it happened was out there, Sony certainly had the option of NOT releasing the DVD, but I think we generated enough success on the internet to make sense out of it, and also we came with a quality that was above and beyond what you usually see on the internet, especially for the budget that we had and the time constraints, and not only that but the guest stars that Dave specifically was able to pull in to do episodes were just beyond what anyone was expecting.
DF: For us to pull off the coup of getting the entire ‘Married With Children’ cast in one room, one day, for virtually no money; I didn’t think it was going to happen. But it was so cool for them to come together and support me in that, especially since they’re all so busy working on two, three different shows, but they all came to our rescue. It was really the first ‘Married With Children’ cast reunion EVER, and it was on the internet. And Seth Green in that episode was great.
CN: That was hilarious! Seeing you two side by side in that shot was hilarious.
DF: The reason that whole thing came about but him and I have been auditioning together since we were kids ’cause we’re the same type, now we always get mistaken for each other.
Avril: You two seem to work pretty well together; have you guys been friends for a long time?
CN: Too long.
DF: We’ve known each other for a long time.
CN: Since teenagers, basically.
DF: Corin was doing Webster at the time, I was doing Married With Children. We used to hit the Teen Beat circle-
CN: Oh yea, like the water park events…
DF: Corin was the rebel who got away with stuff and was like, crazy, and I was the sheltered kid with the strict parents, so I wanted to hang out in his crew. We just hit it off later in life ‘cause he got ‘Parker Lewis’ and we were on the same network. This will be like our third, fourth, fifth project together. We’ve had a semi-fruitful career so far; we plan to keep on going with our company.
Another interviewer inquired: Do you guys have a personal favorite episode of the show?
DF: My favorite one is of course the most disgusting, sickest one on there called 'Just One Drink', where we attempt to have one drink, and of course that doesn't work out, and we end up chopping up our housekeeper. (laughs)
CN: Well I had to chop up the housekeeper, you just had to shoot her with a shotgun. One of my favorites is the Ed Asner episode, the Al Jew-hada. The whole thing with having Osama Bin Laden pitching his next series of threat videos and then being a fan of David’s, was just hilarious.
DF: It was just class, too, to have Ed Asner there.
CN: And that was the real Osama Bin Laden, too. It wasn’t difficult to find him.
David then mentioned how much he loved the title to that episode, and confessed it was a Sony executive who actually suggested the name.
Since I’m me and tend to notice these things, I couldn’t help but mention how they seem to get naked a lot in the episodes.
CN: He gets naked more than me! I think I’m only naked in one episode, but I am in my underwear a couple times.
DF: I think it’s one of things, that since we block-shot it, we didn't realize how much nudity was going to be in the finished product, and I think in the next season, there will be a little less man ass, and a little more woman ass.
They have a laugh over the fact there’s plenty of naked man ass in other shows, like Hung, but David points out the obvious fact that they’re, well, hung. So I mentioned how he seems to be on a masochistic streak where there’s at least one person every episode who makes fun of his tiny penis. David reassured his loyal fans, however, with his next words:
DF: I just totally made that part up; I’m actually very well hung, as a matter of fact.
Avril: So was that awkward at all, the naked spooning and all that?
DF: (in a little voice) It was a little weird.
CN: At first, yeah, but by the time we were on day five it was like whatEVER.
CWR’s Elliott Serrano: Anything you guys would do differently with what've you learned so far?
DF: I don’t know, we want to stick to as much of the vision as we can; if we were to go to a cable or network outlet we’d have to soften a couple things here and there, but we want to keep it rough and risqué and over the top. We definitely learned a lot of lessons in terms of the dos and don’ts, but I think we’d stick to the vision of the show and keep it in that vein.
Avril: You guys do come up with new levels of raunchiness on this show. Did you have to do research to come up with such disgusting ideas?
CN: We had a standard when we were writing the episodes the four of us: David, myself, Todd, and our other writing partner Sam Cass; so basically we said if it gets four laughs, it stays in. No matter how bad, no matter how outrageous, no matter how sick and twisted it is, but if it gets any less than four laughs we can debate whether or it’s right for it or not. So you can imagine that the stuff you saw got four laughs, but there was some other stuff that DIDN’T get four laughs.
DF: Sony was very supportive about the whole process, but there were some points when they finally saw some of it shot, they had a couple issues with it. We had some arguments; we won most, but lost a few.
Avril: Thanks to the gratuitous nudity I noticed you guys both have body art. Is there a story behind your tattoos?
DF: He’s got more body art than I do; I only have a tramp stamp, personally. And I have an ankle one I got when I was fifteen.
CN: You know, it’s just body art.
Avril: Is there some written here (while I gesture at the chest area)?
CN: Yea, yea, but you know, unless you can read it, I’m not going to repeat it. (laughs)
DF: I’m half Irish, half Italian, so it’s kind of the Irish thing with the Italian colors; a tramp stamp.
Avril: (putting on the fake ditz, complete with head tilt): You're not Jewish?
DF: (laughs) No but everyone seems to think I am!
David and Corin also spent some time discussing what it’s like shooting a comedic web show rather than a network show, what fans can expect to see on the soon-to-be-released DVD collection of ‘Star-ving’ (yes, there will be deleted scenes), and a few of their upcoming projects, like ‘King David,’ another fake, half-scripted reality show set in the Medieval times where David plays the ‘catch’ on a dating show. Both gentlemen were relaxed, humble and just an all around blast to chat with. If there was any more proof of their coolness required, David left us with these immortal words:
DF: Nerds really do know how to party! Take it from me, I know!
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