Arrested Development's David Cross on giving Tenacious D their big break
The cult comedy star co-created the original Tenacious D TV show with Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk.
If you watch alternative comedy, David Cross' fingerprints are everywhere to be seen. From helping Ben Stiller get his big break with The Ben Stiller Show, to bringing the incredible Tobias Fünke to life in Arrested Development, Cross has been a major player in the American comedy scene since the early 90s.
Ahead of his "Worst Daddy in the World" show in the 3Olympia on 13 September, JOE had the chance to sit down with the cult comedy legend to talk about everything from the major strike action in Hollywood to giving a pair of songwriters their big break...
"You saw their talent immediately."
Jack Black and Kyle Gass were performing in LA regularly in 1994 when David Cross discovered them at Al's Bar and invited them to open for the live version of Mr Show. What was it like finding the band, and was their potential stardom immediately visible?
"You saw their talent immediately, and not just talent, but unique talent... I'm pretty sure it was Bob's idea to go to HBO and say 'hey, we can piggyback on the back of our show, we can do these two 15 minute mini-shows' and it didn't take too much convincing.
"They came and saw them, and they were familiar with them at that point. We knew they were special from the very, very beginning."
The show was produced while Mr Show was still in production, which led to the comedy pair working long hours between both programmes, where one half of the comedy duo would be present at all times from shooting to editing.
@joedotie "I hate that s**t so much!" ? David Cross has no time at all for people like Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand who say they've been silenced... #DavidCross #RussellBrand #RickyGervais #davidcrosstiktok #comedian ♬ original sound - JOE.ie
"It's just sick."
The writer's and actor's strike in Hollywood has dominated headlines for the past few weeks, and will continue to do so. Cross, an active member of both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, didn't mince words on how he felt about how both writers and actors have been treated;
"It's necessary. I'm happy to be in the union, they're strong unions.
"It's the same thing, when we last striked in 2008, the thing is, large multi-national corporations that own all of the distribution and content and studios and streaming services aren't going to willingly come to us and say 'hey guys, here's some extra money'. They're never going to do that unless we ask.
"We're asking them to catch up to all the advancements that have been made from the last time we went on strike."
The writer's strike in 2008 was caused by the advent of DVDs, where writers would get little to no compensation for the sale of DVDs of shows that could become huge hits on home media. In the current media landscape, writers are seeing little compensation for shows that appear on streaming services.
AI is a major concern for both writers and actors, with creatives in the media industry looking for job security, which is why both unions are "riding a tandem strike", as Cross eloquently put it.
"It's the standard bullshit from the CEOs who make literally 25 million dollars a year, not including their perks and their stock dividends. It's just sick. It's the same thing as it's always been, it's gross capitalism."
David Cross' show, "Worst Daddy in the World", comes to Dublin on 13 September in the 3Olympia, with tickets on sale via Ticketmaster.
- Lioness is the best show you're not watching right now
- The 25 best movies of the last 25 years have been revealed
- QUIZ: How well do you remember the biggest movies of 2018?
- Why everyone is talking about Sound Of Freedom and when it arrives here
- One of the best revenge movies of recent years has just been added to Netflix
- Prime Video has just added 24 huge movies to its library