SNL’s Bobby Moynihan on Going From Bro Rape to Chozen
We sit down with Chozen's Bobby Moynihan to discuss his new series and the shows that got him there including SNL and...Bro Rape.
When you meet Bobby Moynihan, he is immediately an energetic and incredibly funny presence. This should be unsurprising for anyone who has followed his swift rise from Internet celebrity and New York comedian to one of the most reliable Saturday Night Live cast members of the modern era. It also would explain why he has the lead role in Chozen, a new FX animated sitcom that also features the voices of Hannibal Buress, Danny McBride, Michael Pena, and Clifford Smith, aka Method Man. Chozen premieres tonight at 10:30pm ET/PT on FX right after Archer, and is executive produced by creator Grant Dekernion, Archer’s Adam Reed, and Eastbound & Down’s David Gordon Green, Jody Hill, and Danny McBride. It chronicles the resurgence of a hefty white gangsta’ rapper named “Chozen” (Moynihan) who is released from prison after a years-long stint engineered by his rival Phantasm (Method Man). Yet, his return marks some sick rhymes and some even sicker character quirks that were picked up while in club fed. If you’ve watched the trailer, it is unsurprising Moynihan got the part given his ability to mix over the top comedy with often awkward and taboo subject matter. Whether it is rocking his own Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball on SNL or making a name for himself at New York’s ASSSSSCAT improv show in the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, he always was able to go there. So, when I had the fortune to sit down face-to-face with Moynihan several months ago, it came on the heels of him talking with another interviewer about the infamous viral “Bro Rape” video he made with Derrick Comedy (and Community’s Donald Glover) in 2006. Of course, the conversation had to go there as well. Are there going to be any references to [Bro Rape] on Chozen? Bobby Moynihan: Oh God, I hope so, right? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Full circle. [Laughs] Comes out that that was his backstory. You could get Donald Glover to be in it. Yeah, he’s the best. Haven’t seen him in forever. Miss that dude. [Do people mention] “Bro Rape” to you still? I get it a lot in airports. It’s not fun when people scream “Bro Rape” in an airport [Laughs]. You feel a little…. Has it been weird when you met Dane Cook or Jack Johnson after that video? I haven’t gotten that yet. I have not met either of those guys, but it’s weird when you hear that. When you auditioned for SNL— Nope, they just gave it to me! No, I’m just kidding. [Laughs] I was wondering in your visual portfolio [if that’s what you use for SNL], did you show them that skit? That’s funny that you bring that up. No, I didn’t. I did Upright Citizens Brigade for many, many years and then made good friends with Horatio Sanz, started doing improv shows with him at colleges, and then I met Amy [Poehler] and Seth [Meyers] doing ASSSSSCAT, and I just kind of got on their radar. Someone approached me and said, “Would you like to audition for the show?” I said, “That’s my life dream, of course.” That’s the whole reason I got into this. So, that was it. It was a crazy, crazy process over 14 months of waiting and all this different stuff. I had a bit of a different route than other people did, because the Writers Strike happened two days after I auditioned. So, I sat there for nine months going, “I think I’m on the show, but I’m not sure.” But one of the first things Lorne [Michaels] brought up was that “Bro Rape” video, and I was pretty amazed and also very embarrassed. [Laughs] Could you compare that casting process to joining the show Chozen? The complete opposite! I got an email saying, “Do you want to put yourself on tape for this new cartoon called Chozen?” And I just saw the pictures of the characters, and I’m a big Archer fan, so I was onboard. I sought them out. I didn’t leave them alone until they saw me or at least listened to my stuff. I made a lot of improvised songs, and I campaigned to get this job. I really wanted to do it. It’s so funny and well written and just to be in anything with Method Man is the greatest—and Danny McBride, I mean he’s the best. Are they using your improvised songs? Grant [DeKernion] is actually doing the rapping on it. It’s a character that Grant created. So, he’s doing the rapping, I’m just doing the voice. But a lot of the stuff in the show I’m doing is improvised. Yeah, they let me go. I’m watching the episode and I’m like “oh that wasn’t in the script. They used that.” When you say Grant, does the actual rapping and stuff like that, do you emulate him? Does he emulate you? Or do you kind of try to find a way to mix it together? We weirdly sound enough alike. I just went for it with a voice and then Grant comes in and lays down tracks. Good stuff. Yeah. [Laughs] Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. No sweat, thank you. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!