Watch: Matt Walsh on improv background being vital for ‘Veep’

Veep” wag Matt Walsh wryly observes that, “the writers are exceptional at creating very Shakespearian dick jokes and they are also showing the depths of depravity that are inside all human beings.” How so?

As he recounts in a video chat with Gold Derby, his character Mike McLintock, the director of communications, asked his boss, the vice president, for a $100 000 loan. “It’s so pathetic; he unfortunately has nothing else going on in his life but that job, and since his personal life is full of problems they inevitably have to lead into his professional life, so it is terrible.” 

Walsh says his two decades doing improv comedy, which included founding the Upright Citizens Brigade, helped him tap into that depravity to mine maximum laughs: “It did prepare me for this show … it’s very good for ensemble work and very good for creating new material … we do a lot of spontaneous creation of new lines or we try to figure scenes out or we try to say things differently than what’s on the page… it has trained me very well to step into a show like ‘Veep’.” 

For its freshman season last year, “Veep” contended for Best Comedy Series and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss won   Comedy Actress. This year, the strong supporting cast, including Walsh, could break the stranglehold “Modern Family” has had on those categories.

Walsh could also contend for his guest spot on “Parks and Recreation” where he played an emergency response officer. Not wanting to be caught between “Veep” and a “Parks” place Walsh refused to say which cast was funnier.

He would, however, reveal which cast would win an ultimate fighting cage match: “’Veep’ cause it lives on cable and we can fight dirty and curse. They can’t fight dirty on ‘Parks’ they have to keep in clean.”

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