By Blake Garris
As host of the Professor Blastoff podcast, a writer on “Inside Amy Schumer,” and a veteran actor on “Reno 911” and other shows, Kyle Dunnigan knows about being funny. He also has an idea what it takes to be an Avenger, whether he thinks he fits that bill or not.
We spoke with Kyle about his encounter with Thor, his upcoming projects and more.
Marvel.com: Who would you say is your favorite Marvel character?
Kyle Dunnigan: Definitely not Captain America. He’s not my favorite. I like Hulk, but I think I like Thor the best. He’s got that hammer and everything. I was on a plane once with [Chris Hemsworth]. His wife looked like a model and they had a baby who looked like a model. He had a chiseled jaw. The whole family was gorgeous. And I was looking at them, and then I went to the bathroom and I saw my own face. You know when you get recalibrated when you look at good looking people for a little while and then you look at your own face in the mirror and it’s all [expletive] up? That’s what happened. So I got a little anger towards him, but I still think I like that character the best.
Marvel.com: Have you seen any of the Marvel films recently?
Kyle Dunnigan: I just saw “Iron Man 3” two nights ago. I liked the action sequences. The new things he did with his suit were awesome.
Marvel.com: Talk about your Professor Blastoff podcast for people who aren’t familiar with it.
Kyle Dunnigan: Well it’s basically comedian friends who get together. We’re interested in a lot of different subjects, so we’ll have an expert on that who will give the audience real information. But basically a lot of the show is goofing around. You know when you were in school and there are class clowns in the back saying stuff? We’re kind of class clowns, I guess. You learn things but there’s a lot more goofing around. I think there’s 20% learning and 80% goofing around.
Marvel.com: You have a lot of great guests like Ira Glass on the podcast.
Kyle Dunnigan: We had Sasha Cohen in Boston. She’s really good. She’s very smart. We just had a guy from MIT and he had a 1580 on his SATs. He was pissed because he read a word wrong. It was medium; it wasn’t mean. And so he got the answer wrong, and he’s still mad about that. But I would fire all these math equations at him, and he answered them without a calculator. It was crazy. There are a lot of cool guests like that, that are way smarter than us and you can learn a little something.
Marvel.com: How did you get involved on writing for “Inside Amy Schumer”?
Kyle Dunnigan: Amy just asked me. I didn’t submit a packet or writing sample. She kind of just asked people and that was it. It was really fun. Tig [Notaro] obviously was there too. It was me and Tig and Amy all together in New York. Tig and I had bunk beds which was fun because our combined age [is] like 80 or something.
Marvel.com: A character you created called Craig is apparently making some waves now as well.
Kyle Dunnigan: Yeah! I got a deal with IFC. I’m doing a pilot right now and I play multiple characters. Craig is the main one and I play like four other characters. IFC’s been really great in working with me. And I’m writing with this guy named Tim Long, who was an executive producer on “The Simpsons,” and then for Nickelodeon I’m doing a pilot with Craig-type characters.
Marvel.com: How much of Craig are you?
Kyle Dunnigan: I hope zero, but probably if I’m honest, 95%. No, maybe 20%. I do dumb things a lot. I leave my phone in the refrigerator or the cabinet. I get very absent-minded and do things that shock people.
Marvel.com: He got his start in “Reno 911,” right?
Kyle Dunnigan: Yeah. I went in and I auditioned. They asked people to come in and either be the victim of the crime or just have committed the crime, and then they improvised with me. That went well and then they had me on the show and they kept bringing me back. I never was really a cast member. It was just the kind of thing where they would call and say, “Hey, come down and do this.” So that was really fun. Very low-stress situations.
Marvel.com: I know a lot of people like standup and some people use it as a vehicle for more, but some people just have to do standup.
Kyle Dunnigan: Yeah, I started out in sketch and improv, and I was like, “Oh wow. There’s no money in this.” So there was an element where I kind of had to do standup, but I also do love it. I started doing standup in high school. I’ve learned to love standup but I’m not the kind of guy who has insightful, amazing thoughts about society or politics. I’m really more of a character guy. More of a Dana Carvey type performer. I think I’m more that type than say, Marc Maron or Louis CK, who are both great, and I just feel like my mind and my talent is sort of in between those two worlds. I do them both just because if I get bored with one thing, it’s fun to jump back and forth to avoid getting burnt out in one area. It’s a lot more about being honest than it is doing a character, especially right now. The top comedians are being super honest and exposing. I’m working on that. I don’t feel like I’m as good as I could be. I haven’t spent the time on standup that is necessary to be a top comedian.