Comedy | The Sklars brothers are double trouble on stage
OK I admit it – I’m a huge “Grey’s Anatomy” fan. So when I get over my star-struck-ness of interviewing the conjoined twins from Season three, Randy (wearing glasses) and Jason (“You Are Here”) Sklar, I realize they’re just a couple of normal dudes who happen to be a bit famous.
Their 20 years of experience includes projects in radio, film, TV, including “Entourage” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and of course – standup. Interviewing the guys over the phone is much like listening to their tag-team routine – as they finish one another’s sentences in ways that only close siblings can.
SCENE: Describe your two-man standup style.
Jason: Rapid-fire. Pop-culture heavy. A post- modern take on modern comedy. There’s no straight man and comedy man. It can veer somewhere between standup and sketch. There’s a lot of interplay with the audience and with each other.
SCENE:: How did you develop this unique approach to comedy?
Randy: It felt most organic to the way we are in real life. People wanted to direct us into playing like we were polar opposite, which the Smothers Brothers already did. Now, we’ve been doing it for 20 years and we’re just kind of slowly figuring out what works best for us. I’m super excited about where our material is going. The benefits of our style is there are two of us, which allows our comedy to go in different places. The disadvantages are we have to split the money which is never great.
SCENE:: Considering how closely you two work with each other (and maybe also because you shared a womb) you must have learned to get along pretty well?
Jason: We each have families and are connected to our separate entities, which helps. If we were still single and living together, I’d imagine it would feel very claustrophobic. The fact that we’re dads, we have kids – that’s hard enough. I’m not raising Randy anymore. It feels like a responsibility has been lifted, and we can just focus on the standup. So our careers, our families – it all came together at the right time.
SCENE: So, are you two fraternal twins?
Jason: We’re actually identical. For years, we thought we were fraternal, but then somebody wrote a book about how science was not advanced enough for twins born around our generation to be able to see when the egg split.
SCENE: People often see you two as one entity, but what are some ways that you’re different?
Randy: We are different in subtle ways. I tend to be more emotional, my behavior goes to the extreme, which can be stressful in terms of creating material. Jay does a better job of keeping us on track. Jason: I think Randy lately has been creating a lot of the premises and I’ve been good at shaping the bits and guiding their development.
SCENE: You guys have been featured in numerous TV shows, including “Entourage” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” What are some of your memorable moments on set?
Randy: “Entourage” was such a fun experience. Mary J. Blige was in that episode. Jason: With both “Entourage” and “Grey’s” it was fun to be on a show in it’s prime doing really well. Also, I got to do an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where there was no script, I didn’t know what was going on, but that was super great. I feel bad Randy didn’t get to do it.
SCENE: What’s next for you guys?
Jason: We’re doing a show for History Channel, and we’ve shot three out of six episodes. We haven’t been given the green light to discuss all the details, but it will come out at the beginning of 2012. It’s about sports, but it’s broader than that. We’re also working on a show with NPR. We’ve done a pilot for them already where we talk about sports. But, we’d like to take it from being a California show to a national show.
Randy and Jason Sklar will perform at the Parlor Live Comedy Club Nov. 17-19. For tickets, go to parlorlive.com. For more information, go to http://www.supersklars.com/.