Rob Huebel
Comedian; Co-Creator, Human Giant
05:33

Real-World Jobs

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It's hard to make a living doing comedy, Huebel says.

Rob Huebel

Rob Huebel is an American comedian based in New York City.  Huebel and fellow comedians Aziz Ansari and Paul Scheer are writers, actors, and executive producers in the MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant.

He has been a sketch character actor on shows such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Upright Citizens Brigade.  Huebel was also nominated for an Emmy award for his work as a producer for Michael Moore's Bravo series The Awful Truth and also produced for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Huebel is noted for his appearance as a panelist on the VH1 series Best Week Ever, his NetZero "Candidate Zero" campaign during the 2004 election, and his "Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man" character, shown at movie theatres before showtime.

He also appeared on the HBO television series Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as Fox's Arrested Development. He is the comedy partner of Rob Riggle, a comedian he worked with in the improvisational comedy troupe Respecto Montalban.

Transcript

Question: What real-world jobs have you held?

Rob Huebel: Well, I mean, it's really hard to make a living doing comedy so I feel like a lot of people, myself included, you just have to do whatever and, I mean, I've done a lot of stuff. I used to, like, before I started doing stuff on camera, I used to produce, you know, behind the camera so I used to produce shows and stuff. Man, I've done everything like I worked on a Martha Stewart Show for six months. Not cool. That was on a Christmas special. Yeah, that was not fun. I used to work at this channel that was all outdoor stuff and, like, hiking and, you know, backpacking and stuff like that and that was really fun but part of that job was also I had to sit there and edit down fishing shows so, you know, a show comes in that has to be whatever, 22 minutes, but these fishing shows, you know, these guys that were shooting fishing, they just fucking make them 45 minutes and then-- so how's that going to fit into 22 minutes? I'll edit it down. I'll take out all the stuff that's not action packed. So that's really hard. It's really hard to watch a fishing show and go, well, they're not catching anything here, we could take this out. Oh, here they catch one. Put that in. So I did that. And then a kind of cool thing that happened for me was I started doing commercials here in New York and that's a really fun way to make money if you can do it. The trick is to do ones that don't steal your soul and that's hard. Like, I actually got kind of lucky and I was doing some ones that I thought were pretty funny for awhile and, like, I did one that played a lot at the movie theaters called Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man, like, that run for a couple years and it was really fun and they just let me improvise. The director was cool and so that was fun. I did a bunch of ones that I kind of thought were funny and then I got totally burned and so I kind of, like, quit doing them because I did this fucking Olive Garden commercial. Don't tell anybody about this. But it was basically the worst experience of my life. It was really humiliating. I went in and auditioned for this thing because they specifically told me that they wanted comedians, they were changing their whole campaign, they were going to make it really funny and they were just going to let me improvise. So I went in there and I was, like, all right, because Olive Garden has terrible commercials. It's always, like, people in that restaurant, like, oh, this is delicious bread stick or whatever. So I go in there and they were, like, yeah, just improvise, do whatever you want. So I got this part. You shoot it and all day long they're just letting me improvise. I'm being really sarcastic, like, the waitress would come over and she'd be, like, "Hey, welcome to Olive Garden" and I would go, "Excuse me, adults are talking." You know, and they'd be, like, "Oh, that was hilarious. That was really great." So I did that all day long. At the end of the day, they go, "Oh, by the way, can you just say, like, these two lines just, like, really, you know, normal and straight?" And I go, "Oh, yeah, sure, whatever." So I do, like two lines totally straight and, of course, those are the lines they use. So this commercial started airing of me, like, "Oh, honey, this is great pasta..." you know, whatever, I think it was, seriously, let me think about it-- because people gave me so much shit about this. It was, like, "Hey, we're..." I wish I could do it. I've actually tried so hard to block this out of my mind. The waitress comes over and she's, like, "Oh, is it a wedding or an anniversary?" and I go, "No, we're treating ourselves." And she goes, "Oh," and she goes, you know, "Is it a special occasion?" and I go, "No, it's just Monday." And then that's what aired and it was, like, straight and sincere. So that started airing on TV and I was, like, oh, oh, no. Oh, no. And I got really upset about it because it was the first one where I felt like I'd kind of been tricked, like, I was trying to do something funny and then I got kind of swindled. So people started giving me, like, so much shit about it and so my agent called and Olive Garden wanted to re-up the contract for, like, you know, a long period of time and I told them that I wanted a million dollars and they were, like, "A what?" And I go, "Yeah, tell them that I want a million dollars” just to be a dick and so they pulled the commercial. Now it's running with another guy who's saying the exact same lines. And they're great in it. Those actors are great. So enjoy all that money.

 

Recorded On: 4/1/08

 

 

 


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