Rob Schrab [Interview]

Rob SchrabThere isn’t (or at least there shouldn’t be) a self-respecting hipster or egocentric granola inhaling egotistic out there who doesn’t love The Sarah Silverman Program or Children’s Hospital.  And the rest of us who do, are probably just screwed in the head a bit.  But, dammit to we appreciate good comedy!  Good comedy is a jewel that seems insanely missing in a time where people are watching 4 drunk hillbillies telling mediocre to lame jokes about farting a potato salad, or watching a bunch of idiots living in Jersey talking about tanning and their biceps all damn day.  But, somewhere beyond this madness, there is some very funny stuff happening.  And behind the names you see, feel, and love, there is always the true genius behind them.

And Rob Schrab is definitely the elitist when it comes to masterminds behind the pen, behind the camera, and even in front of the camera (even more so, in drag at times!).  Whether it’s for The Sarah Silverman Program, Children’s Hospital, his latest stint directing new favorite hit The Mindy Project, or even writing the screenplay for a kids movie the way it should be written, Master Schrab has been killing it in so many different arenas.  Arenas that also involve the world of comic books as well.  There really isn’t much Rob hasn’t found himself unveiling his presence to the world with.  And now, he is unveiling himself (in the most appropriate manner, of course) to you, the lovely Trainwreck’d Society audience!  So sit back and enjoy a few words from one of the funniest men in comedy in this somewhat decadent time.

You have worked in almost every aspect of film and television, from music videos to film to sketch comedy and so on.  Is there any arena you have yet to touch, but would like to? 

I’ve worked in aspects of feature films but the end game is to create/write/direct a franchise.  I grew up with Terminator, Nightmare on Elm St., Robocop, Dr. Who; I hope my characters will one day live among those icons.

Rob in drag as the host of Cookie Party!  As seen on The Sarah Silverman Program.

Rob in drag as the host of Cookie Party! As seen on The Sarah Silverman Program.

How did you manage to get on the Sarah Silverman Program creation team?  And how did Sarah convince you to get into drag?  Did she have to?

Dan Harmon and I were one of many writing teams that Sarah met with. Coming from comic books I originally didn’t think I’d be suited for a sitcom, but Harmon was such a super-fan of Sarah that he wouldn’t let go. He’d be constantly sending her story ideas and jokes late at night until she was convinced to hire us. When it came to finding a director Dan and Sarah fought for me when the network was nervous about a first time director. It’s interesting, seeing as how I was skeptical about doing a sitcom when it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Dressing in drag was my idea. Sarah saw a short I directed for Channel 101 called “Thriller Chiller Theatre,” where I played the cross-dressing horror host, Minnie Coffee. After the screening she said, “you HAVE to do that on the show!” And the rest was herstory.

You have an impressive resume of adult oriented humor, but you also wrote the screenplay for the hit children’s film, Monster House. What led you towards writing a children’s film?

I loved movies like Goonies, Explorers, and Monster Squad; they were fun and didn’t pull any punches. They had a respect for the kids watching, and knew they could handle scary themes. It’s a shame movies aren’t like that anymore.

Creating an opening segment for an awards event, as you did in 2009 for the 81st Annual Academy Awards, seems to an outsider such as myself as sort of a daunting task.  Was it similar or different to the work you had done prior to creating that opening?  

It was daunting for me as well –but how do you pass up working with Wolverine? It was the first time Harmon and I worked together since he left the Sarah Silverman Program. The country was going through a recession, and it seemed inappropriate to shove glitz and glamour down the world’s throat. We decided to shine a light on it, making it a song and dance number surrounded by cardboard and duct tape. It’s one of my proudest moments of my life. Hugh Jackman is a greek god; I’m a fan for life.

Since we always have to ask….where do you keep your Emmy? Any significance?

It’s next to my Channie (Channel 101 award). Both have equal value.

Scud3And with all of your other numerous achievements, you also created an amazing comic book series entitled Scud: The Disposable Assassin.  Can you tell us a little bit about that series?

Scud is, and always will be, closet to my heart. When Image ask to reprint the past issues, it was like a call from God. I had left the series unfinished for ten years, to go back to my roots and finish what I started was another proud achievement. I hand out copies of the Scud Omnibus around the holidays to friends and co-workers; the look on their faces when they hold that thick book is precious.

Would you consider yourself a comic book nerd?  If so, what is your take on the comic book industry in our modern times?

I consider myself a nerd, globally– comic books, movies, cartoons, toys, art. It’s hard to give an opinion about the industry.  When I was in it, I self-published– now that I’m out it’s even harder for me to understand. Comic Con is out of control.

If you had to pick one occupation in the television and film industry, what would it be?

Director, because it’s everything: writer, designer, performer, SFX. I like getting my hands dirty.

What does 2013 have in store for Rob Schrab?

More guest directing on The Mindy Project. I really want to do a low-budget feature, outside of the system that screams Rob Schrab.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife, Kate, at lunch.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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