Tonight, Carroll Hall will host SNL head writer and UNC class of 1993 graduate Bryan Tucker. Staff writer Rachel Jones spoke with him about how to build a career in comedy, what it means to be funny and the hosting abilities of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The Daily Tar Heel: How did you get to SNL from UNC?
Bryan Tucker: Through (Student Television) I met four friends who were also doing comedy, and we became really good friends and began a sketch group called Selected Hilarity, and we played around campus for a few years. Then we toured around the country after we graduated and played about 400 shows in about four years, so we did a whole bunch. And then the group broke up, though those guys I met at Student Television are still some of my very best friends, and we still get together all the time, and at least a couple of them will probably come to the talk. I did standup for a couple years until I started to get the opportunity to write for different shows, and then in 1999 I got hired on “The Chris Rock Show” on HBO. That was my first TV show gig, and from there I got hired on several other places like “Mad TV,” “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and then “Saturday Night Live.”
DTH: What makes something funny?
BT: There’s no definitive answer on what makes something funny. It just kind of depends on who you are. My philosophy when I write is to take what makes me laugh and put it out there as best as I can, and if people like it, then that’s great. The more you stay in the business, you kind of learn, “Oh, that didn’t work out last time, so maybe I’ll try it this way this time,” and you learn from your mistakes.