In this episode of the “Ad Block” podcast, Charney talks about the circumstances that led him to move from New York City to San Francisco and begin writing sketches. In the mid-1990s, New York was a stand-up comedy town, heavily influenced by acts like Seinfeld.
“I was much more influenced by ‘Saturday Night Live’ growing up,” he says. Cast members like Eddie Murphy, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn were his comedic touchstones.
A chance reference to a Fugees song named the new troupe, and he rented a space for performances in a pre-tech boom San Francisco that was still relatively affordable. “There are no rules to sketch. It is the greatest genre because you can do anything you want, and yet at the same time, people will still suspend disbelief,” Charney says.
Charney also weighs in on the trauma-inducing laughs of Netflix’s “Big Mouth,” the tight storytelling of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and drafts a “Saturday Night Live” fantasy cast.