Earlier this week, Kevin Pollak sat down with Ron Bennington to tape an episode of Unmasked at the SiriusXM studios in New York City. Pollak is already an accomplished actor, at the top of his game as a stand up comedian, and one of the biggest podcasters in the game, and now he can add director and filmmaker to his marquis.
Throughout the one hour interview, Pollak talked at length with Bennington about his new documentary feature film, “Misery Loves Comedy” adding his own perspective to those shared by over 60 comedians in his film. He talked about why misery coexists with comedy, and the role rejection plays in the lives of performers, and marveled at how incredibly open the comedians in his film were on camera.
He also talked about his own career, or more appropriately, his careers. From his film career, he shared stories from The Whole Nine Yards, Avalon, The Usual Suspects and A Few Good Men, including advice he got along the way from Barry Levinson, Rob Reiner and others. He had so many great stories from his comedy career too, getting big laughs as he described getting caught lip syncing an entire Bill Cosby comedy album when he was just ten years old (his mother made him perform it for friends at Passover), and later sharing his thoughts on Cosby now (he used the word sociopath).
Pollak explained what it felt like to be someone who made Johnny Carson laugh so hard he would push himself back from the table and clutch his chest (“a joy in life I can’t possibly match”). And he explained how he does his amazing impressions. “Doing an impersonation is a parlor trick,” he said, “Almost like Penn and Teller will deconstruct a routine– here’s how it’s not magic– and I’m still going to fuck with your brain. So if I can think of someone you like and I can recreate them in front of you, I will steal the affection you have for the actual person,” he said. And then, as promised, he blew everyone away.
Watch just a few of the impressions Pollak shared over the course of the hour, including a one word impression of Liam Neeson, an impression of Jason Statham turning six words into two syllables, his Albert Brooks impression that didn’t fool Larry King, and his infamous Peter Falk impression.
The interview airs in its entirety on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog Comedy Hits 99 premiering at 2pm et on Raw Dog’s “Bennington” and then will air throughout the weekend on Raw Dog. You will also be able to listen on SiriusXM On Demand.
Kevin Pollak’s “Misery Loves Comedy” is in theaters, and also available on iTunes and Amazon.com.
“Unmasked” features hour long interviews with artists in the business of comedy, taped before a studio audience. Past guests have included great performers and writers like Joan Rivers, Dick Cavett, Wanda Sykes, Louis C.K., Richard Lewis, Jimmy Fallon and Bob Newhart.