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Quint sings about The Daily Show, Zach Galifianakis and missing teeth with THE HANGOVER's Ed Helms!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I recently went to Vegas to do a few interviews for THE HANGOVER… actually, it was only two one on one interviews. I interviewed Ed Helms, which is below, and Mike Tyson, believe it or not. As I’m sure you’ll understand, I’ve been asked to sit on the Tyson interview due to the recent tragedy that hit his family, but I will say that all the nerves I had going into that chat were unnecessary as he seemed to be more nervous about me than I was of him. I really enjoyed that chat and hopefully I’ll get the greenlight to post it at some point. Not to say that Ed Helms is a consolation prize. As I say at the start of this interview, I’ve been a regular Daily Show viewer for years and it was really fun for me to get to chat with Helms as I’ve seen him go from Daily Show reporter to regular on one of my favorite scripted comedy shows on TV: The Office. The interview is pretty straight-forward, so no more intro is needed. Another shout-out to Stroker Ace for the emergency last minute transcription duty. I’ve been up to no good in LA and couldn’t have juggled transcription duties while on this trip. Many thanks, Mr. Ace! Enjoy the chat!

Quint: I’ve been following your stuff for a long time. I’m such a massive DAILY SHOW fan…

Ed Helms: Oh cool!

Quint: It’s weird, it’s like THE DAILY SHOW is turning into what SNL used to be, you know? It’s a springboard for new talent.

Ed Helms: It’s a great incubator, because it’s such a smart staff, and it really kind of… like, I know for me, it really pushed me to help define my sensibility and kind of…kick things up a notch, I guess.

Quint: Well, and probably also sharpened your skills.

Ed Helms: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Quint: You know, when you do something four days a week…

Ed Helms: Five days a week. (laughs) It airs four days a week, but we are working five, trust me. Sometimes more.

Quint: Yeah. And I love seeing that you’ve now made it to a film where it’s an ensemble movie, but what I find really fascinating about your character in this movie is that he really is the emotional core of the film. He’s the person that the audience has their cheer moment for, you know? He’s the one who’s completely different at the end. He’s the one who has the arc.

Ed Helms: He also has the furthest to go, cause he’s sort of like in… he’s in a pretty awful situation at the beginning of the movie. He’s in a tremendous amount of denial. It’s fun because he goes through purgatory, and then it’s kind of an awakening of sorts as well, so… it’s fun. It’s definitely a fun sort of arc to play.

Quint: I could easily see that character, if it had been done differently, if the writing hadn’t been there, it would’ve been the character that got lost amongst the Galafianakises, the bigger personalities. It’s the straight man, a lot of times, that doesn’t get the attention. But I just love that scene with you and Rachel (Harris) at the wedding…

Ed Helms: Oh, God.

Quint: You know? It’s a cathartic moment.

Ed Helms: Cool. Thank you. Thanks for saying that. I have to say too, Rachel plays that part so well. She’s so funny. I’ve known her forever. She was on THE DAILY SHOW! She’s such a good friend. I’ve known her for a long time. We have such an easy chemistry, and…it was so playful and fun.

Quint: She also seemed to really boil it down – she took, like, the worst part of any relationship possible and just kind of made it all come to a head in one character. (laughs)

Ed Helms: You’re right. She embodies every awful trait you could possibly ask for in a bad girlfriend.

Quint: Let’s talk about the tooth. In the flick you wake up and we see all the crazy shit around you, but the fact that you’re missing a tooth is somehow more personal. Something happened to your body… Except when we see the photos during the credits, you seemed to be the only one physically altered by the lost night.

Ed Helms: Yeah. (laughs) I think it’s safe to say that everyone got pretty emotionally damaged after looking at those pictures. And Bradley did get – or Phil, rather – gets a nice swipe from a tiger claw.

Quint: That’s true – but that’s after the fact…

Ed Helms: Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. (The tooth) is during the hangover.

Quint: But I guess he was in the hospital, wasn’t he?

Ed Helms: You’re right! And that’s never explained, which is – it’s one of my favorite McGuffins, like, how and why was Bradley in the hospital? (laughs)

Quint: (laughs) Well, I mean, you need to have someplace to go for the sequels, so...

Ed Helms: Right.

Quint: Cool. This must’ve been just such an awesome gig. You get the movie, you get to play around with some of the funniest people working today, you get to spend a couple months in Vegas. Did you have to really seek out the role, or did they come to you?

Ed Helms: Well, the movie was incubating in Hollywood for quite a while, and for a long time, Todd (Phillips) was just a producer on it. I read the script way early on, and I loved it, and I was like, “I just gotta get on board with this thing.” There wasn’t a director attached at the time. Todd was still producing, then Todd, and this guy Jeremy Gerlich did a heavy re-write on it and I think Todd sort of fell in love with it during that, and decided he wanted to do it. And I knew Todd, cause we have a very close mutual friend, Scott Armstrong, who wrote OLD SCHOOL and ROAD TRIP. So, I knew Todd casually, but then we actually had a couple of meetings about THE HANGOVER, and we just seemed to be on the same page right away, and a few months later it really started to gel and come together, and I got the part. And it was like - I was over the moon.

Quint: Was there any playing around with who would be which character?

Ed Helms: I think like any movie, there’s a lot of puzzle pieces that have to fit together, you know, because sometimes you can’t get who you want for whatever schedule reasons. For a long time it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to do it because of my obligations to THE OFFICE, but Todd is someone you just really want to work with. The puzzle pieces just started to come together, and I think at a certain point, it became what it is.

Quint: Okay. Well, what about the origins of the song? I saw the movie yesterday, and I thought it was great – and then I get back to my hotel room, and there’s a little bag waiting for me that has the CD.

Ed Helms: Oh cool!

Quint: And I was just like, “Okay – I want Galifianakis’s song, and I want your song,” and sure enough – they both were on the CD!

Ed Helms: (laughing) Zach’s song is so funny! God – it’s just so dumb. And that was totally spur-of-the-moment, improvised. We did a bunch of different stuff in the car that day. We all sang stuff, and then we were all just like – cause it’s kind of a joyful moment in the movie. We just did a whole bunch of stuff. I hope some of the outtakes wind up on the DVD, because there’s a lot of ridiculous stuff. But Zach captured something so perfect in that moment, which is like his desperation for acceptance, and his desperation to be like friends with us, so –

Quint: No, it does. It feels like a seven year-old that’s like so excited at the prospect of having some friends.

Ed Helms: And it turns out to be a really sweet moment, because Bradley and I share a look, and it’s kinda like, “Yeah, this is cool.” Like, we are three pretty good friends at that point, you know? We’ve been through hell at that point. But then my song… there was that piano on set, that’s just part of the scenery, and I used to just play around on it during the production like, between takes, whatever, and noodle around, play an Elton John song, or whatever. I do an Elton John impression, so I was doing that on the set, and Todd was like, “You should do a song! Do a song for the movie!” And I’m like, “Where would you put it?” And he goes, “It’s perfect right after you guys roofie the tiger we need a little breath in the movie.” So I went off and I wrote it and I brought it back to Todd an hour later, and we go over it, he helped change some words, we set up and we shot it, right then. And that was it. It was like, all happened in a day. I’m really proud of it. I think it turned out great. And then on the soundtrack – it’s not in the movie – but in the soundtrack, it has an orchestral score under it, that they added later.

Quint: (laughs)

Ed Helms: Which I LOVE. It gives it so much…gravitas, you know?

Quint: Alright, cool. Thanks so much, man – I really appreciate it.

Ed Helms: Thanks a lot!

Short, but sweet. The flick really is funny and, in my opinion, the best thing Phillips has done. And it’s just great to see a real star vehicle for people like Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • June 5, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Better than Land of the Lost

    by burkalicious

    This movie is funny as shit. Way better than that crap Will Ferrell is dishing out.

  • June 5, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST


    by burkalicious

  • June 5, 2009, 1:27 p.m. CST


    by FilmGuy125


  • June 5, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Mike Tyson.....

    by greedosspeedo

    Is he still broke?

  • June 5, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    It's "Galifianakis"

    by RockMSockM

    But I do enjoy a misspelled headline. ;)

  • June 5, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Goddamnit, Quint....

    by The Dum Guy

    Couldn't we get a spoiler warning on this?<br><br>Now I know I will never know what the fuck went on with Bradley going to the hospital... FUCK!

  • June 5, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Please no "Breasts Out For Attention Girl" tomorrow!

    by NeilF

  • June 5, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Nice interview, Q. No news on the sequel?

    by Heckles

    Wonder what their deail was. Sign these guys before their salary goes up?

  • June 5, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Ed Helms ... will always remember him getting

    by skimn

    a small mole on the side of nose sliced on camera for The Daily Show. Accompanied by an "eeeewwww" from the audience.

  • June 5, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Mike Tyson could use some good news glad this is working out

    by walrusholder

  • June 5, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    I agree with The Dum Guy

    by VikingQuestFan42

    Spoiler warning necessary

  • June 6, 2009, 12:26 a.m. CST

    pretty vapid interview

    by TheExterminator

    it's the nard dog for fucks sake...

  • June 6, 2009, 1:58 a.m. CST

    funniest film in I can't remember.

    by antonphd

    The audience I watched it with was laughing so much and so hard that we all missed at least 1/2 the jokes. I'm not exaggerating. This is the most constantly laugh inducing film in I honestly can't remember how long. Maybe never before. I'm drawing a blank on another movie that made an audience react this way. I can't even hype this too much because you haven't seen 1/10000 of what's funny in this film in the trailers. You saw what was probably the only scenes that can be shown in a trailer.

  • June 6, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Please, no more

    by DrMorbius