Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

The Sklar Brothers Find the Comedy Behind the Numbers in 'United Stats of America'

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire May 8, 2012 at 4:59PM

As identical twin comedians, Randy and Jason Sklar represent an unusual statistic all their own. And the brothers' own love of stats shines through in their work in sports-related comedy, from their series "Cheap Seats," which ran on ESPN Classic for four seasons, to their "SportsCenter" segment "The Bracket" and their popular podcast "Sklarbro Country." With their new series "United Stats of America," which premieres on the History Channel tonight, Tuesday, May 8th at 10pm, the funnymen expand their fondness for numbers into broader territory by exploring topics like how long we live, how we spend our time, how we spend our money and how the average American is growing in size. Indiewire caught up with the siblings over the phone to talk about this new hosting gig and how humor and statistics can complement each other -- after all, as Jay explained, "In order to lampoon something, you have to understand it first."
0
Sklars 2
Kyle Christy/History Channel

As identical twin comedians, Randy and Jason Sklar represent an unusual statistic all their own. And the brothers' own love of stats shines through in their work in sports-related comedy, from their series "Cheap Seats," which ran on ESPN Classic for four seasons, to their "SportsCenter" segment "The Bracket" and their popular podcast "Sklarbro Country." With their new series "United Stats of America," which premieres on the History Channel tonight, Tuesday, May 8th at 10pm, the funnymen expand their fondness for numbers into broader territory by exploring topics like how long we live, how we spend our time, how we spend our money and how the average American is growing in size. Indiewire caught up with the siblings over the phone to talk about this new hosting gig and how humor and statistics can complement each other -- after all, as Jay explained, "In order to lampoon something, you have to understand it first."

How did you see your background in sports relating to this larger world of statistics in the show?

Jason: The sports world is built on statistics. When you think about the steroids scandal, yes, it's about steroids, people ruining their bodies, kids following a bad trend, but it's also about how these statistic in the steroid baseball era will stand up against statistics from the time before people were using steroids. It's all about the stats.

SKlars

What Randy and I tried to do in the comedy we did about sports and statistics in the past was to find what the human element is connected to the statistic. As we got involved wiht the show, we realized that it was the same thing. You start with a stat -- 99% of all Americans live on 8% of our land. There's so much in that that speaks to who we are and why we are. That's what ends up being fascinating to us.

Randy: We have this enthusiasm for stats. I work fantasy football leagues, so statistics mean a lot to us. They define a career and there's a story behind, say, why Derek Jeter is still doing well and could be get 3500 hits -- these are all things that we ask ourselves in our spare time, as a hobby. To bring that lens to regular everyday life, well, we already know how to use statistics in a casual way.

Jason: To add to your Derek Jeter thing -- the statistic is that he's nearing 3000 hits, that's interesting. But to link that to the number of women he's had one-night stands with...

Randy: If he only had 1500 hits, would he be able to pull that off? Probably not.

How much were you involved in writing? Were you able to shape the show to your particular comedic voices?

"Randy and I are comedians, so anytime we do something, it's our goal to be as funny as possible."

Randy: We have to give a lot of credit to History and [production company] Left/Right for allowing us to be so collaborative. We were very involved in the writing -- that came from a desire to fully understand what we were talking about. The more we understood what we were doing, the more we were able to put things in our own language and to find jokes to say about it, to find the humor in it.

We come from a stand-up comedy background. We've been doing comedy for 20 years, had a couple of TV shows, podcasts, movie appearances -- we wanted to bring our audience over to this show. The result is a show that you haven't really seen before. It was important to us to put it in our voice.

Jason: We're fans of stats, but we're not statisticians, so on some level we're like the audience. We're trying to understand and grasp what all these stats mean, with help from experts and the production. But underneath all that, Randy and I are comedians, so anytime we do something, it's our goal to be as funny as possible. They came to us with scripts, and allowed us to put things in our own language.

This article is related to: Television, Interviews, TV Interviews, Randy Sklar, Jason Sklar, History Channel






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More