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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

An Interview with Jordan Cooper, the WKUK Archivist

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Since I am beginning to expand my analysis beyond Bo Burnham on this site, I wanted to explore other forms of comedy.

Take for example one of my favorites: sketch comedy. As a child who absorbed SNL in the '90s through VHS tapes, I fell in love with the variety of bits performed by such comedic heavyweights as Eddie Murphy and Phil Hartman.

From there, I went on to obsess over Monty Python and Kids in the Hall (thanks, PBS and Comedy Central!), and later Mr. Show and the subject of today's interview—one of my favorite comedy troupes EVER—The Whitest Kids U' Know.

Comprised of five members (Darren Trumeter, Zach Cregger, Timmy Williams, Trevor Moore, and Sam Brown as pictured above), the NYC-based sketch group had five seasons of their popular tv show, a feature film, and are currently streaming frequently on Twitch and uploading new content on their official YouTube channels.

While I have followed the guys since the show ended (I distinctly remember watching the trailer for Miss March at the movie theater and telling my husband, "Oh, that's Trevor!" like I knew him personally or something heh), there is one person who truly deserves the moniker of WKUK Archivist: Jordan Cooper.

Jordan attended SVA, a visual arts school in New York City, with the WKUK and had acted as their tech support for many live shows in the 2000s. He's hobnobbed with famous comedians—including SUCH website favorites like John Mulaney, Maria Bamford, and Pete Holmes—and has had an amazing career in the entertainment industry, composing music and singing in his two bands while appearing as an extra in tv series like The Deuce and films like Joker 2.

After reading his many Reddit posts in which he shares old artifacts from performances with the Doll Lickers on r/WKUK, I knew that I had to talk to Jordan about his past with the comedy troupe. Luckily, he was more than willing to divulge what the NYC comedy scene of the aughts looked like and even provided his favorite memories of local sexpot Trevor Moore (RIP).

Here is my interview with Jordan, which has been edited and condensed for clarity purposes.

Stand-Up Comedy Historian: Hi, Jordan! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about your experiences with the Whitest Kids U' Know.

Jordan: No problem!

SUCH: Wonderful!

So first thing's first. Can you please provide some background information about yourself?

Jordan: Sure!

Hello, I am Jordan Cooper. I live in Queens, NY. My job situation is too boring/complicated to explain, but mainly what I'm into is music, scoring and songwriting. I don't often get paid for it though!

SUCH: Yeah, I totally get that monetary dilemma. This website, for example, is a labor of love that I make no money from (unless kind readers want to buy something through an Amazon link here). But I digress.

How did you first meet the Whitest Kids U’ Know? When did you work with the guys and for how long?

Jordan: I've never really been involved with tech work. I was surprised when they asked me to do it, which I think had more to do with trusting me as a friend and also being very familiar with their sketches more than technical ability.

Aside from problems with their DVD player, it mostly went smoothly as it was only a button or two to turn the lights down and play some music in between the sketches. Despite it being only a button or two, I was still incredibly anxious during the shows, worried I would screw something up.

Jordan in the tech booth with Trevor and Timmy

How I met them: I met Sam at orientation day at the School of Visual Arts. That's a day before the first day of class where everyone comes to the school and meets and watches some sort of assembly. He and I were the first to start talking to each other, so we stuck together a lot of that day. Sam ended up being in nearly all of my film classes, so we made a number of projects together and hung out a lot.

I was like the only one in my class making comedy films, and I was pretty funny, so Sam invited me to the comedy troupe/club that they were doing.

Being funny naturally and being funny on command are two very different things, and I was a deer in the headlights at the first meeting.

Jordan was not a sexy fawn like Darren here

Zach and Trevor were standing in front of the class leading the way, and we were all sitting down. When Zach pointed at me and ordered me to instantly think of a sketch idea, I went totally blank. The only one in the room who couldn't think of anything. It was mostly social anxiety—I just didn't know these people!

My brain needs a very specific set of circumstances to feel comfortable around people (like, I was fine meeting Sam at orientation, but NOT FINE meeting Trevor and Zach in the comedy troupe meeting...why?? I'm still like this today and still can't predict my reactions). [Ed. note: I can definitely commiserate...see my inability to speak to Bo after Rothaniel ugh.]

In the second meeting, one of the ex-members of the troupe, Oliver, said he wrote a sketch (about a weird nervous guy) that he wanted me to star in. It suddenly became clear to me that I will have a stage fright anxiety attack if I have to memorize lines and perform them in front of an audience, and I suddenly felt extremely uptight and introverted (again, odd as I am a singer/songwriter and can perform easily in front of people), so I told Sam I couldn't be in the troupe.

But I became one of their biggest fans and supporters and came to as many shows as possible, and Trevor enlisted me to write a review of their big debut SVA show for the school magazine.

I actually did end up memorizing lines and performing in front of audiences in me and my friend's sketch comedy troupe years later, but I quit that one soon also. I'm more of a comedy fan/behind the scenes type.

I worked with them or mostly hung out for years...I first did a little tiny music cue in an unaired pilot they made. It was probably terrible, and I didn't get good at composing music until much later after that. I bet they don't even remember that.

After college ended is when I became more involved in the live shows and became their tech guy. I also did boom mic bright and early on New Year's Day on the Timmy Poops His Pants sketch and was a background extra (for I'm paid to do it) in a handful of sketches.

I always wanted to do more...I'm pretty strict about comedy and the fact that they made me laugh so much made me feel strongly they were REALLY good and also really underrated. I'm the same with all my friends who are artists or comedians or musicians...not enough people know their stuff and they really should!

In terms of concrete years, a lot of my setlists from Pianos are dated 2007. I think I did tech and stuff from around 2006 to 2007 or later (we graduated SVA in 2004), but before that I was at almost every single Pianos show anyway as a friend/fan. It was a free night of guaranteed laughing a huge amount, why not go?

SUCH: Wow, that's quite a history! While your anxiety limited your ability to participate, it sounds like you found your place within the comedy troupe. And I'm sure they appreciated your help!

What’s your best memory of their shows? The worst memory?

Jordan: It's self-centered, but the time they asked me to do a voice in a sketch from the tech booth microphone was really cool, and the audience laughing at their jokes but coming out of my mouth was exciting. I was so afraid I just wouldn't catch that laughter wave and bomb the sketch.

My other best memory is a time I had opened for them. I'm a singer/songwriter and I think I brought up opening a million times and finally was able to do it.

I even wrote a Whitest Kids theme song for the occasion ("They're in a room / entertaining you / have a laugh / or even two") and that seemed to go over well. I must confess I also performed on a comedy lineup Sam and Timmy hosted one night and I mix up the two shows in my mind!

But what I remember (and I do have a recording of this) is that my in-between-song banter got tons of laughs, maybe even more than some of the comedians. Also, Timmy introduced me by saying: "Now to break things up, Jordan Cooper!" 

I went on stage and said, "Sorry to break things up." 

Timmy yelled from the back of the room, "AW, I MEANT IT IN A GOOD WAY!" 

After a pause, I sarcastically said, "Yeah. We've all had good breakups," and it got a huge laugh. Incredibly nice memory!

SUCH: Awesome recovery! You clearly are able to think on your feet quickly.

What was the most embarrassing event that happened during one of their performances?

Jordan: From a tech POV, anytime the DVD player wouldn't work, e.g., no audio or something, it was just like an anxiety nightmare for me. I even started having nightmares about that. Just a whole audience waiting for me to fix something and I'm in the dark and I'm not a tech expert.

I have to say though that Trevor never gave a shit or was mad ever—he always thought this kind of thing was funny. I remember once apologizing to him after a show for a tech thing being screwed up, and he just went "nahh don't worry" and didn't seem to care.

In terms of the guys, the show where they started the astronaut potatoes sketch, the table that Trevor was lying on collapsed under him and landed right on Darren's hand or wrist, he stood up and said something like "fuck this" and walked off. The table got him bad. That was kind of funny but also sort of horrible to watch.

A similar occurrence was Sam tripping on speaker cables and falling off the stage, bringing the massive speaker down with him. He was fine, but it was kind of terrifying for a few moments.

I just told this story on one of their livestreams (!!!), but me, my then-girlfriend and Famke Janson—yes, from the X-Men movies, which had just been recently out at that time—who was dating Darren (they mentioned this on a livestream so I THINK it's OK to say?) who came to a few shows, were all next to each other as one of their opening acts threw dead squid parts at all of us. All over Famke. We were laughing hard but it was so disgusting and surreal. I felt bad for Famke, like what is she signing up for here, one of those moments that feels like some sort of weird dream!

SUCH: Oh geez, the price of attending an unpredictable live comedy show—squid all over your lap! Ugh.

Speaking of famous people, on the subreddit, you had mentioned seeing John Mulaney, Maria Bamford, Anthony Jeselnik, Pete Holmes, Aziz Ansari, Dave Cross, and Todd Barry perform and hang out with the guys. Which other comedians did you come across in your time working with WKUK? Any particularly starstruck encounters? By the way, I would have reacted the exact same way (I adore Mr. Show and have been obsessed with Dave Cross since Arrested Development).

Jordan: Like literally everybody. I do remember Louis C.K. walking by Pianos and meeting up with Todd Barry or one of those guys there. Being at a tiny tiny tiny apartment party with David Cross and those other guys was unreal for me because I was a huge comedy nerd and I'm not too cool to admit I am easily starstruck. The Whitest Kids never seemed phased by any of this stuff, by the way, which always interested me. 

Not just at Pianos, but also at Rififi and a few other venues, you would just be hanging out at the bar and start chatting with all these people. I started chatting with Todd Barry about the Justice League cartoon because I saw some social media post where he said he liked it. I'm sure he vividly remembers this! In my mind I'm just like, "I used to memorize your Dr. Katz bits and tell them to all my friends."

When I watch television and movies now it's full of people who opened for Whitest Kids. Brett Gelman and Jon Daly did hilarious collaborations with WKUK.

Brett Gelman and Bo

Jon Daly as Gene Creemers on Kroll Show with Bo as Diz

Me, Brett, and Sam went to a diner once and I felt like a third wheel and barely said a word, which for my friends must be weird to hear because I'm normally blabbing constantly. One time me and Sam went to John Gemberling's (Broad City, etc.) apartment and hung out, and then suddenly Sam left, leaving me there.

John Gemberling

Again, I was a huge comedy nerd so even someone like him, I was like "whoa, it's John Gemberling!", and me and him watched an MST3K episode and it was really fun! [Ed. note: I'm an enormous Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan too, have lots of merch and signed items, and my husband and I saw Jonah Ray and the bots live in 2017!]

My Funko Bots and figures of Tom Servo and Crow from the DVD sets

Memorabilia signed by Joel Hodgson and the Rifftrax guys (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett)—all gifts from my husband

One time me and Greg Johnson, another comedian friend of everybody, hung out at Eugene Mirman's apartment while he was apartment-sitting for him, and I was starstruck by the empty apartment! I knew who all these people were and just tried not to act like it.

Greg Johnson and Jenny Slate

Jemaine Clement and Eugene Mirman on Flight of the Conchords

Human Giant used to play videos of their sketches before WKUK shows and would be hanging out, and that is Aziz Ansari, Paul Scheer, and Rob Huebel. It's a very common thing for me to say to my wife, "hey I used to see that guy at Pianos..."

My Human Giant DVD signed by the three comics (I met them all in 2008 at the Paley Center)

Pete Holmes opening was a highlight because no two sets of his are ever the same. Some were the hardest I've ever laughed. I worked as a background extra on his show Crashing a few years ago, and in the scene we all shake hands with him, and I wanted to be like "PIANOS! WHITEST KIDS! I KNOW THEM..." but uh, we're not allowed to speak to the stars.

Bo with Pete and Gary Gulman

Kumail Nanjiani also opened for WKUK all the time, and I used to quote his Freddy Krueger bit for years.

Bo and Kumail on the set of The Big Sick

SUCH: Damn, that's a lot of famous people (and many of them have worked with Bo as well, for those interested). That's so cool that you were an extra on Pete's show! I really liked how he had a different comedian friend on for every episode (and Mulaney was HYSTERICAL in the finale!).

So, going back to Todd Barry. I grew up watching Dr. Katz too (I even reviewed the DVD for my husband’s pop culture website back in the day). I absolutely adored the animated comedy bits from the comedian of the week (I distinctly recall Jim Gaffigan and Kathy Griffin on the couch, for example).

Such a fun show for comedy fans!

Animated Marc Maron, Todd Barry, Joy Behar, Jeff Ross, Jim Gaffigan, Louis C.K., and Dave Chappelle all appeared on the '90s Comedy Central hit series

Was there a particular comic or bit from that show that you adored? Any memorable episodes? And did you ever meet anyone in the cast (H. Jon Benjamin as Ben, Laura Silverman as Laura)?

Jordan: I quote the show all the time and still do to this day (literally only a few days ago): Dave Attell's bit about crazy people on the street in NYC, and how they can turn off the crazy somehow. "ANTS! ANTS ALL OVER ME! ...One for Legends of the Fall?... ANTS! ANTS!"

When I saw a therapist when I was 12 years old, the only thing that got me talking to him was I asked him if he watched Dr. Katz, and then I just quoted all these comedian's bits at him for 45 minutes. End of session.

I never met those guys but I saw H. Jon Benjamin at a lot of shows. Him, David Cross, and Todd Barry started a show at Pianos called Tinkle and it was a guaranteed great time. Me and my friends went to that a lot.

H. Jon Benjamin

SUCH: Well, that therapy session doesn't sound like it was very productive, but I probably would have done the same thing at that age haha.

So you mention Pianos a lot, but were there other comedy venues that you frequented at that time? For example, did you ever go to Upright Citizens Brigade shows?

Jordan: Oh yes, all the time, and I even performed there a few times. I played acoustic guitar in a friend's comedy sketch he performed there.

I had also performed a few songs at someone's comedy show there as the musical guest. A bit of a tangent, but while I played tons of shows as a singer/songwriter, the BEST ones were as musical guest for a comedy night. Because the audience is bigger, they are super attentive and listen to every lyric and react so strongly. I also tell tons of jokes and try to pick really fun songs. Those shows have always gone so well.

The most I laughed watching improv was Death By Roo Roo at UCB. Gelman and Gemberling and Daly and a few others. They kind of broke all the "rules" of improv in a very punk way, just fucked with each other a ton, not really yes and-ing, almost like they wanted each other to suffer, and I was just nonstop laughing for an hour.

Early Whitest Kids show at Gotham Comedy Club, I think it was, back when the other people were still in the troupe. I remember that being pretty fun. Tons of shows at Rififi (RIP), and I recall some stuff happening at Beauty Bar. As a songwriter I mostly performed at places like Sidewalk Cafe and CB's Gallery, but I always wanted some sort of merging of these worlds because I had way more fun in the comedy scene than the somewhat dull folk-y singer/songwriter scene.

SUCH: Fascinating! I used to go to UCB shows a lot when I lived in New York in 2004. Always a fun time to be had heh.

It's so cool to me that you mention your interests converging with music and comedy. I agree that the two often make strange bedfellows, but when musical comedy works, it really works in my opinion.

Where did the boys mainly perform—Pianos? And do you have any fond memories you'd like to discuss?

Jordan: Just Pianos nonstop every week for years. It's really how you get good at something. Keep doing it over and over and over. Until the house was packed every night.

A lot of fond memories, mainly just knowing for the next hour or so I will be laughing. Even during bad breakups or life problems, always having a good time at those shows. A very fond memory or two is when they'd grab me to be in a sketch with them.

They had a few sketches (Whale Tail, Big Foot vs. Gravedigger, etc.) that needed "extras" and they'd grab people from the audience. A couple of times they grabbed me I think because they knew I knew the sketches inside and out.

Being onstage in front of a big laughing crowd is really exciting. You are very adrenalized all night after that. Taking a step inside those sketches was really cool, and it's kind of what things can be like when I do background acting and step into a show I'm actually a fan of. Really weird!

SUCH: I bet that was an adrenaline rush! And it sounds like you were a plant of sorts in the crowd since you knew their sketches so well.

You had mentioned meeting Kristen Schaal too. Now, I’ve loved her since she played obsessive fan Mel on Flight of the Conchords, and I’ve followed her career closely since. What was your impression of her? I recall that she played a homeless soulmate in a season 2 sketch.

Jordan: Kristen Schaal at that time was pretty well-known to comedy nerds, so I was subtly starstruck around her, and she opened for WKUK and collaborated with them a lot.

I mention her because she's one of the only comedians who remembered my name! Which I think is a sign of a cool person, knowing the tech guy's name. I thought she was hilarious and really nice! 

SUCH: That's wonderful to hear!

So this is a bit of a tangent, but seeing as you know so much about comedy, I have to ask. My website used to be about Bo Burnham and his works. What’s your impression of him? Did you see Inside?

Jordan: I have to apologize because I genuinely don't know who he is! I've heard the name but no idea what he looks like or any of his stuff! I'm sorry!

SUCH: No worries at all! I'm sort of obligated to ask because he was the focus of my website until recently. If you ever do want to start watching his stuff, I recommend Make Happy and then Inside (and you can read a LOT more about Bo's works and where to watch them here).

Back to WKUK. Let’s talk about Trevor Moore. So, I watched the show on IFC when it aired, and I remember instantly being fascinated by Trevor. He seemed like the leader of the group and he was, for me, the easiest to remember out of the five (I used to get Zach and Darren confused all the time haha).

What was your impression of Trevor? Do you agree that he was the most recognizable member?

Jordan: My impression was that he was really funny and extremely focused on a very specific path to success, which was starting a comedy troupe, playing live regularly, and then getting a TV show. I mean it seemed like he willed that to happen somehow.

Trevor joked on the livestreams a lot about being kind of chaotic and unorganized and everything, but from my perspective he really had his shit together and had incredible drive and focus. Me and all my friends are creative types and I had never seen anyone just really go for it the way he did.

I was intimidated around him because he was so quick-witted and funny. Like, me and my friends could make jokes and be funny, but there was a sort of professionalism about how quick-witted he was, like out of nowhere he could just make up an incredibly solid comedy sketch idea and I'd be like "how did he just think of that?" Like somebody improvising a song and it just seems like a totally finished song that was worked on for days.

The other thing I should mention, that he could be really driven and successful but somehow that never tainted his personality in any way that I could see. Like he was always cool and nice and very grounded, did not have an ego, did not demand things be his way, was not really impressed by celebrity culture or fame or anything (at least not that I could tell).

When doing the tech stuff, he never cared if I messed up or if the show wasn't very crowded or it wasn't one of their best—he didn't seem to care. I can't exactly understand how that makes sense. If one of my music shows did badly I would basically be a self-pitying wreck all night, and I could snap at people and be incredibly stressed out, and I didn't even have any stakes riding on it.

I feel like all of the members were recognizable in some ways because they're all pretty distinct, but Trevor and Sam being the two tall guys always kind of made them pop out on stage to me. I always used to wish Trevor projected his voice more though! All the other guys could really push their voices across the room but Trevor never seemed to attempt that, which I found a bit strange.

Also when just watching the shows, you can sort of tell Trevor was kind of "leading" things...his specific sense of humor becomes clear and you see it infiltrate all the sketches, and he had the most number of solo bits. Gross Out and various songs, etc.

It's like how Michael Ian Black fast became the most popular member of The State because they had a bunch of sketches where he says "Hi, I'm Michael Ian Black, from The State." (I read about that in their oral history book, I think.)

SUCH: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Trevor. I agree with you that his particular comedic voice was interwoven throughout the sketches on the show.

Oh man, I love how you brought up Michael Ian Black! Stella was great, and he was certainly memorable in Wet Hot American Summer and I Love the '80s. He's one of the best at deadpan comedy!

Michael Ian Black as a camp counselor in the cult classic

In terms of comedy groups like The State, I would say the WKUK are closer to an American Monty Python (Five main players: Trevor=John Cleese, Timmy=Eric Idle, Zach=Michael Palin, Darren=Graham Chapman, Sam=Terry Jones). Do you agree with those comparisons? If not, whom would you match up with the British troupe members?

By the way, there was a Reddit thread about their similarities last year, so I'm not alone in comparing the two!

Jordan: That's interesting...I always sort of thought of them as kind of not easily comparable to other troupes. Trevor used to tell me he never watched Kids in the Hall but the five sort of punk-in-spirit guys doing dark material often felt like Kids in the Hall to me (and of course, he unknowingly copied the Daddy Drank sketch almost word-for-word somehow).

Early footage of the Kids in the Hall at the Rivoli really reminds me of Whitest Kids. Timmy seemed like Kevin MacDonald, especially. But they also kind of reminded me of The State, which had that Lower East Side often anti-comedy (as in anti-formulaic sketch comedy) vibe going. The closest Monty Python thing I see is some of Trevor's early public access sketches that used to play before WKUK shows. Very very Python, which he's talked about before.

I used to see tons of sketch comedy troupes back then and what always stood out to me about Whitest Kids was their minimalism and casual-feeling approach. Using each other's names in sketches. No props, no costumes. A lack of cheesy endings (or a noticeable self-hatred when they would end a sketch in such a way.)

A lot of comedy troupes I'd see were a lot more formal and felt kind of like theater kids or something, who really want to try very hard and put on a show. Even friends of mine that I had that were doing sketch comedy, and even in the troupe I was in myself for a while.

WKUK had a sort of "effortless" vibe that to me radiated a sort of "coolness"'s hard to explain. They basically were kind of grunge-y and "who gives a shit" in their vibe, but it was clear they worked insanely hard and wrote and memorized hundreds of sketches. So it was an interesting contradiction and I'm not sure how much of that vibe was intentional or just natural from their personalities. 

SUCH: I completely agree with you on how much effort you could see in their sketches...they never felt off-the-cuff, which I appreciated. I enjoy improv as much as the next person, but the jokes I go back to time and time again are the ones that were planned, reworked, adjusted, and then presented in the best form possible.

And, yes, KITH are most definitely the Canadian Monty Python and Timmy does match Kevin's energy well. However, I obviously think any five comedy guys who dress up as women sometimes as being Pythonesque, so you can take my hypothesis with a grain of salt. Haha

I also could see the case being made that Mr. Show is a closer relative because of their interconnected sketches. Clever segues are essential for Python comparisons!

Which were your favorite sketches on the show? Least favorite? Any behind-the-scenes stories you’d care to divulge? I love Slow Jerk (Trevor yelling “Boss!” at the end is the cherry on top), and the gun guy sketch could easily be made today and seem entirely plausible.

Fun fact: The part where they run outside was filmed RIGHT in front of my old office near Madison Square Garden (2 Penn Plaza). Good times, and I always get a burst of nostalgia seeing it again. Would have been cool to see them filming, but I started in 2007, so it was probably too late!

Visiting my old Manhattan office in February

Jordan: My favorite sketch was never on the show—it's something called Hardcore (not sure who named it that).

My favorite sketch live that was on the show is probably the Cowboy sketch. I think it's brilliant and insanely funny. I have shown it to people who do not laugh once though. I don't know why it speaks to me so specifically.

I remember from talking to Sam about it that it's just very personal and autobiographical, and it gets by on just greatly observed character humor (like Kids in the Hall) over offensive or easy jokes. Like a lot of sketches, it's funny on the show but was insanely funny live on stage.

My other favorite sketch is the Mount Everest sketch, which was much longer live and took up like half the show.

Least favorite sketch...I've never been that amused by drug stuff, maybe because I'm uptight, or I just find it kind of a boring topic, so stuff like the rap song about smoking weed with dinosaurs just never did much for me. It also felt too stereotypically "college" or something, like exactly what you'd expect a college sketch troupe to do, which they usually DIDN'T do. 

But like any comedy movie where the characters smoke pot or do mushrooms and then you get 10 minutes of them acting high, etc...that never does ANYTHING for me! And it's like 1000 movies! Even the trailer for Strays has the same bit (but it's dogs). That said, the Sam in the Bag sketch all about hiding pot from your mom is another favorite, especially the live version. [Ed. note: this sketch includes the f-slur.]

Behind the scenes stories...I wish I was privy to more. I only have vague memories of Sam telling me about a new sketch he wrote and describing it to me and cracking himself up. I remember he told me one about "carpet babies" that was one of the most gross, insane things I've ever heard, and I can't remember if it ever became anything.

When I was in the infamous Lincoln sketch as an extra, the behind the scenes was mostly that someone on the production told us to kill 4 solid hours in this little town called Irvington, before they need us for the filming. It was insane. Me and some of the other WKUK friends just walking around this tiny town at 7 in the morning (hours before anything opens) and having no idea at all about what to do with ourselves. It was actually hysterical, and I went home and wrote up tons of jokes we all said during that time.

Trevor, Darren, and Jordan in the Lincoln sketch

SUCH: Oh, wow! Being an extra in one of their most popular sketches must have been amazing.

And I agree about the Dinosaur rap (it's never been my favorite song). However, the clip on their album where they play Russian Roulette is ostensibly about weed and is hysterical, so I guess the subject can be hit or miss!

As I've mentioned before, I’m an enormous fan of musical comedy, and Trevor has some of my favorite songs (My Computer Just Became Self-Aware, What About Mouthwash?, and Gays Got Married are all incredible…I had stupidly assumed he’d become a country artist when I saw the thumbnails for WAM and GGM on YouTube though).

Trevor's country music homages...he really looks like a country star, right?

I particularly like how Trevor would play with different genres (country, rap, ballads, etc.), similar to FOTC and Bo. Do you have any songs by him that you've enjoyed?

Jordan: Years after they all moved away and I hadn't really spoken to them, I was blown away by Trevor's Comedy Central special The Story of Our Times.

Me and Trevor being about the same age, it exactly tapped into that feeling of "uh oh, I'm like 40 now and I don't know what the hell anyone is talking about, and why is everyone acting so insane?" All the songs are hilarious and kind of mean and absurd. It's sort of his old man special and I really related to it.

As for WKUK songs, Get A New Daddy is really, really catchy.

I remember him editing the Hitler Rap at SVA and being amazed that he used his thesis film requirement to make what will obviously be a viral comedy sketch video in the early, early YouTube days. Like how clever is that? What I mean is, he was so focused on the comedy troupe and he really used his resources at SVA well to add to their repertoire. Rather than do some self-indulgent art project like everyone else did. I remember wishing I had been part of that shoot. I saw that video a million times at their shows and like EVERYONE is in it, except for me!

Let's Wake Up The Neighbors is hysterical if you're familiar with the neighborhoods that we all hung out in and lived in.

There are two Trevor songs I recently linked people to, Kitty History and The Ballad of Billy John. Both of those are favorites. I think Kitty History may be the most Trevor thing he has ever done.

SUCH: Those are excellent choices! I love the imagery in Kitty History (I have two cats of my own), and the line in the Ballad song about news reporting on people's social media was sadly way too accurate. Trevor had a real gift with words.

My cats Jemima and Astartes (Jem and Ash)

Let's discuss Trevor's music some more. So Reggie Watts is another famous musical comedian, and he has a cameo on Trevor’s Drunk Texts to Myself. Did you ever interact with Reggie? He seems like a truly fascinating individual (and a major influence on other comics like Bo).

Jordan: I don't remember interacting with him, but he often opened for Whitest Kids, and was one of those comedians that ended up being huge that I used to see all the time. To be honest, I never quite understood what the hell he was doing onstage, mostly speaking gibberish into a mic and having it loop back, and it didn't do much for me, but the Whitest Kids and the audience was laughing so much, so...don't listen to me!

SUCH: I don't find Reggie to be super hilarious, per se, but more captivating and like utterly mesmerizing in his talent. Also I adore his parody of Radiohead songs—spot-on interpretation of Thom Yorke's wailing, and I'm one of their biggest fans! Haha

Did you watch Self-Suck Saturdays or any of the other WKUK shows during quarantine? I absolutely adored the D&D campaign [Ed. note: You can watch the first episode and Bo's first D&D game here.] Every new video was an automatic must-watch for me, and Trevor as Futt Buckerson was a huge reason for that (everything with Pip was GOLD). Did you have any favorite programs/episodes?

Also, did you see this animated version? It’s incredible.

Jordan: I started at first watching the brief clips of their streams that they would upload, and I was fine with that.

After Trevor died though, maybe it was my mourning process, but I just started them from the beginning and have now watched countless hours of those streams. I just wanted as much as I can get of Trevor and those guys being funny. But I soon got really into the streams and all the stories they would tell and them fucking with each other, even to the degree that I would completely forget he was no longer with us, which is a really weird feeling. I'm still making my way through them.

I am so not into D&D or roleplaying games that I found it even hard to watch them do it. I used to love this podcast Harmontown and despite being a huge fan, I would really lose interest when they started a D&D campaign on there for many episodes. I watched a few episodes of the WKUK version of that, but I couldn't keep up with it.

I might try again...My favorite thing is more actual stories and conversations and not so much watching people play a game. I even have the same problem with audiobooks—I can't concentrate on them, but I can listen to conversational podcasts all day. Something about being told a story, I find it hard to pay attention. Some sort of undiagnosed mental wife who is a writer hates that I find it so hard to listen to the stories she's trying to pitch to me.

SUCH: You sound just like my husband! Haha

Back to the WKUK. I am also a big fan of Timmy Williams, especially his cooking program Zucchini Boiz (the tater tot casserole he made is now a go-to comfort meal for me). What’s your impression of Timmy and the guys? It always seemed like the others ganged up on him a bit, especially with their early pranks. Did you see that type of dynamic in person, or am I just overly empathetic and Timmy’s fine?

Jordan: I definitely did see that type of dynamic in person, but I can't remember specific moments. But the thing is, Timmy was probably the one I had the most in common with, who was the nicest to me, and that talked to me the most (besides Sam in college), and is still the guy who reaches out and talks to me to this day, so it was hard for me to be on board the fuck-with-Timmy train, though Trevor can be undeniably hysterical while doing it.

I mean Trevor and Timmy are such a classic comedy duo concept, even with one being tall and one being shorter, the differences in their voices, it's almost the most perfect thing ever. Like Laurel and Hardy or something.

A sketch with Trevor as the father and Timmy as his son (a frequent dynamic on the show)

Timmy deserves props for being a good sport, even in the times when he wasn't. If it was me in that position (very likely had I tried to stay in the troupe), I would have had a breakdown. I'm really sensitive. [Ed. note: Same here!]

One of my main memories of Timmy was at parties, he would put on Andrew WK and just start moshing and going crazy, and it was hilarious. Just a really fun ball of energy. But also really sincere and will just like tell you his feelings and share like his vulnerability with you (which is kind of what I'm like too), and this was pretty different from the other guys.

But it's something I respond to positively and probably explains why the two of us still talk fairly regularly. If I was having a bad time or feeling lonely at the bar after the show or something, I knew I could go up to Timmy and start talking about Batman or something and be good for 20 minutes or so.

SUCH: That's fantastic that you have had that strong of a relationship for so many years. And I'm not surprised to hear that Timmy's a great guy!

In terms of the other three members, I have a great deal of affection for all of them (particularly Darren always being the woman in their sketches haha). Do you have a favorite member of the troupe?

Jordan: It's hard to say a favorite when I like knew them, or especially knowing Sam and Timmy more than the other guys, but in terms of comedic strengths they all had things that really stood out. Darren was great as the straight man in sketches, especially if he's playing a guy who's really frustrated or grossed out or angry.

One of my favorite Zach things is the sketch Zach Needs Attention that I think showcases everything he can do that's funny. I also think more than any other member, Zach gets huge laughs from the way he says a line. The timing and the voice is he's using.

You see it tons of times in my old live show videos that I have. I don't know if the other guys have that down as well as Zach, and maybe it's because, as far as I understand, Zach had more serious goals of being a real actor.

Sam is just sort of this lovable presence in the troupe, like there's almost no wall up between him and the audience. Maybe that's just my perception from knowing him so well back then. He's not some UCB-seasoned performer, none of them really are, and I think that honesty and rawness is what made their shows so exciting and funny. They even had a sketch where they made fun of that UCB style of sketch comedy, which was based on a show we all saw together once, but I won't get into it so no one's feelings get hurt here.

SUCH: Ooh, I'd love to know which UCB show you had seen as inspiration for the parody, but I totally understand not wanting to upset people.

Speaking of upsetting news, Trevor’s death on August 7, 2021 was shocking to the comedy world, and we all feel his absence still. What was your reaction to the news? Can you tell me your favorite anecdote involving Trevor?

Jordan: That was just a horrible day/week/month. I was on a trip with my girlfriend and I had an engagement ring in my pocket. I was going to propose. I check my phone and saw Sam's post on Facebook and everyone saying condolences, and it felt like my brain broke. Or that reality broke somehow. It was one of the few moments in my life I've truly been in shock.

I was completely a zombie for the next several days, even as we went to the movies and played mini golf. It was incredibly surreal, and also came at a time in my life when there were a few other deaths of pets and people. Just a bad year.

I have some great memories of Trevor being hilarious and having fun conversations, but the most touching anecdote I can think of is at the premiere party for their TV show, or one of the seasons of their TV show. A lot of showbiz people there, I felt kind of insignificant (as I usually do at parties.) Trevor got everyone quiet so he could make a speech, which solely consisted of thanking me for doing the tech at their shows the past year. He also thanked our friend Melissa for helping to book the comedians at the show. I was just really touched and was absolutely not expecting that.

A more typically Trevor favorite moment was once we were hanging out at someone's house and he started talking to me and another comedian (Jonah Ray) about a celebrity who is a pedophile, and how everyone knows it, it's this big open secret, etc, etc. We thought he was kidding, but he was so adamant and serious about it. ("He fucked a kid.") After a few beats of waiting for us to finally believe him, he smirks and we realize he's totally fucking with us. Trevor did that sort of thing all the time. You still see him do that on the streams. He's a surprisingly good actor when he's fucking with you.

SUCH: Oh, those are two wonderful stories! How nice of him to thank you expressly at the premiere and, yeah...I'm a very gullible person, so I'm sure I would have fallen for Trevor's setup about the pedophilic comic haha.

So with the success of Zach’s Barbarian, it seems like the time is right for WKUK to be rediscovered by the public. Will the comedy show ever appear on a streaming service?

I know there are a number of sketches in Season 4 that I’ve never seen before, and I only watched The Civil War on Drugs because they had it for sale on Amazon (well worth the price for Trevor’s epic old man diatribe during the flag scene).

Jordan: No clue, sorry! That would be great. Isn't it poetic though that they are still thriving on YouTube with these streams, when YouTube gave them their whole start in the early days? In a way they seem like a group that kind of belongs on YouTube, waiting to be discovered. It did feel weird when they were on actual TV and there were all these billboards and ads all over NYC.

SUCH: I bet that was pretty surreal! Are you still in touch with the guys currently? Any news about the Mars movie that's in development?

Jordan: I mainly talk to Timmy, because Timmy is available, physically and emotionally, to talk to often, but recently on a stream I talked to Sam for the first time in years, outside of a few emails and social media comments, and it was a really great thing! In fact, he had me on the Trailer Boyz stream recently with his brother Nate, and we chatted about our college days and movies. It should be uploaded on YouTube soon!

Timmy and Jordan on the stream

One of Jordan's appearances on The Deuce (he's between the naked guy's legs!)

I know nothing about Mars...I'm not in the loop at all!

SUCH: That was a fantastic video with Timmy and Sam, and no worries about Mars—just thought I'd ask!

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock short film you had mentioned during the stream that features a very young Timmy, Sam, and Trevor is also really cool and oddly nostalgic for me as a college freshman in 2002. It's crazy how much has changed since then (no cell phones except Nokia bricks) and what's remained the same (hello, social anxiety, my old friend)!

Sam and Jordan shooting the film

Timmy and Trevor in the film

Sam as Prufrock in the film watching Trevor and Timmy

[Ed. note: Yes, the movie's plot IS based on the same T.S. Eliot poem that Bo recites at the beginning of Repeat Stuff—"Let us go then, you and I..."—Paul Scheer is his manager too!]

Please tell me one fun fact about yourself. Do you have any specific hobbies or interests people don't know about?

Jordan: My main thing, I like to say, is songwriting. I've written hundreds of songs, have had multiple bands. I scored music for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. [Ed. note: He's worked with two different comics named Trevor! haha]

I was also the house band for Kevin Allison's (THE STATE) Risk podcast for a few months.

My band is Trouble's Afoot (though it's solely an online collaboration in the past several years) and my other band with my wife is called Sally, and we have an album of sweet and sad love songs coming out very soon.

I also have a podcast with my friend Dave all about the band They Might Be Giants, called Don't Let's Start: A Podcast About They Might Be Giants. It's probably the most successful thing I've ever done, but it's a huge amount of work, and we can't put out episodes too often. I'm really proud of it though.

Another fun fact, sorry, I've been working as a background extra in TV and movies for a few years now. It was just a way to make easy money, and I just keep doing it. It's a weird side job to have but it can be really fun, and is good for socializing and getting out of the apartment. I've been on some interesting movies and tv shows, including ones I was a fan of, and had some cool celebrity encounters.

SUCH: That's a very impressive resume!

So what are you working on next? Any new projects? With all of your great stories, you could definitely write a memoir haha.

Jordan: I had a very detailed fantasy recently of producing and directing a documentary about Trevor and the Whitest Kids, but I just have no resources or time or motivation to do that sort of thing, but if somebody DID do it, I think I'd feel really jealous.

My next big thing is the Sally album, which I'm extremely proud of. My next album after that is a Trouble's Afoot album called Party Guy, and it's about 16 songs all about hating parties and being anxious and antisocial. A lot of it was written during the time I was at a lot of bars and parties with Whitest Kids and not feeling cool enough, mainly because I never drank. There's a song all about standing outside Pianos (where they used to play) called Sweet Sound of Home. It's a very negative song, which may give the wrong impression, but I had a lot of complicated feelings about those times back then and now.

SUCH: I would totally be up for watching a WKUK documentary—I hope one does get made eventually!

As another person with severe social anxiety who doesn't like alcohol, I can commiserate with mixed feelings on going to parties and bars. It's tough for introverts like us!

Do have any social media that you’d like to plug?

Jordan: Absolutely. I think number one would be my Bandcamp, though my albums are also on Spotify:

I would also like to plug my YouTube channel, which is kind of a mix of things, but has tons of my music and also my short films (several featuring Sam, and one featuring Sam, Trevor, and Timmy), and my most recent music videos which I am really happy with.

My Instagram and Twitter are both @ohhijordan, and I'm on Reddit as you already know.

SUCH: Your channel is a treasure trove of comedy clips (Mr. Show, KITH, Weird Al)—I can't wait to explore all of your videos!

The Self-Portrait one in particular is a real blast from the past. I'm slightly younger than you, but I also adored The Simpsons, had comedy posters on my wall, and used AIM to message people in the year 2000 lol.

Well this has been a delight, Jordan. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about the history of WKUK, and good luck with your upcoming albums!

Jordan: It's my pleasure!


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