Veep Star Sam Richardson’s New Comedy Central Show Is About Local Ad Guys in Detroit

And he's got a binge-watching recommendation


Specs
Name Sam Richardson
Age 32
Claim to fame Stars as Richard Splett on HBO's Veep (Sundays, 10:30 p.m.); appears in Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (July 8) and Ghostbusters (July 15); co-creator of the new Comedy Central series Detroiters (premieres early 2017)
Base Los Angeles
Twitter @SamRichardson

Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning?
Sam Richardson: I go to Twitter and get a feel for the day. Through that, I'll read The New York Times or CNN depending on what stories are trending.

Are you big on tweeting or do you mostly use Twitter as a news source? 
I try to tweet, but I still haven't gotten into the rhythm as much as some people who have, like, 20,000 tweets. There are some great comedians on there, so you get some pretty funny hot takes and bits. People like Megan Amram and Patton Oswalt are great on Twitter. It's so much fun to follow them.

What's your favorite app?
Postmates is my life. I use Postmates more than I use the actual telephone app on my phone.

How about TV shows?
Let's see … I watch Game of Thrones, of course, and Silicon Valley. I watch the shows that surround my show! [Laughs] I really enjoy Baskets. I'm a big fan of Archer and Mr. Robot. I consume a lot of TV, actually. I could just name shows all day.

What's the last thing you binge-watched?
Lady Dynamite, which is Maria Bamford's Netflix show. It was brilliant. I loved it.

What's on your reading list?
I just grabbed a couple of Kurt Vonnegut books. As far as magazines, I'll read GQ to see where men's fashion is, but that's really kind of it. I read Playboy, too, for the articles. [Laughs] They're so great.

How do you feel about the new nudity-free Playboy?
To me, it makes no difference! This is the age of the internet! Whoever is getting their jollies from magazines is living in a different time.

Your upcoming Comedy Central show, Detroiters, is about a group of guys who make local TV ads in your hometown of Detroit. How did you come up with that as a premise?
We wanted to do a show about Detroit, and the more we talked about it, we got into how those commercials that we grew up watching were so iconic. Everybody has those commercials that just feel like home, like [Detroit used car dealer] Mel Farr Superstar. So we thought, what if we were the masterminds behind all those wig shop and discount carpet store ads? That's kind of where the idea was born from.

Do you have any personal experience in advertising?
Very little. I would do work here and there for DraftFCB Chicago, but that was very short-lived, just a couple of projects. But mostly advertising was just an avenue to not make these guys comedy writers, which we are. It was a way to make them writers in a way that is applicable to everyday life—or not even everyday life because it's a very odd job—and not a typical Detroit job. [Series co-writers Tim Robinson, Joe Kelly and Zach Kanin] have all written for SNL, and it's a similar experience, writing copy and then having a client not be happy with it, and you're like, "But my work is brilliant!" That's the kind of back and forth you have in comedy, too.

This story first appeared in the June 20, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
Click here to subscribe.