Exclusive Interview With Donald Glover
By KYLE SHEARIN
At only 26, Donald Glover has had rapid rise in the entertainment industry as not only a writer, a stand-up, a rapper, a movie star, but also as a regular on the critically applauded NBC sitcom “Community” starring alongside “The Soup” host Joel McHale and Chevy Chase. Glover is perhaps best known for his work as one of the primary members of Internet sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy.
“Bro-Rape: A Newsline Investigative Report,” one of the group’s more popular videos featuring Glover, recently passed the 8 million views mark on YouTube. Glover was later hired by Tiny Fay for NBC’s 30 Rock fight after graduating from NYU, but quit after a few seasons to pursue his stand-up full-time.
In 2009 Glover wrote and starred in “Mystery Team,” Derrick Comedy’s first full-length movie which was released on DVD in May. Last summer, a Twitter campaign for Glover started to allow him to audition for the upcoming “Spider-Man” movie reboot that even got approval from “Spider-Man” creator Stan Lee and “Ultimate Spider-Man” writer Brian Michael Bendis.
Despite the success of the campaign, it did not produce an audition. Donald was nice enough to answer a few questions for the Bullet while taking a break on the set of “Community.”
(Kyle Shearin): Hey Donald.
Donald Glover: How’s it going?
(Kyle Shearin): Pretty good. Happy Columbus Day.
Donald Glover: Oh thank you. Is this Columbus Day today?
(Kyle Shearin): Yes.
Donald Glover: Why am I here? Why am I working?
(Kyle Shearin): I don’t know man.
Donald Glover: I need to talk to somebody. Oh my God, this is a travesty.
(Kyle Shearin): Yes. Well…
Donald Glover: All right.
(Kyle Shearin): The ratings for the show (Community) have, as I’ve learned from the DVD extras, have not been as stellar as the first episode. Is that something…
Donald Glover: Yes.
(Kyle Shearin): …that the writers are sort of worried about? Do you guys really care that much about the ratings or are you just trying to make the show as best as possible and if it sticks it sticks?
Donald Glover: I think depending on who you ask they might be worried about that. But in general most of us don’t really care.
(Kyle Shearin): Yeah.
Donald Glover: I mean like we don’t – I mean like it’d be nice to have more people watch the show just because I feel like they’d enjoy it.
But in general like, I mean like that’s like, you know, if you make a great cake…
(Kyle Shearin): Right.
Donald Glover: …if you make a delicious, delicious cake and it’s awesome and the crust is perfect and the icing is – like everything about it is really delicious, I mean I know cakes shouldn’t have crust but this is a special cake.
A special cake with crust and sprinkles and it’s delicious and only two people eat it and they love it, that’s enough for me.
I mean I personally I’m fine with that. I mean I know that we’re making a good product. And the truth of the matter is like we were talking about it today like when they add on the DVD, like the DVR, first of all our DVDs sold way better than they – anyone expected.
Like we sold what they – they thought we were going to sell in six weeks what we sold in a week.
(Kyle Shearin): Yeah.
Donald Glover: They were sold out all over the country which was pretty great. And then when they add on the DVR numbers our – we went up from like 1.7 to 2.9. So a lot of people watch it on DVR…
(Kyle Shearin): Yes.
Donald Glover: …which is really cool to know. So I think like it really – I’m sure it affects a lot of things. And we of course I want more people to watch. Of course it’s important.
But at the same time it’s like, you know, if, you know, I’m not – I’m not looking at Arrested Development, or Freaks and Geeks, you know, or any of those shows being like ah, those shows were bad because nobody watched them.
It’s like no those shows were great, you know, and I’d be proud to be a part of something like that.
(Kyle Shearin): Cool. Now it’s been mentioned that Greendale, it’s a two year university, right?
Donald Glover: It can be yes.
(Kyle Shearin): Okay. I was a little confused as to like how long does it take for someone to graduate because you guys are in your second year?
Donald Glover: Right. I believe all of us are on a four year track.
(Kyle Shearin): Okay.
Donald Glover: I believe. At least I believe Jeff Winger’s track is four years at the very least. But I don’t even think the rules really apply.
Like some of us might be on a two year track. I mean like the truth of the matter is like, you know, if we get to that point, if we’re four years, three years deep and we’re – those are good problems to have to be worrying about like oh it’s Year 6. How we going to keep everybody together? I’m like we’ll worry about that when we get to fucking Year 6. You know, like…
(Michael Sharon): Yes.
Donald Glover: If that’s a problem we have then, you know, I’d love to have that problem.
(Kyle Shearin): Okay. Also how exactly did you get started writing for 30 Rock? Like what made that connection and would you ever like be interested in writing your own script for Community?
Donald Glover: I was working at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and writing on my own. And my name got tossed in the ring for writers when they were starting a show because I was doing a lot of work at the UCB Theater and around. And a lot of people knew that I was a writer. And I was writing. And I had scripts available.
And as far as Community is concerned I would love to write a script. But, you know, sometimes I say that and I really do mean it but I just know those scripts are hard man.
Like I don’t know – I don’t really have the time. I’m doing all these other things and I’m writing all this other stuff.
And it’s like a Community script would be, you know, a crown jewel in my, you know, in my thrown. But I guess like I would be okay if I didn’t get to write one. Being on it is an honor enough.
(Kyle Shearin): Cool. All right, thank you.
Donald Glover: No problem.