“I think laughter is sort of what we’re going for,” Heidecker said. “I think our fans laugh at things that make other people squirm. It’s fun to watch how different people are.”
Wareheim said the movie would not have gotten financed if not for stars singing on, such as Will Ferrell (playing a psychotic mall owner), John C. Reilly (a Tiny Tim-esque ailing child), Will Forte (a deranged sword salesman), Zack Galifianakis (a new age guru) and Jeff Goldblum (as “Chef Goldblum”). “[Financiers] were like, ‘Is Will Ferrell really going to be in this? Okay, here’s a billion dollars,'” Wareheim said.
The guy in the wire-rims asked about their supporting cast of unknown and peculiar-looking performers. “We cast some legitimate character actors, as you saw, some real funny comedians, and then some people that — we like to say — put a headshot up online and forgot about it, maybe. We dig through to the bottom of the pile and find them, then give them lots of lines.”
It wasn’t all brutal give-and-take. One young woman asked where she could see their TV show.
This bit of information knocked the duo back a little. “You didn’t know who we were?” Heidecker asked. “So what was that experience like?”
She laughed. “It was great!”
Heidecker looked both stunned and relieved. “We tried to make this movie with our fans in mind in our hearts, but we didn’t want it to be exclusionary. … It’s nice to know at least somebody like that got it.”
“How many people here have not seen the TV show?” Wareheim asked. About half the theater, which was only half-full at this point, put up their hands.
“Oh, wow …” Wareheim said.
One guy in the theater asked, “How did you get some of those cameos, like Johnny Depp and Steven Spielberg?” Heidecker and Wareheim frowned. (These characters in the movie are obvious impersonators.) “Okay, that’s the last joke question,” Heidecker said.