Meet the Teachers: Donald Glover
Donald Glover had been a regular on the UCBT stage as a member of the Wicked Wicked Hammerkatz and Derrick before getting hired to write for the first season of NBC's 30 Rock.
As he goes into his second season of writing on the show, he'll be teaching a special "Intro to Sitcom Writing" class at the UCBT.
UCBT: Did you go to school specifically for writing for television? Tell us about your experience in school.
Donald: I went to school for writing, specifically play-writing, but I kinda fell out of love with it and started falling back in love with
television. I took a lot of television courses at NYU.
UCBT: What was your performance and/or writing background before you started working on 30 Rock?
Donald: I went to a performing arts high school and wrote/performed in a lot of plays. I got to perform a bunch on Conan O'brien the summer before I got on 30 Rock. But I guess most of my real training was at UCBT or NYU. UCBT to get you ready for being professional and NYU to show you how mean audiences can get if you're not funny.
UCBT: Do you currently have any comedy projects that you're working on aside from 30 Rock.
Donald: DERRICK comedy is making videos as much as we can. We've got a couple new one's we've just finished that should be coming out in the next week or so. I've also been working in Ben Schwartz's 'Bronx World Travelers'. That's really fun. Basketball and acting silly are my two favorite things.
UCBT: What sitcoms were you once or are you currently a fan of?
Donald: I watched Fresh Prince constantly growing up. Mary Tyler Moore show, Dick Van Dyke, Newhart. I watched a lot of Nick-at-Nite, so I like a lot of old school stuff. The Office and Everybody Hates Chris.
UCBT: Has anything ever happened in the actual writer's room that ended up in the show?
Donald: Pretty much everything that happens in the writer's room ends up on the show. The 'Rural Juror' episode came from us talking and we kinda just stumbled upon it. Everyone was like 'What are you saying?' We thought no one would think it was funny but us.
UCBT: Who is your favorite character to write for on 30 Rock?
Donald: Tracy. But Jack and Liz are a close second. Tracy can be as random as you want. If there's a joke that you really want in but there's nowhere to put it, Tracy's probably your best bet.
UCBT: If you could choose as one character from 30 Rock to see a spin-off from, which would you choose and why?
Donald: Grizz and Dotcom. They're in Tracy's entourage. They're two huge dudes who have complete allegiance to Tracy and from what we've written, they still find time to be EXTREMELY active in their community. Their lives seem really interesting. I'd want to see those two going across the country solving murders or something.
UCBT: What is your favorite sketch premise from those TGS sketches we see happening in the background?
Donald: Bears fighting Robots. That's it. That was the premise.
UCBT: Imagine that Studio 60 had remained on the air. Can you pitch an episode idea to Aaron Sorkin?
Donald: Was it just me, or did everyone want to see the fat guy have a coke problem? You wanted that dude to be funny, but watch him fall apart. Nothin! He was only in the first episode! A simple episode where that dude has a heart attack on stage would have sufficed.