Taran Killam Talks to BroBible About His New Comic Book, ‘SNL’, and Binging on Video Games
So congrats on The Illegitimates! What was your inspiration here?
Huge Bond fan. I've seen all the movies multiple times. It's always ending with him with a girl on the beach, with a girl in the jungle, with a girl in the rubble—and any man with that size of an appetite is certainly going to get food poisoning.
Does that metaphor make sense? Food poisoning is pregnancy, I guess? Giving life is a beautiful thing.
But anyway, he wasn't carrying protection. There was no possible way. So it was just a funny concept, coming from comedy and the sketch world, to explore if there was a funny sketch idea in this idea—and then I decided to draw it out to its logical conclusion but play it earnestly. What kind of world would that lead to? And it snowballed from there.
Was there a moment where you're watching the Bond films and you notice, you know, Daniel Craig is never fumbling in his pocket like we would?
Absolutely! And he's always rolling right off of the woman. So it's not like he was reaching to the side for a towel or anything.
Look, I just put it together from what I see.
So I only got to read the first one. What are you looking to do as far as the interplay between the five [children of Jack Steele]?
I love anything with a team. I love the Dirty Dozen, Magnificent Seven, X-Men, the Avengers, because you kind of get to represent everyone. You can say I'm the most like that one, or that one's like me. There's more ownership. And obviously we're launching off from a very familiar trope… but my hope is to move away from that as quickly as possible and people get to know these characters as original characters with different points of view—that aren't just “James Bond, Jr.”
Was it difficult transitioning from sketch writing to comic books?
Very different. Very different. And Marc Andreyko, who wrote this with me, is a seasoned comic book writer who taught me the language. Each issue gets better because you can kind of see where the team communicates better—but also I've learned that you don't need two pages of dialogue to get something across that you can do with a single image.
It seemed like you were going for an irreverance. I'm thinking about Jack Steele's death—normally you'd see him fall or the train blow by him, but instead it's, like, the most graphic image I've ever seen. Was that your idea?
[laughing maniacally] Yeah. I thought it was important to [have the image] because I think it resonates, it's something people remember. It's always the page people bring up… but it's also us clearly saying, “We're not doing a James Bond novel. This is in that world, but it's going to become its own entity.”
Do you already have larger goals for the comic books?
Yeah, we've already talked about other angles: Who's to say these are the only five kids? Who's to say they all decide to fight for good? In a fun way, we've created a much larger world.
So you're excited about the Xbox One—anything you're particularly excited about?
I love playing games, it's my biggest vice…. It just gives my brain a break. I've been using the music feature a lot, especially because it's the holidays, I've been playing Christmas radio 24/7 in my dressing room. I'm almost 100% complete on Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
I got all the red bricks. Piece of cake. All costumes for characters, they're all unlocked. No big deal…. I've also been playing Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. That's pretty awesome. And I'm excited to download Ryse.
Do you play online at all?
I do a little bit, yeah.
I'm sure you've had a funny experience there.
I avoid first person shooters, because the hate and vitriol I like to avoid, but all my buddies are growing up and we're all following our own paths so as we've separated it is that cliche, like the triplets who all play video games together and one gets married and moves out. That's my favorite element of playing online.
Alright, so SNL, let's talk about that. I won a ticket and went to an October show, and I was stunned to see you come out and give basically the preshow rules.
Oh the warmup! Yeah.
Do you do that all year?
Yeah, since the first episode.
I was just amazed it wasn't a PA.
Yeah, it's fun. I think it's part of Lorne's reasoning. He wants to let the audience know, “You're a part of this now. Get ready. It's already begun.” We want you to start enjoying yourself, we're happy to have you here. It's a nice thing to send someone as an emmisary and let them know, “Welcome, enjoy yourself.”
Have you had a favorite moment this year?
I got to do a Bill Brasky sketch.
I kind of figured you'd say that.
I was a little surprised at the audience, they were a little quiet! I was amazed.
Yeah, that's just the way it is, you know? You get a different selection of 300 people every week. Sometimes they're loud, sometimes they're quiet. Sometimes they're really smart, sometimes they like things a little more base…. I think Lorne does a really good job of keeping in mind that there's 5 million people watching at home who are variations of all those things. So I never try to put any blame or judgement on the audience. Their experience is their own.
So the big Christmas episode coming up.
You guys got anything big in mind?
You know. It's going to be a good show.
I won't say there's not going to be cameos.