Best known for wearing out his welcome as Leon Black on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” actor/comedian J.B. Smoove isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – and that’s a good thing.
In the Farrelly brother’s new comedy “Hall Pass,” Smoove plays Flats, a friend of the two main characters (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) who are cut loose by their wives for a week off from marriage. Flats joins in for some of the fun.
During our interview, Smoove, 46, talked about how hot his career is right now, why he doesn’t like the idea of a hall pass, and where the best place is to go to pick up women.
What’s up J.B.? Are you still bringing the ruckus to the ladies?
Somebody gotta bring the ruckus, man! Know what I mean? It’s not easy traveling around with the ruckus. I’m traveling around, doing stand-up shows, man, and people are requesting me to bring the ruckus. So, I gotta bring the ruckus, man. But the ruckus needs its own bag. I can’t put the ruckus in with my other stuff. The ruckus messes up my other stuff in the bag. And the ruckus is heavy. That’s another charge right there. That’s an extra $100 for being overweight luggage! At the end, I’m coming out short because I have to bring the damn ruckus!
You’re a hot commodity. You just worked with the Farrelly Brothers on “Hall Pass” and also just finished up a movie with director David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”). Next we’re going to see you in a Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”) movie starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. What’s life like for J.B. Smoove right now?
Man, do you iron your clothes?
What is the highest setting on the iron?
Um, I’m not sure. Is it high?
No. It’s linen. Linen is the highest setting on your iron. When you get home, turn your iron on and look at the last setting. It’s linen! And you know what? I’m linen right now. Right now, my iron is hot and I’m ironing some wrinkled-ass linen pants right now. You feeling me?
Talk to me about “Hall Pass” and what interested you in your character.
Aw, man, it was fun. I love being the guy who’s next to the guy who’s about to get some. Know what I mean? There’s nothing better than that. You’re living vicariously through these guys, but you want these guys to bring the ruckus. You’re rooting for these guys. You don’t want to be the guy who’s listening to the story from the guy who is watching the guy who is about to get some.
You think most guys could get some with a hall pass?
Let me put it to you like this: Break down the phrase “hall pass.” It means what it means, right?
Drop the H. Whatcha got?
No, no. Drop the H in hall. Whatcha got?
Now, drop the P in pass. Whatcha got?
Men want all the ass. You see how it works?
Would a hall pass work in real life though?
You know what? No woman in their right mind will give her man a hall pass. You know what? I take that back. You know who gets a hall pass? Guys like plumbers, sanitation men, those kinds of guys get them. You know who doesn’t get a hall pass? Athletes and porn stars because it’s too easy for them to get some. If your wife gives you one it’s a damn slap in the face because she’s saying you ain’t worth a damn and there’s no way in hell you’re gonna get some ass.
What about comedians? Do they get one?
Hell no. Comedians are with real women all the damn time. Women love to laugh. Women ain’t giving a comedian no hall pass. That’s too easy.
Are you married?
Yeah, man. I’ve been married for four years. You know, that’s a good point. Here’s what you don’t want. You don’t want somebody using their hall pass on your wife. Know what I’m saying? See how these things work?
So, where’s the best place to pick up women? It’s not Applebee’s right?
No, man not Applebee’s. You gotta go somewhere that has at least a good bathroom – somewhere where there’s not high traffic. High traffic equals nasty bathroom. You wanna go somewhere a little more romantic – somewhere where the class of women is a little different. You don’t wanna go somewhere where the kids are urinating all over the bathroom. You wanna go somewhere where it’s classy for the classy ladies. You want a classy woman. You want a woman that comes with her own doorman.
On Sunday, you’re going to be featured on “The Simpsons” Oscar Special playing a character named D.J. Kwanzaa. I think every actor would like to play a character on that show sometime in their career. What was the experience like?
I’ll tell you something, man. This was the first time I did “The Simpsons” and I had a ball! You know, it’s a small part, but it’s me being a part of “The Simpsons.” This is big. I just did “American Dad” yesterday and before that I did “Ice Age 4.” I’m boogying, man.
Who did you idolizes as a comedian growing up?
I’m like a fight fan, man. I’m not a fight fan, but I like styles. That’s how stand-up is. It’s a bunch of different styles. Of course, growing up, there was Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and Redd Foxx and Bill Cosby and Robin Harris. But I was also a big fan of comedian/actors. Peter Sellers was my favorite. Those are some of the ones that inspired me to do stand-up and be an actor.
What can we anticipate from Leon in Season 8 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm?”
He’s bringing the ruckus this season like no other. Leon is settled in Larry David’s house. Larry can’t get Leon out the damn house. Leon ain’t going no damn where. Know what I mean? Leon is now a fixture of Larry’s house. Leon is now furniture in Larry’s house. I’m furniture, man. I’m an ottoman, man. I’m a damn Lazy Boy recliner, man. You’re gonna sit on me one day, Larry. Know what I mean? You’re going to love Leon this season. He’s kicking some ass, for real.