Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
TODD: Let's see. I am a 32 year-old freelance writer. I grew up in Albany, New York, which is home to the best pizza in America (The Fountain) and a large egg in which people sometimes dance ballet. I was granted a visa to leave in 1995 and have been living in Park Slope, Brooklyn for the last 8 years and 11 months. (Have you ever noticed that people mark the tenure of their New York residency the way a child states his age? I have. Observing details like that goes a long way to explain why I'm a national treasure.)
BOB: I am 30. I write and perform comedy and whatnot and I work at a bank too. I've lived in NY for twelve years, excluding a two year eight month mistake in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Upper Darby PA, just outside of Philly. I live in Chelsea (the gay part).
Three for Thee
1. I had this motto in high school: "Phuck Physics." With that in mind, I am asking you to violate the very laws of nature that govern our existence and please tell me what a "How To Kick People" show was like in 1982 Manhattan.
TODD: In 1982 I was eleven years old and Bob was nine, I think, so I imagine the show would have gone something like this: First, I would present a book report on the Reggie Jackson biography, Mr. October! Next, Bob would show everyone how to make a vagina-shape by pressing your spread fingers against someone else's, and then peeking inside. One of our other presenters would karate-kick a folding chair, Bob would insult my mom, and then we would cram the entire audience into a bathroom stall and do blow with them. Not so different from the February 25, 2004 show, actually.
BOB: Very very naked. In fact, there was a resident H2KP cast-member named Martin and everyone knew him as "Naked Martin." Before the show, Naked Martin's friend and collaborator Debora (one leg, plucky) would transcribe everyone's written pieces for the evening onto Naked Martin's body. Naked Martin would stand center-stage throughout the entire show and the guest readers would read from his body, spinning him to and fro when a sentence veered around a contour. Also, the programs were glossy.
2. Todd, would you ask Bob a question and tell me the question and his answer?
TODD: OK. I just slipped Bob a piece of paper upon which I'd written: "Do you like me? Please check a box." Then I drew two boxes below the question, one labeled "yes, let's French," and the other labeled, "no, I just like you as a friend." Bob handed the paper back to me and when I unfolded it I noticed he'd added a third box labeled, "Maybe??" and put a checkmark in there. Bob remains an enigma.
3. I'm digging deep with this one: Bob, would you ask Todd a question and tell me the question and his answer?
BOB: Coincidentally, I asked Todd what our show was like in 1982. He hit me.
Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
BOB: The Great Hudson River Tidal Wave of 1906. Those who didn't die...got soaked.
What's your New York motto?
TODD: "Stop crying and drink your $6 Budweiser."
BOB: "Phuck Physics!"
Best celebrity sighting in New York.
TODD: In quick succession, I met both David Cross and Bob Odenkirk at a Yo La Tengo show at (the now shut-down) Tramps. It was the same night their second season of Mr. Show was premiering on HBO, and they were just about the only "celebrities" I was actually interested in engaging. David Cross was "on" and tried too hard to be funny the same horrible mistake I've made in this interview but Bob Odenkirk was a true gent. He exhibited a quality I rarely see in other performers i.e. he seemed genuinely interested in other people's lives. (Krucoff, if that response is too long you can use this: "I once made love in Andy Richter's bed. Mr. Richter was not present at the time.")
9pm, Wednesday night - what are you doing?
BOB: Trying to find my Dad. I won't rest until I have proof that the bastard's really dead.
What was your best dining experience in NYC?
TODD: Once, at the old Russian Tea Room, I had the Beluga Pussy.
Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
BOB: I was being urinated upon by someone that answered my ad.
Just after midnight on a Saturday - what are you doing?
BOB: See above.
What happened the last time you went to L.A.?
TODD: Someone greeted me at the airport, took my photograph, and handed me a giant, novelty-sized check for one skadzillion dollars, made out to, "Todd Levin, Superstar." Then I lost the check while I was waiting in line for a colonic. But that's LA, isn't it?
BOB: I got a divorce/an ativan prescription.
If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
TODD: Its diaper! Holy crud, I made that up RIGHT ON THE SPOT. LOL! Expect more awesome stuff like that at "How To Kick People."
Where do you summer?
BOB: Where DON'T I summer! Am I right?
Just how much do you really love New York?
BOB: I love New York so much I want to hurt it. If New York cries because of something I said or did, then I'm still important to New York. I also want to have sex with New York in water, like in a bathtub or a lagoon someplace.
The End of The World is finally happening. What are you going to do with your last 24 hours in NYC?
BOB: Me? Probably shoe shopping!