Nick Kroll is on a roll. A multitalented writer, improv, sketch and standup comedian, the 31-year-old Kroll has seemingly been everywhere of late: from TV (“Worst Week,” “Sit Down, Shut Up,” “The Life and Times of Tim,” “Caveman”) to movies (“I Love You, Man,” upcoming “Date Night”) to the Internet (Rob Corddry’s “Children’s Hospital”).
Kroll’s first television break was ABC’s ignominious “Cavemen,” the Geico commercial offshoot. He has no complaints. “Everybody has to have his first show,” he says. “They paid me to learn to act on-camera and I got to watch the crew and how the work is done.”
Kroll also is getting more outside writing opportunities — he writes for “Life and Times” and is working with John Mulaney on a film for Montecito and Paramount in which Tracy Morgan will play a deposed African dictator who ends up on a college campus.
More often than not, however, the Westchester, N.Y., native disappears into an outrageous character, like the Latino radio deejay El Chupacabra on “Reno 911,” the status-conscious Bobby Bottleservice and the horrifyingly decadent Alistair in “Rich Dicks” (soon to be an online video creations) or his flamboyantly gay craft-services coordinator Fabrice Fabrice, who pops up alongside countless celebrities on YouTube clips.
“There are definitely things I can say as my characters that would be a little more difficult to say as myself,” Kroll reveals. “I can say just about anything as long as that character is being honest. It is actually easier to know their point of view than my own.” Animated shows like “Sit Down” and “Life and Times” offer similar freedoms, he adds.
Kroll also is refining his standup act, saying that only now is he finding his own voice as in that realm, noting, “I’m now as comfortable doing a half-hour of standup as I am doing my sketch characters.”
“On Wikipedia, Kroll is described as a graduate of Rye Country Day School, where he gave a contentious graduation speech in which he exposed his genitals.” In fact, he did graduate and gently chastised the school administration in his speech, but he never exposed himself. Yet Kroll enjoys watching the misinformation proliferate online. “I sort of like the idea of letting it run out there,” he says. “People need to do their own research and not just believe what they read.”