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‘American Vandal’ Bosses on Bringing Fun Into Their Workspace

The “American Vandal” team of Dan Perrault, Tony Yacenda and Dan Lagana enjoy a fraternal relationship that frequently devolves into joke arguments whether they’re in their writers’ room working on the upcoming second season of their Netflix comedy or preparing for an interview in the offices in the Funny or Die space. Their banter ranges from who gets to sit in what chair to jabs over opening eyes when having a photo taken. It’s no wonder they captivated audiences and made them laugh with a sleeper hit mockumentary series about high school vandalism that had America asking one question: Who drew the dicks?

CREDIT: Annie Tritt

Feeling Froggy
One of the most interesting items in the room is a toy frog, which wound up earning the writers a pizza party. “Somebody threw it up against the ceiling and it stuck,” Yacenda says. How long the frog could last on the ceiling then became an office debate. “After it had been up there for weeks, we decided it needed to be celebrated when it came down, and decided it should be a pizza party,” Lagana says. “But the truth is the frog fell at a time when Tony, Dan, or myself was not in the room. We think there was some foul play. The writers all got pizza, but we think they cheated it,” he continues with a laugh.

CREDIT: Annie Tritt

Putty in Their Hands
“We probably spent $300-$400 on putty,” Perrault said. “Big shout out to Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, which got us through post and the season two writers’ room.” He says they bought so much they thought it would be good “gag” to combine it, hoping for a unique color. Yacenda notes that only half the writers’ room was actually “pro-putty,” while the other half thought it was “just the most disgusting thing.” But the bosses won out in the end and got to keep it around.

CREDIT: Annie Tritt

Ping Pong Wizard
Lagana shares that although they consider their room “really structured” because of a “no-cell phone, no-technology” policy that allows them to just focus on work, they do need an outlet. So when people are ready to take a break, they play ping pong. “[It] just became our thing,” he says.
Perrault also points out that ping pong is “a good spectator sport.”

“There are rivalries and match-ups within the room. When Matt Mc-Manus plays Jaboukie Young-White, they’re not our best players, but that was a close enough match that it would always draw a crowd,” he says. “Lagana is the best and he also talks the biggest game. The only time he will be gracious is if he thinks he can dominate you each time. Then he will train you, but he won’t train those who have a shot at beating him.”

CREDIT: Annie Tritt

Getting Fidgety
As with any show prominently featuring millennials would warrant, the “American Vandal” team has fidget spinners on hand for when they get bored in the writers’ room. “I was introduced to fidget spinners by Tyler Alvarez, who plays Peter Maldonado [on ‘American Vandal’],” Perrault says. “I didn’t think other people were into it — that it was just a Tyler thing. [But] it keeps you focused when the ADD part of you kicks in. That knocks it out.”

CREDIT: Annie Tritt

Follow the Bouncing Balls
Of course, fidget spinners can only hold someone’s attention for so long. “The bouncy balls came once the fidget spinners got boring,” Lagana says. “I also really like the smell of bouncy balls.” Yacenda adds, “It’s also fun to throw them at Dan [Perrault] when he’s not paying attention.”

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