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David Cross: 'Arrested Development' Movie "Not Going to Happen"

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 7th 2010 4:51PM
David Cross from his special 'David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer'Fans of 'Arrested Development' might not be too happy with David Cross after they read this interview. Why? Because he has doubts that an 'AD' movie is ever going to come to pass.

"(I)t's not going to happen," Cross told me the other day when I spoke to him about his new stand-up special, 'David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer,' which premieres on the new cable channel Epix on Saturday (Friday night) at midnight ET.

"Way too much time it's been (since the show ended)," he told me. "I mean, there's so many people involved. Everyone's doing their own thing, you know. And everybody's aged. It's just not going to happen. I'm sure I speak for everybody when I say we'd love for it to happen, we'd love to work on it, but just I don't think... not going to happen."

In the special, which Sub Pop will release on DVD in June, Cross talks about all his usual hot points: religion, the health care debate, politics... and airplanes. If you don't get Epix, the channel is providing a free pass to see the special online. The first thing I was curious about: the pre-teen kid who came out and did a piece of his act at the start of the special.

Who was that kid, by the way, that did your act before you came out?
I have a different kid in each city. And that kid just nailed it, and had this great attitude, and his parents were really cool. So I didn't want to fuck around on the TV taping. So we flew him in from, I think he was in Portland. I can't remember exactly which town he was in, but wherever he was, we flew him out from that city. It might have been Chicago, I'm not sure. But we had a different kid in every city.

Do you have to find parents who aren't horrified at the thought of him going out on stage, or do you just not tell them that, what he's gonna be doing?
I was shocked at how, not only how amenable they were to it, but even like just to the point of going like, you know, he can say dirtier words if you want them, that's not a problem. Just pushing him. I mean, every town, no matter where we were, there was somebody who was like "Oh, he's very excited, he's been rehearsing it, he keeps calling me c--t...hahahaha."

Are you ever concerned when you have topical references like the health care debate in your standup, how it might age later on?
Definitely. But you know, I get past that with the idea that I don't care, really. And you're welcome to fast forward that part. But you know, it's pertinent now and I, you know, certainly when I was doing it in September, I mean, it's already started to age in a sense, but no, I don't care.

Is there something that happened between then and now, especially as it was being passed, that when you looked at it, you thought "Damn it, I wish I had been able to address that in my special?"

Sure, yeah. I mean, there are other aspects to the tea party movement that I would have liked to have addressed. But that's not actually... I suppose I made a subconscious decision not to, because I easily could've, but I didn't want the, either the special or the show itself, the evening, to feel too weighted in one area. You know? I'm more conscious now than I used to be about speaking what I consider self-divulgent with that stuff. You know, sort of like, you get X amount of time before the audience, it's not about agreeing with you or not, just goes alright, move on.

One of the things I thought was most interesting was, was that you mentioned that you're at the age now where just really don't really give a rat's ass about people being on the hard left or the hard right, because America was always like that. When was that moment for you when that happened?
Yes. I guess, I don't know that there was a specific moment, but you know, seeing how the hypocrisy... that's not even the right word... the complete convenient amnesia of what, and for people both on the left and right, what position they had just taken with Bush, whether they were pro-Bush or anti-Bush. And then when Obama got in office, they had just switched. Like people who were calling Bush fascist and Hitler are upset because people are calling Obama fascist and Hitler, when they're both wrong. And people on the right who were saying, you know, you can't criticize the President during war time... the f--king second he took his hand off that Bible, people were going "This guy is the worst guy ever, we need to veto him." He had hardly been in office for 5 hours.

And it's just like, you just spent 8 years doing the opposite of what you are talking about, and what so upsets you. And that's both left and right. And that, and I think, and because in my lifetime, Obama is the most optimistic. I mean, Clinton, there was optimism there, but not to the level, not even close to the level that people had with Obama. And then, you know, within, I guess it was 3 months or so, 4 months maybe, you're like, oh right, he's a politician. All that stuff he was saying, oh he said that to get elected. Ah, I got it, I got it, I got it. At that point, you know, that's where I came to that feeling. There wasn't any "a-ha" moment.

Do you still have a mixture of fans who agree with you and disagree with you?
Not nearly as many as I used to. You know, people, certainly at this stage, you're not going to get a babysitter and pay $35 and with parking and all that stuff, you know, basically 50 bucks a person for a ticket for a guy you think might be funny. So it's definitely people who are familiar with the bulk of my material. There were some people who respectfully didn't agree with my take on the healthcare issue, but you know, that's how it is.

When people do see you and come up to you, what do they remember most? Do they remember 'Mr. Show,' do they remember 'Arrested Development...'?
It really does depend on the demographic. I'd say, though, the most mentioned thing is 'Arrested Development.'

Even more than 'Mr. Show?'
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, maybe not people who come to see me do standup, but as far as people who recognize me and say "Hey, man, you know, you're funny in that thing," it's usually 'Arrested Development.'

How many times have you had to answer questions about the reunion movie at this point, by the way? Including today?
Um, I would guess like somewhere between 6 and 7 hundred times.

Is there anything going on at this point?
I think what I will tell you, it's not going to happen. It's not official, but I just don't think it's going to happen. Way too much time it's been. I mean, there's so many people involved. Everyone's doing their own thing, you know. And everybody's aged. It's just not going to happen. I'm sure I speak for everybody when I say we'd love for it to happen, we'd love to work on it, but just I don't think...not going to happen.

At this point, does it seem like the buildup would have been too much for what the results were? This is the most built up reunion I've ever seen on TV.
Yeah. Well, that's the way to do it. It would be great to do it on TV. Like kind of what they do in Britain. If they have a successful show, the comedy shows at least, they'll have a Christmas special. The actors and writers will all get together and you know, create a one-off kind of Christmas special thing.

Like 'The Office' did.
Yeah. I mean, they do that a lot in the UK, you know, with the sitcoms. So like 'The I.T. Crowd,' 'Gavin and Stacey,' 'Extras,' 'Office,' you know, stick with these Christmas shows. So that would be a good way to do it. I think it would feel odd on a big screen.

What would feel odd about it on a big screen?
It would just feel, I don't know, it's hard to describe. But it's ah, it would feel strange and foreign to see these characters on a movie theater screen, I think.

So you say you're doing some scripted stuff. What's coming up, besides the standup special and the DVD?
I've got a TV show that I'm developing in the UK called 'The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret' that is going to be airing in the United States on IFC in October.

Are you writing towards a British sensibility, or are you just writing toward your sensibility?

Just yours only. Do you think it'll translate just fine, is what you're basically, what you're thinking?
Well, I'm writing with an English writer named Shaun Pye, so we're writing it together. I basically kind of wrote most of the pilot, but he's, you know, from, which we're reshooting most of. So we basically have co-written this whole thing.

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He's a terrible comic and actor...put the money into something without him. LOL

April 13 2010 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, this guy is really hitting the big time...I mean a TV Squad interview and well, you can't forget that...huh, Alvin movie....maybe next, he will get center on the Hollywood Squares! Don't rule that out! LOL

April 13 2010 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well of course David Cross will always be remembered for Arrested Development, but my fondest David Cross moment is "Chicken-pot-chicken-pot-chicken-pot pieeeeeeee!"


April 12 2010 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I certainly couldn't care less about an Arrested Development movie. The show was boring and not funny. I lost interest after the first 2 episodes and never watched another. Put that budget toward something better.

April 12 2010 at 3:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay love

I happily can say that I NEVER, EVER, watched this show when it was on tv, and I certainly could care less if it ever is made into a movie!!!! NO, stop, YES, I actually do care and HOPE that it never gets made into another cheesy movie. like 98% of the others that get to the local cini-plex!!! I would prefer to see good movies, maybe more and better drama's and action movie's, more artsy type movie's, foriegn movie's which get far too little recognition in most theaters across country as it is? another piece of garbage not being made into a movie will do no harm to anyone!!

April 11 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joel, I like the format as-is. The quotes sound much more like Cross in live interviews than a cleaned-up version would be. You get nuances in the pauses and redirections mid-sentence that are lost when pared to content-only rephrasing.

April 11 2010 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ha! KHWH win.
Unfortunately this is a pretty poorly edited interview, because it's a verbatim transcript. People don't talk in complete sentences, they leave phrases hanging, but no one wants to read that (I mean, "I basically kind of wrote most of the Pilot, but he's, you know, from, which we're reshooting most of"? Any newspaper or magazine would have knocked this into readable shape.)

April 10 2010 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ryan's comment
Joel Keller

I can never win with these interviews. If I clean it up too much, it doesn't sound like the person. If I leave some 'you knows' and 'likes' in, I get accused of not editing enough. I took out plenty of 'likes' 'you knows' and restarts, but I'm guessing I didn't do enough.

And, yes, I left last quote a bit disjointed (my fault... my eyes always get tired near the end of interview transcripts), so I've clarified things based on your feedback.

So, what do you folks want? A cleaned up interview that makes the person sound like they rehearsed their answers or something that approximates how they really responded?

April 10 2010 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

mothertrucker!! I've been waiting for this

April 09 2010 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Leatherbury

I just blue myself...

April 09 2010 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think you might have spelt the co-writer's name incorrectly, the spelling "Shawn" is almost exclusively American and there is a British writer called Shaun Pye.

April 08 2010 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to KHWH's comment

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