Currently in the second season of his digital series Cop Show — a mockumentary glimpse behind traditional police melodramas featuring the likes of Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi and Amy Schumer — former Saturday Night Live anchor and Tough Crowd host Colin Quinn weighs the pros and cons of the medium and his bosses as Lexus.
How did Cop Show come to arrive at L/Studio?
We brought it around. Everyone else passed. So we thought the best thing to do would be to take the one person that made an offer.
What are the benefits and challenges of spearheading a digital-only series?
They keep out of it. They know they’re not comedy experts, so they let me do whatever I want. They don’t sit there and give you a lot of notes: “You know, that might be offensive…” They separate their part of the business. They want a show from somebody who’s supposedly funny, who supposedly knows what they’re doing – me – and then they just go “Okay!” That’s what’s great about the web, it’s just more open.
The challenge is I don’t know how to make money off it. You make a couple of bucks but not really, you know? So that’s a challenge. Everybody’s doing it cheaply; everyone’s doing it half as a favor because you’re calling in all these people for nothing. That’s the hard part, is there’s not a lot of money involved in the way other shows have money. That’s tough. But you’re being funny. Me and [Cop Show director] J.D. Amato sit down and figure out what we’re going to do, then we shoot it, the whole thing. And nobody bothers you. There’s not ten voices trying to jump in with their opinions.
It’s kind of a balance. The money’s not there, but the creative freedom is. So which is more important, and in what amounts?
Yeah, and ultimately it’s better to have less money and do funny things than it is better to have money. In the best of all worlds I’d like to have both. But if you’ve got to make a decision, you’re better of making funny things than just making money. The truth is if you’re in comedy, chances are you’d do it for free if you had to. Or you shouldn’t be in it.
What can you tell me about season three?
Season three is going to be on in a couple weeks. There’s Seth Meyers, Jerry Seinfeld comes back, Irina Shayk the famous supermodel. It’s got a very intricate plot with somebody killing all these hipsters in Brooklyn, and we have to find out who’s behind it. It’s a gangbuster of a surprise at the end. That’s the theme of the season. It’s the first season we have a theme!