Killam in a panel discussion at
the 2013 New York Comic Con
|Birth name||Taran Hourie Killam|
April 1, 1982 |
Culver City, California, United States
|Medium||Film, television, stage|
|Genres||Improvisational comedy, sketch comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||American culture, current events, pop culture, mass media|
|Spouse||Cobie Smulders (m. 2012)|
|Notable works and roles||Saturday Night Live
Wild ‘N Out
The Amanda Show
I used to have the 'Best Of Eddie Murphy' VHS tape that I wore out completely, watching it over and over again. His 'Buckwheat Sings' is, to this day, one of my all-time favorite sketches on the show. I also loved the one where he plays the Tooth Fairy.
I have, like, two and a half years of failed jokes that I know I wouldn't repeat, but I certainly have no comprehension of what definitely works. And the only gauge that I can go by is, 'This makes me laugh,' and is joyful… I like to, if possible, do things that people can enjoy and it doesn't take anybody down.
I was 18 when I did 'The Amanda Show,' and I was 19 when I did 'MadTV,' and I was in way over my head. I was just sort of a goof who could do impressions of WB stars – speaking of the Dawson Van Der Beek era – and it was overwhelming. I don't think I've learned more faster in my life than when I worked on 'MadTV.'
I love 'The X-Men;' that was the first comic series that I was dedicated to, because I feel like you can pick your player. 'I'm the most like Gambit… or I'm totally a Storm.'
I've been reading titles from IDW for probably as long as they've been in existence. 'Ninja Turtles' is one of my all-time favorite properties ever. I also love, love, love 'Locke & Key.' I also love some of the things they do with pre-existing properties like 'Transformers' and 'Ghostbusters.'
I came from the Groundlings Theatre in L.A., and there, you're guaranteed to at least try something out in front of an audience. At 'SNL,' only the best stuff gets picked, and it's taught me a very defined language of comedy. You learn the structure of a joke, which is not something I was very good at beforehand.
I think that it's hard for vain people to be funny. I think you can look any way you want as long as you have a good sense of humor about yourself. People who are concerned with their looks and what they're wearing and how they present themselves tend to have less of a sense of humor about themselves.
There's no job like 'SNL.' There's no other job you go to where you're like, 'Oh, this is like that live, late-night sketch variety-musical show that shoots in, whatever it is, 10,000 feet of sound stage.' There's nothing like it.
Eddie Murphy was my guy for a long time. My first exposure to 'SNL' was his 'Best Of' VHS, and I would watch it over and over again. He was one of the few people on the show to play with the live elements and engage with the audience.
In my experience, 'SNL' has Lorne Michaels, who is, you know, the captain of the ship and gives the show direction and a singular focus, whereas 'MadTV' – even in my 13 episodes there – had maybe one too many cooks and was a bit more chaotic creatively.
I still have my old Nintendo 64 that works. And I hook it up, and I still play the original 'Goldeneye.' I'm that geek. I have an 'NBA Jam' arcade machine in my office at 'SNL.'
I'm a big 'Firefly' fan. I'm a Nathan Fillion fan because of 'Firefly.'
I'm a weird dichotomy of nerd, sports fan, and musical theater, so I'd love to do a superhero musical on Broadway. But all the good superheroes are claimed.