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Timothy Simons & Sam Richardson on ‘Veep,’ JLD, & the election

Larry King NowJun 10 '16

It’s a Veepstravaganza! Sam Richardson and Timothy Simons – who play Richard Splett and Jonah Ryan on the hit HBO political satire – join Larry to talk Selina’s presidential fate, the beauty of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the striking parallels between ‘Veep’ and the current state of American politics. 


*Posted Online on Ora.TV on June 10th 2016:

Sam Richardson:
“It’s ridiculous. Based on this year’s election— if we tried to do some of the things that are happening right now, like if we’d written this a year ago and then filmed it, people would be like, ‘Fake. Ridiculous. No way. It’d never get that far. It’d never get that ridiculous. Like make it real a little bit.’ So if we can compare that, it’s almost like Veep is idyllic.”— Sam Richardson on the resemblance between Veep and the current presidential election

“It’s really incredible. You learn so much from her. It’s also she’s like the most genuine, kind, and real person, too. She’s wonderful. You have like, you know, you have the creds to back it up if you wanna be like a little bit of a jerk, but she’s not. She’s really great.” — Sam Richardson on working with Julia Louis Dreyfus

“There’s no better thing to prepare me for ‘Veep’ than Second City because at Second City we’d write shows through improv. So we would improv a scene and then we’d like it, so while preparing to write the show, we’ll get up on the stage and we’ll re-improvise that scene and kind of like we knew where it needed to go.” — Sam Richardson on how Second City, the improv training grounds in Chicago, prepared him for Veep

“Undeserved. Detroit is the best city on earth. Quote me. It’s had rough times but it’s got an indomitable spirit.” — Sam Richardson on Detroit and the bad rep it gets

“It’s a tragic thing that’s happened to a lot of good people and really a shame that it was able to get that far for so long.” —Sam Richardson on the Flynt Michigan tragedy

“I ripped the butt out of my pants at an Emmys party. It was pretty bad. It was on my birthday, too.” — Sam Richardson on his most embarrassing moment

“That Ghanians are not as advanced in like—they think they’re living out in the woods.”— Sam Richardson on what most people get wrong about Ghana

Tim Simons:

“I think I was the first guy in on the first day of audition- not just for Jonah. I think I was the very first person in on that show and so being the first person in, I thought there’s no way I’m getting this job. I just assumed by the time they actually got around to making a decision, the first guy, they’re never gonna remember me.” — Tim Simons on being the only one on ‘Veep’ who had to audition

“Humans are selfish whether or not they want to admit it, but I think people do see a little bit of themselves in the selfishness and in the vanity and in the crudeness of these characters and they might not be as bad as us but they recognize something in it that they can grab onto. And maybe there’s also just something that they also are just- they watch it because they can be thankful they’re not them. It’s reassuring. I’m living an okay life. I’m not like these people. I’m doing alright.” — Tim Simons on why Veep succeeds despite its slate of unlikable characters

“It’s been interesting to be creating this show during this election season where this election season is beyond satirization, it’s beyond parody. So we’ve had where normally a lot of the things that get written into our show, we have to be kind of logic hawks about them. When you have to say there’s no way this could happen. This is a funny bit but there’s no way it could happen so we’re gonna have to kick it out. If you went into our writer’s room and pitched that a presidential candidate who would become the presumptive nominee would get onto a stage and allude to his penis size, you would be fired off of our show immediately. But that has actually happened in this election cycle and so we have a sort of strange thing where we are like a modern period piece. And in fact there are times when you see current coverage and you think that we might actually be an aspirational show- where you think it would be better if they acted like the people on our show.” —Tim Simons on how ‘Veep’ has become an aspiration, rather than a satirization.

“I’m a huge fan of ‘the cloud botherer.’ That one comes up in the Jonad files. All the ones that I love usually don’t involve swearing and they don’t involve— I think there’s just something nice about the cloud botherer. — Tim Simons on his favorite nickname for Jonah.

“I secretly wish that social media didn’t exist. It’s awful. Goodbye. Just turn it off. Let’s just you and I get up the gumption to get on a plane and go to where the internet switch is and let’s just turn it off together.” — Tim Simons on one thing we don’t know about him.