Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have been pretty busy powering the Los Angeles Clippers to a franchise-record 57 wins and brutalizing rims in various NBA arenas. It turns out that the duo is just as dynamic off the court as they are on it. Griffin’s been moonlighting as a comedian at the Upright Citizens Brigade and interning with Funny or Die in his downtime. Back in March, the pair took their comedic chops to The Live Read Show to do a live reading of Space Jam alongside Hollywood pros Seth Green, Nick Kroll, Danielle Fishel and Paul Scheer. Footage of the show, which is produced by Jensen Karp and Sean O’Connor, hit the internet today so we got Karp to break down the Lob City teammates’ future in show business…and their possible role in a Space Jam sequel.
Who came up the idea of a live reading?
Sean and I. We usually did a slightly different show: We found scripts circulating around Hollywood that hadn’t been filmed yet. They were scripts we shouldn’t have had, that weren’t even filmed or were about to film. We basically were breaking the law. It was sort of like, we were playing tribute to this thing that’s gonna come out in a year or two but we’re also kinda making fun of it.
Then we realized it would be funny if we started doing it for movies we love. There was a part of it that was fun; to recast these things, or cast these movies differently than you’d expected them.
We wanted to do 80’s and 90’s movies that we loved and the first thing that came to my mind was “we should do Space Jam with Blake Griffin!” It was actually before the rumors started that LeBron was going to do Space Jam 2. We just thought it would be a funny idea.
So Blake and DeAndre were always part of the plan?
Yeah. Blake’s a super Space Jam fan. He grew up loving it, and he’s obviously a Michael Jordan fan like we all were. [On the day of the reading], I asked him if he got a chance to read the script and he was like, “No, but I watched the movie twice today.”
His performance was this weird understated thing where he’s actually delivering the lines like Michael Jordan would, which is so funny to me. DeAndre’s [Charles] Barkley impression is obviously so ridiculous and funny but Blake’s was so funny because it was bad acting on purpose. He’s sort of doing that MJ monotone response for every line.
Do you think either DJ or Blake would be interested in playing a role in Space Jam 2?
I think so. Look, I’ve always thought Blake should star in Space Jam 2. That’s not even a question. It’s not even just that he’s funny. It’s logical. He’s comedic and great. I didn’t understand how funny DeAndre was until we did the live read and then I realized he basically could break it down with any of us. Like, he could easily be a performer. And Blake has done improv shows. Those guys are just as much comedians as anyone else pretending to be. They’re both very funny guys and I would love to have either one of them in Space Jam 2.
You mentioned Blake didn’t rehearse. What about DJ?
I don’t know. I assume that Charles Barkley impression is something he does normally. He took it really seriously, which is amazing. He played Swackhammer and Barkley and I just sort of in passing was like, “Dude, you can do whatever you want with this.” Little did I know Seth Green was gonna do a Southern drawl for Bugs Bunny but I was down for anyone to do anything. I didn’t know [DeAndre] really had a voice. He was a big crowd pleaser.
Do you think DeAndre has a career in comedy?
I think both of them do. I really do. [With] DeAndre, I didn’t realize until that moment but everyone would want Blake. He’s done Ben Schwartz’s show before and he knew Jerrod Carmichael. They hugged and I was like how do they know each other? I found out he actually goes to The Comedy Store all the time so he knows a bunch of stand up comedians. And DeAndre should be just as much in [the scene] because he’s just as funny.
How often did you guys improvise throughout the reading?
I’d say 95 percent was pretty strict to the script. We had to cut some stuff for time. In Space Jam’s case, the script is probably 75 percent like the movie version. The script we had was actually the first draft that went to the animators. A bunch of weird things in the script aren’t in the final movie, like this weird fugitive scene where Daffy Duck is pretending he’s a fugitive.
Do you guys have any live readings coming up?
Yeah. We have one more in the first week of May in Los Angeles [and another] one at the Bridgetown Comedy Fest in Oregon. That’s May 9th to 11th.
Will it be Space Jam again?
No, that’s a secret. It’s in our unreleased movie vault.
Also known as former rapper Hot Karl, Jensen Karp is producer, performer, podcaster and lifelong Clippers fan living in Los Angeles. He produces and performs Baby Talk with Dan Levy at the NerdMelt Showroom as well as the The Live Read at UCB. He also owns Gallery1988, a pop culture art gallery. Follow him on Twitter at @JensenClan88.
Follow Seerat Sohi on Twitter @DamianTrillard