“TallBoyz,” an acclaimed sketch comedy series starring Vance Banzo, Guled Abdi, Franco Nguyen and Tim Blair, follows a group of young, diverse comedians who alternate between playing heightened versions of themselves and sliding into cartoonish sketches about friendship, politics, bro culture and everyday life.
Directed by executive producer Bruce McCulloch (“Schitt’s Creek,” “Saturday Night Live”), “TallBoyz” covers everything from grammar-induced rap beefs to big life revelations.
Cast members Vance Banzo, Guled Abdi and Franco Nguyen talked to rolling out about developing their show and what inspires them.
How have you guys designed your career to be at this point so far?
Guled Abdi: There wasn’t much design involvement. I’ll be honest, I remember telling the boys many times, that I was going to quit and then, the show happened. We just continue to keep doing stuff … and then other people notice that “hey, these guys have something; we can make money off them.” We’re like, “we want to make money too. All right, let’s keep doing it.” So I’m hoping that keeps going in our favor.
Vance Banzo: For me, the best way to describe it is like a barrel floating down a river. You can plan all you want, but you really don’t know what’s going to happen. What kind of rod is going to be put out from shore? What kind of rocks are ahead? So you just got to keep going and just stay positive, and just as they say in Alberta, “Keep on truckin.”
Franco Nguyen: I didn’t write down any specific goals but I fantasized a lot. So maybe that’s part of it, just visualizing. For me, I think the next couple of steps are developing more TV ideas and continuing to audition and look for interesting projects to be a part of, and just continuing to develop my stand-up, do more stand-up, and audition.
How do you stay inspired to continue to pursue being who you are and sharing your talent?
VB: I don’t know how to do anything else. This is my passion. This is my dream. I’m doing it and I’m loving it. As long as I can keep doing it and keep living a comfortable life day in and day out, that’s what drives me.
FN: I just try to stay inspired. I try to check out shows and watch really cool things. When I’m watching these shows, there’s a desire to create something as good as the things that gave me so much joy. That’s just one inspiration, and the other is bills and my children.
GA: I love the feeling of when I watch something that makes me so giddy and excited.