Orny Adams on His Crappy Week, Getting Cast on Teen Wolf, and the Coach’s Advice for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
Fans of MTV’s Teen Wolf know the show is about more than just shirtless werewolves. That’s certainly part of it, but it’s also a humorous and heartfelt examination of the lives of the not-quite-normal teens and their problems, both supernatural and otherwise. One important source of the humor is Coach Bobby Finstock, who’s just as likely to hurl insults as his players as he is to deadpan a one-liner. While the writers get credit for the Coach’s witticisms, actor and comedian Orny Adams is responsible for pulling them off with such endearing frustration.
Wetpaint Entertainment got the chance to talk to Orny Adams about his stand up; his podcast, My Crappy Week (check out an episode where Teen Wolf castmate Ian Bohen calls in here on HAHAJK.com); and what advice the Coach would have for the kids of America.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Happy birthday. You recently had a birthday [on November 10].
Orny Adams: Very sweet. Thank you.
Did you do anything fun?
You know, hung out with friends. The usual. I’m getting older. It doesn’t mean as much. It’s the truth.
Did you get any nice gifts?
No, not really. No. I’m getting older. Everything I want, I can sort of get myself.
You got a lot of Twitter responses, though.
That was very sweet. And then I climbed up in a tree to prove I was still young.
How’d that work out?
It worked out great. It was a mini-midlife crisis I had. I jumped up in a tree; it felt good. I should do that more often.
You should do your own stunts on Teen Wolf.
I do do my own stunts! I do it all. But there’s nothing crazy that I have to do like some of those guys.
Not yet, anyway.
What’s crappy in your week this week?
You know, just, I’m redesigning my webpage, and just getting people that I work with to understand my vision and what I’m trying to do; it’s very difficult. So, that’s sort of the battle this week. I’m trying to think of what else went wrong. Everything seems to go wrong.
Although on my birthday, I don’t know if you saw on Twitter, I was going to dinner, and I stepped out of the car, and on the ground was a hundred dollar bill. That was cool. That stuff never happens in my life. But, you know, pretty much everything goes wrong. Every day there’s a complaint. It’s just little things. [If you listen to the podcast], it’s little things. There’s never anything major that I’m griping about.
Exactly. My mom, when I was little, gave me a book that said, don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff. Really, one of the smartest books someone could give me. But one, I never read it. And I think you should sweat the small stuff. That’s what I believe in. You know, focus on the negative.
How different would you be if you’d read that book?
I wouldn’t be successful. It’s a tradeoff.
You’re on Twitter a lot. What do you like about it?
First of all, I like to be heard. I feel like people are very responsive on Twitter right now, as they were on Facebook a few years ago. And you can be concise and get quick feedback. And I enjoy — with my comedy writing — sometimes I’ll float topics out there to see what the response level is.
Sometimes I’m shocked that there’s no response to a tweet. When I was in Canada two weeks ago, I tweeted, “I’ll tell you where I’m not right now — at home.” Then I did #robbers. And I couldn’t believe that that wasn’t on the front page of Huffington Post. … And I thought, that’s it, that’s going viral. And then nothing. That’s a lot of Crappy Week. There’s a lot of that.
And you lost out to Channing Tatum [for People’s Sexiest Man Alive].
And that’s absurd. Anybody can do a stripper movie and get Sexiest Man Alive. I’m doing it playing by the rules. You know what I mean? I don’t take my shirt off on Teen Wolf. I don’t need to. I exude it through clothing.
That’s true. You and Dylan O’Brien [Stiles] are the only ones who keep your shirts on.
I’m sure Dylan will take his shirt off at some point; I’m pretty sure I won’t.
Who makes you laugh on the cast?
You know, everybody is actually pretty funny. It’s interesting. We all sit around between takes, and we all laugh. The guy who plays Sheriff Stilinski, Linden [Ashby], is very funny. Everybody. Its just a good feeling on the set. Everybody gets along. Everybody really laughs. And it’s never pointed towards somebody; we’re never putting anybody down. That’s what’s nice about it.
Have you gotten in anymore trouble with MTV? You got in a bit of trouble on Twitter before.
I haven’t. And it disappoints me. I was thinking of walking around today wearing a shirt that says, “MTV overpays me.” Just to see if I could stir up some trouble. But once we start shooting again, I’m sure… The first day of shooting last year, I took everybody’s parking space signs and rearranged them, so when they showed up the next day, they would be like, What? This is my space. … So there will always be trouble. There will always be trouble and pranks going on and having fun. Until we all get fired for it.
You might get killed off.
That’s how they do it on the show. By the way, good luck getting me to show up that day for the shoot if I was ever killed. I wouldn’t show up.
When do you start shooting [Season 3]?
I believe the first week in December.
And you’ll be filming in LA now?
From what I’m told. I’ll believe it when it happens.
What’s your biggest challenge working on Teen Wolf?
To be completely honest, my biggest challenge is my ego — that the show isn’t about me. When I do stand-up comedy, it’s all about me. And it’s my show, and I’m the headliner at the club that night or in the theater, and people are paying to see me. That’s what I’ve become accustomed to.
So it’s difficult to be sort this guy off on the side, albeit an important role. Just, you know, it’s really Tyler’s show, and Dylan, and whatever the hell the rest of their names are. I’m not on iMDB right now so I can’t tell you.
Colton Haynes is now gone, unfortunately.
I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t get involved in gossip. I just show up, and I do my job. I’m as surprised when I watch the show as many of the viewers. Either I’m not reading the script, which I can’t disclose, or my reading comprehension is so horrible that I don’t even understand what’s really happening. …
Coach is sort of off in his own world and unaware of all this stuff, blissfully. And I can’t let that affect my performance. If I knew all this was really going on, I don’t think I’d be yelling at these kids like that. They could tear me apart!
Do you like the Coach in his blissful ignorance?
I’ll leave that to the wildly imaginative mind of Jeff Davis to do with me as he pleases. Jeff was a fan of my stand-up comedy and hand-picked me for this role. So I trust him when it comes to these things, to do what’s best for this show.
Jeff used to come watch me at the Improv here in Los Angeles. And one night, somebody at his table, one of his friends, was talking, and I yelled at him. And Jeff said, “That’s the Coach.” I didn’t know who Jeff was, and I didn’t know Jeff was coming to my shows. Jeff was just an audience member, and I yelled at him. At his friend.
That’s how you get work. Put that on the webpage for the kids. This is how you get work. Yell at future employers. It can be a little column that says, “Coach’s Advice.”
What would the Coach’s advice be for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez right now?
I think Selena can do better. This guy’s a little bit reckless, out there with different cars all the time and craziness. I think she needs to fall in love with somebody with less Twitter followers. That’s what I think.
Will your Teen Wolf castmates be on My Crappy Week?
I think so. I’ve got a portable recording device that I can bring right into the trailer and have people in and interview and do some play-by-plays of what’s happening on the set. Again, I’d have to check with Jeff about what he’s most comfortable with. I’m sure I’ll have those guys in the studio.
The problem is, the kid who plays the lead. What’s his name again? Tyler? Way too optimistic. Way too happy. I gotta wait ‘til he’s a little bit down, then get him in to talk about his crappy week. … He’s well-balanced. I can’t imagine if I was in his position at that age that I would be that humble.
Who would win in a coach-off? Finstock or Sue Sylvester on Glee?
I like us together more than against each other. I think our styles would mesh. Everything I’ve seen her [Jane Lynch] in, I think she’s great. I really do. I wouldn’t want to compete with her. She’s certainly top notch. I mean that. I don’t kiss anybody’s ass.
I can tell you this: I could only hope that my character on Teen Wolf achieved the notoriety and status that she has.
Have you ever had a coach like the Coach?
Coach Ferrias, Lexington High School. Something that he would do that I’ve thought about doing, is he would also whistle at us. Like, ffft, ffft. But it wasn’t like a whistle. Ffft, ffft. It would drive me nuts! He was always yelling.
What makes, I think on Teen Wolf, Coach great is, underneath it all, he has a heart that you should see. So he’s gonna yell, but it’s for the good of the players and for the good of them. And he may be irrational at times, but maybe 20 years from now, they’re gonna understand: Coach was right. And Coach has a heart, and I think we saw that in the season finale.
What do you think the Coach does when he goes home?
I would say he drinks. I think he drinks. I think there’s all sorts of stuff that goes on. He’s got a wild secret life that I can’t disclose yet, but it’s wild. I think it’d be a great storyline. You know what we haven’t seen yet is Coach in love.
Should he hook up with Scott’s mom?
Yeah. I think Scott comes running home for one those nights when everyone turns into wolves, and he runs in to tell his mom he’s had the worst night of his life. He’s like, “Mom!” And there in bed is Coach with his mom.
What projects do you have coming up?
I’m continuing my tour for stand up. And working on My Crappy Week the podcast. And then Teen Wolf. Once we get into Teen Wolf, I’m shooting all the time and then hopping on planes and doing my stand up. So that’s really my life. My heart is in stand up. I love doing stand up. That’s when I get to be myself and express myself 100%. But at the same time, I enjoy the restrictions of working on a show like Teen Wolf where you have to work within a set of guidelines.
What’s your biggest insecurity?
My biggest insecurity is that people don’t like me. People can dislike you for the wrong reasons. It could be jealousy. It could be they think that you did something you really didn’t do. Most of the problems in the world are because of misunderstandings. But I still don’t feel comfortable walking into a room full of people.
I like to be liked. And I’m very confident in my stand up, but I don’t enjoy watching myself on Teen Wolf.
So do you actually watch?
I do watch it with the cast and crew, but I get very uncomfortable because I believe the rest of the cast has superior acting skills. And I’m just sort of a guest in their arena. So it makes me uncomfortable, and it’s nice when they give me encouraging words like, “That was really great.” I can see it in their eyes. I’m old enough to know when someone’s bulls**tting me.
We’re excited for everyone to hear your advice to Selena and Justin.
Yes. Good. And then he can tweet me when he’s upset at me. It’ll be another person who doesn’t like me.