Tim Meadows talks ‘Glory Daze’

The new TBS series Glory Daze premieres tomorrow night. Will you be watching?

The series follows four college freshman who start school in 1986. That’s right, we’re talking frat parties, beer, and ’80s fashion. Oh, and one rather snippy teacher, played by Tim Meadows.

I was fortunate enough to sit in on a conference call with Tim, where he talked about the new series. Check out some of the highlights below, when Tim talks comedy, the one-hour format, and what’s in store for the team on Glory Daze.

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Well, you know, one of the last times we saw you on a school campus was in Mean Girls where you were hilarious as the principal there…And now in Glory Daze, you play the professor and, you know, are you playing more the straight man in this or do you get some really funny lines in this as well? – All Headline News

I get some really funny lines in this as well and he’s different from the principal character in Mean Girls. And I think that character was more — I sort of remember that character as being done, sort of done with the whole job and sort of not really feeling it anymore and just wanting the year to end.

And this character is, he’s different in that he’s going through a divorce and he’s much more liberal, much more angrier and you kind of feel like he’s sort of lost in the first couple episodes.

I don’t know how much you guys have seen but like in the second episode we find out that he’s not living at home anymore and he becomes — he actually needs to get advice from the kids at the school. So it’s a little bit different from the Mean Girls character.

Yeah. What I’ve seen of the show so far like it looks hilarious, but I was also surprised to find that it’s not a 30-minute sitcom. It’s actually a one-hour comedy, and you know, there’s not too many on television right now.

And it’s also got a little more heart than you would think a show about, you know, four college freshmen would be. So how did you find that Glory Daze was different than some of the comedies that are on TV right now?

Well I don’t, you know, the main thing that I would say that is different is the time, you know, it’s an hour-long comedy. And I really don’t know what other hour long comedies are on television right now off the top of my head.

But — and also the other thing I liked about it is it felt cinematic. It felt like we were doing a short college film every week but that there was a different dramatic or comedic aspect to the story.

So it’s been interesting as we, you know, like we’re shooting episode 8 and 9 right now. So it’s great and what has been great is finding out what my character’s going to do in the next episodes and finding out, you know, all these different aspects of his divorce. This week I get to meet my ex-wife for the first time. I see her for the last time but I get to meet her for the first time in this show so it’ll be interesting.

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[Read more after the break!]

There’s got to be some really memorable moments you had from filming this show centering around four men so there’s got to be a bunch of testosterone building up in all of you. What have you enjoyed most about working on the show? – Starry Constellation Magazine

Well what I’ve worked — enjoyed the most is the, you know, actually working with new people. And these guys are really nice and they — [it’s] like the first big job for some of them and so it’s fun to see them enjoying the work and stuff.

I mean I think we all can agree that we feel very lucky doing this show because we all actually enjoy doing the scripts and we feel like we’re being part of a good, you know, production. So that’s been fun.

So yeah it’s been — working in general is just fun. I mean my job is not like the, you know, those guys that were in the coal mine in Chile, you know, it’s not that hard. So anytime I go to work I’m pretty happy, you know?

Are there any fun almost inappropriate stories maybe you could share with us of your working on the show?

Not inappropriate. I would never be telling an inappropriate story. But I think, you know, well, you know, it’s a little — I don’t know. Well there’s been one, couple episodes where the — people have had to be shirtless or in their underwear and that can be a little bit uncomfortable when you’re the oldest guy in the cast. So I’ve been in my boxer shorts a couple times. But there’s no testosterone thing of us challenging each other to a fight or anything.

No wrestling matches?

No. And I think partly — I think everybody would agree that Hartley [Sawyer] is probably the guy, the strongest and most athletic of all of us so…

Why do you think people will want to tune in the watch Glory Daze?

Well it’s funny and it’s — we sort of capture a, you know, a near bygone era. I think people who have gone to colleges, you know, I think if you’ve gone to a college you’ve experienced some of this, these emotional relationships and trying to fit in and, you know, trying — and growing up, you know, and becoming an adult.

You know, so there’s a lot of things I think people will, should, would make people watch it in addition just to that it’s funny and there’s a lot of great cameos and other actors appearing on the show. So I think it’ll — I think that’s why they should watch it.

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How much has your background shaped your professional choices? – Thegrio.com

It has shaped every professional choice that I’ve every made. You know, I didn’t grow up wealthy; I grew up sort of poor. So, you know, I know when, you know, I know what it’s like to have to make hard choices and have to make sacrifices in order to like get something what you want. Or, you know, I understand the idea behind delayed gratification, you know, from an early age.

I think, you know, also growing up in the family with a lot of kids I’m just, you know, it’s naturally made me want to stand out more. So it probably, you know, shaped my personality that, you know, instead of being athletic or, you know, smart I was funny.

And, you know, so I think that shaped or affected me getting into comedy and wanting to, you know, do this job. You know, I think my background has affected the choices and the roles that I’ve taken because, you know, I’m from Detroit and, you know, we have a very strong work ethic from, you know, it’s just naturally something that’s instilled in you.

And so I try to work all the time and I don’t make — I don’t sweat a lot over thinking about a job, you know, if I’m going do something or not, you know. You know, I always think if it’s going to be fun or not and will the check clear or not.

Did you ever want to do anything else besides comedy?

Well I wanted to be a doctor for a long time but it was still because of comedy that I wanted to be a doctor. Because I used to watch MASH as a kid and I wanted to be like Alan Alda…

And so for a long time my mother encouraged me, you know, to want to be a doctor and I did, I wanted to be a doctor. And then after I failed science about four times I realized I wasn’t going to be a doctor and, you know, I thought maybe I would go into advertising. When I was in — during high school, college I started thinking maybe I could go into advertising or journalism or something like that…

And I thought maybe, you know, I’d — for awhile, you know, I thought I’d be a musician because I had played saxophone and woodwind instruments pretty much all my life. And then one day my father gave me a album by Charlie Parker and then I realized I’d never be half that good so I wasn’t going to be doing that much longer…

So those are the only other things I think I’ve ever wanted to really be.

Okay and one more. You received an Emmy nomination for writing while, sorry, for writing during your SNL days are you interested in creating and writing your own sort of TV vehicle now like sort of what Tina Fey is doing?

Not what Tina Fey is doing because she’s not successful at all…

No. Yes I would love to do something like that. And, you know, what sort of happens I don’t know from my sort of side of the story is that in the beginning of the year around pilot season I will formulate ideas that I’d like, you know, will want to go out and pitch to do a show.

And then either I will get a job or I’ll be offered a job and then it sort of takes the steam out of me going out and pitching the show that I want to do. So that has been what has happened to me over the past I don’t know like five or six years.

But yes I’d love to be able to do that. I’d love to be able to, you know, direct a movie and, you know, I enjoy writing and everything. And now I’m basically now the writing that I do is just basically for my stand-up and the show that I do when I’m out on the road.

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I kind of have a quick question about kind of the genesis of the show. It seems that it will fit really perfectly with Conan…in November. Kind of like the, you know, like the college male demo. Was that something that — do you think the show was green lit like specially to do that or was this in development long before? – Thetvaddict.com

Well I — well if my memory serves correct we shot the show before Conan went to TBS. I think he was still doing The Tonight Show actually when we shot it. So — and I think it was green lit around the same time but I can’t answer if that was the intention or — but my business savvy would say yes that probably had a big — something to do with it. That, you know, Conan would bring in college demographic or that age and the show would be suited for that audience. Yeah.

And I’m just curious has there been any talk of him possibly guesting on the show?

Not that I know of. We did have Andy Richter. He did an episode on the show where he plays a priest, an adviser to one of the students. And it’s a really, really funny scene. So — and we have a lot of other guest appearances by other comedic actors I think people will be, are going to be very happy about.

And have you been asked to be on Conan’s show yet?

I have been. I was actually, they asked me to come and do one of the test shows but I couldn’t do it because I was working. But I know that I am on the board somewhere in December I believe.

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First of all you – this is kind of a two-part question. Do you ever think or being the older gentleman of the set do you sometimes feel like the mentor to some of these younger guys? Do you feel like helping out sometimes and do they come to you with questions or… – Wireless Magazines & Digital Journal

No.

…do they look at you that way?

You know, just recently we did a press thing where they were, we were all sitting around being asked questions and they began to talk about that yeah they do watch me working on the show and that they, you know, that they are learning stuff.

And — but, you know, and I just felt really embarrassed by it and I was flattered also I should say that, you know, and, you know, and I mean you realize that yeah that they were kids when I was on Saturday Night Live and, you know, and they are just now becoming adults, you know. But as an adviser, excuse me, no I don’t advise them on anything unless, you know, it’s — or nothing really.

Unless they ask.

Yeah unless they ask. I mean I don’t advise anybody on anything unless they ask…

So — but I think that the, yeah so that’s a question you’d probably have to ask them, you know, but they’re — I don’t know they’re good people. I like them.

Well, you know, looking at it from I guess looking at them where they’re at in their career does it sometimes you look at them thinking, “Wow, I remember where I was at it’s going to be quite a roller coaster ride for them.” I mean are you sometimes envious of where they’re at? And if you knew then what you knew now, then, would you change much?

Yeah. Well I if I knew what I knew now yes I would change a lot.

A lot. Anything in particular? I mean anything that stands out that…

Well some things I can’t talk about…But, you know, and some choices I wouldn’t make because the results are better that I made the bad choice.

Is there one big movie role that you passed on that afterwards you went, “Oh my God, that was one of the biggest films of the year.”

You know, no — well there was an opportunity because I knew John Favreau from Chicago and there was a chance that I could have done Swingers, his first movie. And I couldn’t do it because of the SNL schedule. So — but I didn’t pass on it I just couldn’t do it and I regretted that I didn’t do it after I saw the movie. Even though the part was small I still regret that I didn’t get to work with him for the first movie.

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Glory Daze premieres tomorrow night at 10 pm/9 pm central on TBS.

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