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Green Room: Mike D Fights for the Right to Party with Ferrell, McBride

April 22nd, 2011 by Ben Collins Editor

You know those parts of a Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly or Danny McBride movie where there is clearly no script, just a few minutes of some of the funniest people in the world making fun of one another? Know how these are usually the best parts of the movie?

That’s the entirety of the Beastie Boys’ new short film “Fight For Your Right (Revisited).” The whole thing.

And it may be one of the best comedy movies of the year, even if it’s 30 minutes long and technically a music video for the Beastie Boys.

It’s directed by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, or MCA, and here’s the cast: Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Jack Black all play various Beastie Boys. (Don’t worry, this will sort of make sense.) Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi, Rainn Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones all play some ornery old squares. Chloe Sevigny, Kirsten Dunst and Maya Rudolph play some gum-chewing, acid-taking limousine floozies. Oh, and Will Arnett reprises his role as GOB from “Arrested Development” for a few seconds.

Seriously. All of those people are in this video.

And that’s just all we can see to the naked eye. The camera operator was probably Barack Obama. That wouldn’t surprise us. This video makes “We Are The World” seem like a minor celebrity cookout.

And none of the talent is wasted. It’s unrelentingly funny and absolutely, undeniably cool. It is the Beastie Boys after all. They appear to have magic powers when it comes to cool.

But we still wondered how they got so many funny people in one place. So we talked to The Beastie Boys’ Mike D about how this came together, their new album (Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2), what it was like on set, and if they’ve just created this generation’s “Caddyshack” by mistake.

Hulu: Tell me about how this all came about and how this cast of characters got involved.

Mike D: Adam, a.k.a. MCA from the Beastie Boys, directed it. The very start of the idea was that we were doing a video that’s a period piece. It leaves off taking place right afterwards, right after the first “Fight For Your Right” video.

Serendipitously, we went to do some promotion for the Hot Sauce Committee album, Danny McBride happened to be on our flight. Sent him over grasshopper. Hard to do that on an airplane–to send him over grasshopper–but we did it. But we started talking about this idea and it snowballed from there.

Once Danny McBride said yes, it spread all around.

Were you taken with him immediately?

We were big fans of his work, first of all. The whole Danny McBride canon, if you will. He was about to go overseas. He was en route to Ireland, about to start to shooting “Your Highness,” when we met him.

How much of this was scripted? For some reason, I don’t think it’s possible you wrote down, “Let’s rag on Jon Bon Jovi for a minute-and-a-half” in the script.

I have to give the full credit on that one to Mr. McBride. That was all him. A lot of (the film) is these guys.

That was probably my favorite part of the whole video–that Danny McBride had Jon Bon Jovi in the front of his mind when he went into the limo to shoot this.

Yeah, and then Seth Rogen saying, right away, “Yeah, if I had my tool with me…” later on.

Did you have any direct inspiration for this video?

I think we–for us, as a band, ever since we were kids–have always loved or idolized “Caddyshack,” “Fletch,” “Meatballs.” Those were movies we worshipped. I don’t know what the word would be for that kind of comedy movie, but that’s been our s–t for a long, long time.

And, uh, sadly, we haven’t progressed a lot mentally since then. Oh, and “The Other Guys.” And “Step Brothers!” These are such good movies. People forget about those movies.

Yeah, those are some painfully underrated movies. Step Brothers is one of the rare comedies like that that gets funnier as the movie goes on and you get really used to the characters.

Man, what’s the name for these kinds of comedies? Wait, since this is Hulu, can we just say something like, “Now that is huuu-luuuuu!” and that means it’s good? (Ed. note: He’s saying this like a full-on owl.)

I’ll try to get that to catch on.

Hu-luuuuu.

Watching this, you could kind of say this is the Caddyshack of this generation, in terms of the ensemble cast of current, great comedians. Who would Rodney Dangerfield be, then?

Rodney would be Will Ferrell, or John C. Reilly, where every he’s not a big guy in the movie, but he’s really important in that movie.

Yeah, I think it’s Ferrell. Everyone expects that he’ll be funny and he delivers.

Smails? Who would Judge Smails be? Somebody who’s trying to hold everybody down. I guess that would be Will Ferrell. Timmy Noonan is Danny McBride. I think that’s definitely right. Billy Murray is the caretaker-thing-whatever. Some guy who comes out of nowhere and has a big part in it. Who’s that?

I was thinking more of, like, the raunchy part of Bill Murray? There’s Bill Murray who hasn’t showered for weeks and (ahem, eats a Baby Ruth bar), and then there’s everybody at the end of this video. Wait, who starts the pissing contest at the end of this video?

I think that’s John C. Reilly. Maybe he’s John C. Reilly. That’s the toughest one.

The early reviews about this film were saying that this is the Beastie Boys eulogizing their former selves, that they’re older, more seasoned men now. I’m not sure I got that impression from this.

I don’t know about that, either. It was really about the concept of doing a period piece. I mean, this is a music video that ends in a literal pissing match. I think they’ve got it a little wrong.

When you got all the film back from all of this to see how it looked, were you really impressed? Were you still laughing?

I have to say, even while we were shooting it, I was really impressed. Being huge fans of the genre. It was a great opportunity to be on set watching hilarious people be hilarious.

So tell me a little bit about the new album, Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2.
From the early stages of the “Hot Sauce Committee” album, there were a lot of different things of what we do. We decided we wanted to play a lot of instruments–everything and the kitchen sink. We’d try to combine them, mix them up. We’ve always been into that kind of experimentation. You find out that certain things go together. Certain things are horribly out of place. But I think we combinated–combinated? Combinated.–correctly.

In terms of our philosophy for the album, we wanted a lot of dense short songs with a lot of stuff. Stuff that had a lot going on in there. That was the idea. I hope we got that through.

Ben Collins is an Assistant Editor at Hulu. You can email him here or reach him on Twitter @globesoundtrack.

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