You know Jon Glaser. Whether you’ve seen him as legendarily dickish Councilman Jamm on Parks and Recreation, or lovelorn loner Laird on Girls, or as the star of a handful of shows that he writes and produces himself—Delocated, Neon Joe: Werewolf Hunter, and last fall’s Jon Glaser Loves Gear—you definitely know Glaser, and know just how funny he can be at any given moment. A Park Slope resident, there’s also a good chance that you’ll see Glaser out and about, just doing his thing. Lately, he’s been hard at work on the second season of Neon Joe, which will air this summer on Adult Swim.
You’ve shown up in so many fun and exciting comedic things through the years, from Girls and Parks and Recreation to the stuff you write yourself like Delocated and Jon Glaser Loves Gear. What has been the most exciting part of that journey over the past several years? I’m very thankful that I’ve gotten to do things like Girls, and Parks and Rec, and Amy Schumer’s TV show and movie. But it’s tough to beat the good fortune of getting to keep making my own shows. That has been very satisfying and highly enjoyable.
Tell us a little bit about your present work, the Cliff’s Notes version of what your days have been like lately. January (when I’m writing these answers) has been busy with pre-production for the second season of Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter, a show I make for Adult Swim. Pre-production is basically what it sounds like, it’s all the work that needs to happen before filming starts. Since it’s my show, I oversee everything, so the days are all busy with a lot to do. We have an excellent team in place, which makes it a lot easier. We’ll have filmed most of February into early March, and then it’s on to the edit.
What’s been the most fulfilling part about being a comedic actor and writer living in Brooklyn?
I’ve been performing live a lot less lately, but when I was doing live shows more regularly, there happened to be a bunch of really good comedy shows near where I live, and being able to walk to a show is always nice. On the writing side, I like to ride my bike, and commute a lot to work, which is usually in Manhattan. I mostly go over the Manhattan Bridge since the Brooklyn Bridge is usually crowded and annoying with tourists. But if I go early enough, I’ll go over the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s cliché, but it is beautiful, especially when it’s a quiet sunny morning, and it’s fun to ride over the planks. But I also like riding over the Manhattan Bridge, especially late when it isn’t crowded. And I love the steel blue color. Either way, commuting by bike, riding over the bridge, is one of the things that I really love about living in Brooklyn. Wow, that all sounded like a horrible PSA. “Brooklyn! You’ll love your commute!”
What is your proudest achievement in your career thus far, and what’s been your greatest challenge? I’m very proud of Delocated as a whole, especially how we got to finish things with the series finale. But I’m proud of all the shows I’ve gotten to make. Greatest challenge career-wise has probably been trying to stay in New York. My wife and I talk every year about moving to L.A., if we should do it not only for career reasons for me, but for family reasons, having more space, not paying an obscene amount of rent for a tiny apartment, most of the usual complaints about living in New York. I like L.A., but I love living here and have been lucky to stay here as long as I have. I probably would have moved to L.A. a long time ago if I felt like I had to, or wanted to. Who knows. I could move there tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have moved there by the time this article goes out. And it just happened. I just moved to LA. I’m in LA right now living in a mansion with five pools.
When you started off, did you ever imagine that you’d be where you are? YES!!!!!! No, not really. To continue to live in New York, and to have made several shows, I’ve been very fortunate to get to do that, as well as getting to perform and write on some very high quality shows, and work with some extremely talented, creative people. Hopefully it’ll all just keep happening. If not, hopefully some weirdo billionaire will fund me because one of his kids likes what I do.
Of all of your roles and characters, do you get recognized often? It happens every now and then, although that’s a weirdly phrased question. It sounded like I was about to be asked “Of all your roles and characters, which one do you get recognized as the most?”, and then it just turned into a general question about being recognized. Are you okay?
What do you hope changes or improves in comedy going forward? With cable and the internet, there’s a lot of good outlets for people to get to make interesting shows. I just hope there continues to be opportunities for people to get to make smart/weird/inventive comedy.
Who else would you nominate for this list? PFFR (two members are married and live in Brooklyn). Wyatt Cenac. James McNew.