Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Jack Black talks Tenacious D, his new TV show and Glastonbury

The actor/musician talks about his new TV show and with the state of rock today
Your character in political comedy The Brink, Coppins, is in the thick of geopolitical crisis [a rogue general has seized control of Pakistan and its nuclear weapons]. Would you be calm in a crisis?
I am not the person you want in charge during a catastrophe. I am so cowardly. There have been times when I have been in extreme situations where I behaved less than courageously. I am no one’s super hero. I wish that I was. I wish that when there is danger, I could be depended on. But I know myself and unfortunately I’m not.
Why, for you, is this the funniest show of the year?
Well, you know, it is a certain kind of humour which I think is rare – when you get comedy, action and politics mixed together. There’s not that many other shows with that particular hybrid. It’s a kind of humour I’ve never done before.
Episode one has sex, guns and explosions – is that a good indication of what the entire season will be like?
Yeah! Although the characters evolve and go through some changes. I mature a little bit. But I am still that loveable party animal who you’ll always want to hang out with.
Does working on a show like this make you anxious about international events? We live in a world where nations with a nuclear arsenal being overthrown by rogue leaders doesn’t actually seem so fictional…
Does working on this show make me more anxious about it? No. I mean, that’s the key. When you can mix some humour in there, that is the release valve for anxiety. That is the antidote for your Homeland paranoia. 
Are you an anxious person in general?
I do have some anxiety – but it’s mostly performance anxiety. But don’t worry! There is a pill for that!
You are a producer on the show as well. Is working behind the camera something you’d want to do more of? Would you consider directing?
I’m not looking for directing projects, but I do enjoy producing and getting shows off the ground in the development process. I like telling stories and helping other people to get their visions to the screen.
Is it hard not to collapse laughing on the set of a show like this, with such brilliant characters?
It’s fine, as long as you are not f*cking anyone else up. It’s just a bummer if someone laughs during someone else’s brilliantly, incredibly funny take – that is a real faux pas. I think they should actually dock your pay for something like that – if you hurt the quality of the show. It can be tough [not to laugh], but you just have to bite your lip. Sometimes comedy lightening only strikes once.
Which other comedians out there are making you laugh these days?
Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler did a brilliant send up about comedians who laugh at their own work in the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live. They did a music video called That’s When You Break. Samberg and his music comedy group The Lonely Island [with Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone] have written some of the funniest songs in the past 10 years. They are bad ass.

Have you had any time left to work on a new album release for your rock band with Kyle Gass, Tenacious D?
We have a new album in the works, but we are very slow. Don’t hold your breath for that one. Look for it around 2020.

Genius can’t be rushed.
Exactly! When the album is released it will be so Earth-shattering that people won’t like it at first. And then five years later they will be like: ‘Wait a second! That was the best album back then. Why didn’t we give them the Grammy?’ And it will be too late. It’s like Stanley Kubrick. People look back and think: “He was the greatest director of all time! How many best director Oscars did he get? Wait – zero?!” He was that good. If you get zero awards, that’s how good you are.

In the UK we’re bit obsessed with the fact that rock‘n’roll is dead – as a rock man yourself, do you think that’s true?
Well, I heard that there were a lot of people complaining about Kanye West headlining Glastonbury this year. Y’all need to chill because Kanye is Yeezus! Dude, there is no better album. He is the f*cking king! Just get out of his way. He crushes everyone else. Who would be better, right now, to headline Glastonbury? And you can’t say: ‘Anyone from the particular genre of rock‘n’roll.’ No! That is a lazy answer.

Do you think there is a lot of mediocre music out there at the moment?
There is not much good rock at the moment, but there are great musicians. There is no one that is breaking my heart and digging deep into my soul. That’s when I know I’ve struck gold – when I feel alive and love existence. There isn’t much of that out there right now. Who is the Neil Young of our time? That is the question. And the answer is we are in a bit of a lull. But something will be coming soon. I can feel it. A powerful wave of creativity is coming soon to an eardrum near you.

The Brink begins Monday 22 June on Sky Atlantic and Now TV



Why police detective partnerships work


The Entourage boys are back in town


35 Musician-On-Musician Put-Downs


Simon Pegg’s Off-The-Peg Guide to London


The Incredible True Story Behind The Real French Connection


Dwayne Johnson in talks for 'Big Trouble in Little China' remake



These are the top 25 TV comedy put-downs of all time

At least according to 2,000 truly unimaginative votes, that is

by Tom Mendelsohn
19 Apr 2017

If you loved Making A Murderer, here's your new Netflix obsession

True Crime Gang represent

by Gary Ogden
18 Apr 2017

Watch Riz Ahmed absolutely destroy James Corden off in a rap battle

One of the stars of Rogue One turns out to be pretty handy with a microphone

by Tom Mendelsohn
18 Apr 2017

Dean Gaffney is coming back to Eastenders and that is great

He's probably set to "shake things up"

by Gary Ogden
18 Apr 2017

The first trailer for 'Orange is the New Black' season five is here

Season five will be in real time, over the course of just three days

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Mark Gatiss confirms Game of Thrones return for season 7

"I’ve done four episodes now and there’s two more they think"

by Matt Tate
11 Apr 2017

Gordon Ramsay didn't want to be Mary Berry's 'Bake Off' sloppy seconds

Well, when you put it like that

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

'University Challenge' winners pied off The Daily Mail over Twitter

"I have nothing to say to the fascist rag which employs you"

by Gary Ogden
11 Apr 2017

Watch Morgan Freeman parody 'Shawshank' on Graham Norton

"I hope people stop asking me to do stupid voiceovers like this"

by Matt Tate
10 Apr 2017

Will.i.am really, really wants to be in 'Corrie'

This would be... weird

by Emily Reynolds
10 Apr 2017