T.J. Miller discusses his views on malls, cultural differences and emojis
Upon picking up the phone ,the first words uttered to me by T.J. Miller were “we need to talk about the ferris wheel.” It was a unique way to open up the dialogue and a litmus test for Miller’s personality. Miller was talking about West Edmonton Mall and the lunacy of its indoor carnival rides.
“When you’re on a ferris wheel or roller coaster you want to look at a gorgeous view of a carnival when you reach the top of it because you’re trying to get a fourth or fifth chance to woo the person you’re on the ride with,” Miller says. “You don’t want to see a concrete ceiling, I mean Christ, nothing kills a mood faster than that.”
Miller is a comedian, actor and general enthusiast of sarcastic and biting humour, best known for his role of Erlich Bachman on HBO’s Silicon Valley, Weasel in Deadpool and of course, his voice work in The Emoji Movie—a role he wears with the utmost pride.
Miller has been busy lately having moved from Los Angeles to New York. His move was coupled with more than just a change of scenery as he is looking to pursue new ventures, specifically shifting focus to his brand of observational standup.
His current blitz across Canada is part of Just For Laughs’ Alternative Comedy Tour.
It’s Miller’s first proper tour across Canada, having only played a handful of cities. He credits his ability to do a full tour to another recent shake up he’s applied to his life.
Apart from changing cities, he has also departed from his role in Silicon Valley.
“I wouldn’t have time to be doing this tour or anything else I enjoy refining if I was doing a seventh season of a TV show,” Miller says.
He is exited to take in the comforts of northern hospitality as he has always enjoyed his visits to Canada, specifically Edmonton having performed here in his earlier days of stand up.
He shouts the praises of our city and our favourite tourist trap, West Edmonton Mall.
“Sadly I’ve only known the city within the mall, I’m not proud of it, but it’s a great system there,” he says. “You play a set at a club, go right across to a bar and then go smoke weed in some guys car in the parking lot, then go back to the hotel. I feel like I’ve seen everything I need to see.”
Apart from Edmonton’s super mall, Miller also has an affinity for Canadian audiences. We apparently have a unique trait that isn’t commonly found in the States.
“See that’s the parallel between us and you guys, apart from your lack of political nightmares and looming civil war, you all have a great sense of humour here,” he says. “At home if you riff on certain people or God forbid the city they live in, some of them will just get up and walk away, right in the middle of a set.”
Miller aims to take his unique brand of dry and sardonic humour across Canada and even further, as he has built his entire career’s principle on the act of making people laugh, regardless of who they are.
“Making people laugh is important, I mean that’s why I did The Emoji Movie. I wanted to make something that would make five to seven year olds laugh, not some 32-year-old blogger who thinks he’s a movie critic,” Miller says. “It’s important to make people laugh, especially children because they haven’t been faced with the crushing truth that they’re going to die yet.”
Wed., Nov. 8 (7:30 pm)
Just For Laughs
Alternative Comedy Tour with T.J. Miller
Northern Jubilee Auditorium
From $39 at Ticketmaster.ca