Interview: Comedian Nick Kroll on the Axe comedy tour, headlining, groupies and more


The Axe Twisted Humor Tour has been going from city to city the past few weeks, and made a stop at Comix in New York this past Sunday.

After Nick Kroll, Donald Glover, Chelsea Peretti and Whitney Cummings rocked a packed house, Punchline Magazine caught up with Kroll – who along with being one of the nicest guys in the ‘biz, is headlining for the first time. Check out the interview below to hear what Nick has to say about the possibility of groupies on tour, what to expect from season two of The League, and advice for those looking to succeed in the comedy world.

How did you feel about the show tonight, performing back in your home state?
It was really fun. It’s fun to come back to New York. You come up through open mics and slowly make your way through. You get intimidated by clubs and you come back now and its just fun – there’s no fear. The crowd was really good. It’s a really good show. There’s no crossover between Whitney, Chelsea and Donald.

How has the tour been so far?
It’s been great. We’ve been playing big colleges which is fun. I’ve never headlined before so this is a new experience for me. I do around 40-45 minutes. (At this point, fellow comedian Dave Hill interrupted our interview so the two could make dinner plans).

Any Groupies?
No. I’ve never really been on the road. I have a girlfriend (sorry, Internet ladies). I get up early. I feel like what I assume the rolling stones would say if they were not famous, medium talented, and had been doing comedy for seven years. “We just go home and go to sleep after shows cause we travel the next day.” It’s been nice. I will say there are people who are starting to know things that I’ve done and are beginning to shout things out.

There’s no heckling, its all positive. It’s weird cause I know they’re trying to be positive here but they’re breaking the rhythm of everything I’m trying to say on stage right now. But it’s always positive. It’s always people who are psyched about stuff. (Clearly not phased, during his set Kroll managed to eat two chicken wings from the front row, and have a one-on-one chat with a wanna-be entertainment lawyer).

What’s going on with season two of The League on FX?
We’re working on a bunch of stuff. It’s gonna be so funny man. The second season’s gonna be really good. I think it’s only gonna get better. People are catching up on Hulu. I think it’s gonna be really fun.

Certainly working with other stand-up comics on the show must help make it funnier?
Yeah, the whole show is improvised. I think it all begets one another. If you want to be a stand-up take an improv class. If you want to be an improviser, do stand up. It all helps one another. The improv helps your stage presence and your ability to collaborate. Your stand-up helps you write, formulate and structure jokes, as well as edit.

When you say a show is improvised, what it means is you’ll try something and then you’ll tighten it on the next take and tighten it on the next take, until you’ve got it. I think it’s the more you have proficiency in different aspects of comedy. If you’re a writer take an acting class. If you’re an actor, write. It all begets one another.

Check out more Kroll at his official site, And you can catch Kroll and the rest of the Axe Twisted Humor Tour gang live as they round out the tour at the following venues:

4/27 @ Chicago Park West

4/28 @ Indiana University

4/29 @ Ohio State University

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien