It seems wrong that Rob Corddry works in an office.
Part of me wants to think every aspect of his life and work is somehow riotously funny, but the fantasy dissolves quickly. Corddry’s office at The Daily Show
sits across the street from a car dealership. Still, it’s comfortable and brightly lit, filled with plants and pictures of his two supreme loves—his wife Sandra and the Boston Red Sox (he hails from Massachusetts, after all). There’s a frequently napped-upon couch along one wall and a rug on the floor that he warns, in his familiar deadpan, is “too dirty to even walk on.”
In a few short months, though, Corddry will pack up these belongings, bid farewell to The Daily Show and begin shooting new Fox TV series The Winner, in which he’ll star as a thirtysomething agoraphobic slacker who lives with his parents but tries to turn his life around after getting reacquainted with his childhood sweetheart. “It’s all done in a Wonder Years format,” says Corddry, “in which the 45-year-old looks back on these days with whimsy and nostalgia. Oh, and it’s peppered with the word ‘vagina.’”
But The Winner isn’t Corddry’s first starring role. Back in the summer of 2003, he and a bunch of his fellow Upright Citizens Brigade improv actors traveled upstate and filmed a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary (read: no scripted dialogue), about paintball. Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story—which netted glowing reviews on the festival circuit—is finally available on DVD and will have an opportunity to coax laughs from a much wider audience.
Corddry plays Bobby Dukes, the one-time Michael Jordan of paintball, who returns from self-imposed exile following a 10-year ban from the sport for committing the heinous crime of “wiping” (trying to conceal you’ve been shot by scrubbing the paint splotch off your uniform).
If a mockumentary is judged by the volume and quality of its outlandish quotables, this one deserves the giddy endorsement of Godfather Guest himself. In one scene, Bobby somberly recalls the course his life took after the infamous wiping incident: “About a week later I ended up in Venezuela where I met a black albino named Needles—Mr. Needles, actually—who was on his way to West Africa to work on the oil rigs. I thought, ‘great, I’ll come along.’”
His undeniable comic timing and ability to deliver sarcastic witticisms with the perfect tinge of smarminess have driven his approval rating at The Daily Show through the ceiling, but Corddry’s still looking for the acting gig that completes him.
“I hope someday that I find what it is I should be doing, and so, to that end, you sort of have to try a little of everything, you know? I’m hoping it will be playing The Winner on a sitcom for 10 years and then retiring and moving to Maine. And buying a Land Rover stuffed into a Hummer… covered in gold.”