Sandeep Parikh is an American comedian best known for his role as Zaboo in award-winning web series The Guild, and he is well known for his roles in shows inspired by gaming and geek culture, including super hero series Save the Supers and the Nintendo inspired comedy The Legend of Neil. Starburst caught up with him to find out what he was planning to do next.
Starburst: So, what’s next for The Guild?
Sandeep Parikh: That's entirely up to Felicia. She officially announced that The Guild, at least as a web series in its current format, is over. Maybe a movie someday?! We have such a great fanbase and I think they would love some more Guild in some form, but I think it's time to blow it up so it can evolve, or alternatively, we could let it just be what it is. You don't necessarily give Michelangelo’s David bigger junk, ya know what I mean. And yes I think The Guild is as good as the 16TH Century masterpiece. What?!
Are you a gamer yourself? What games do your prefer?
I like games that have an ending. I'm not a big MMO fan (sorry, please don't hate me). My favourites include the Zelda series, Portal, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Arkham Asylum. Just beat BioShock Infinite, a huge fan of the story in that, though not totally in love with a forty minute cut scene for an ending, but it was cool that the story was challenging and made you think. I also love TableTop games. I'm currently totally obsessed with Dominion. I also love backyard games like cornhole, spikeball and kanjam. So yeah, basically if there's some competition and a way to humiliate someone that's bigger and stronger than me, I'm in.
How was Legends of Neil different from The Guild?
Very. Legend of Neil is about a regular dude that gets sucked into the Legend of Zelda. It's crass, Felicia plays a foul mouthed fairy, we built the entire world of Hyrule, puppeted dragons, had kung fu fights, lava, German skeletons, break dancing centaurs, etc etc. It's fun, you should watch it. Stop not watching it. Why are you still reading this and not watching it. Actually just buy the DVD... Support stuff like this so we can make more!
Because it's frickin' Zelda! The golden cartridge is like the most magical thing to ever have been produced. It's a game that I was totally immersed in and consumed by from the ages of 8 - 11 (yeah it took me 3 years to beat and no I did not subscribe to Nintendo Power for hints, I found it on my own.) Yeah, so, Neil came from an absolute love and adoration of that original 8 bit masterpiece (equivalent to the Sistine Chapel, there I said it!).
Will we see more Save the Supers soon?
I don't know. Maybe. It's an expensive show to make and I love it and want to make more, but it needs a real budget behind it. The costumes alone that Greg Aronowitz made should've cost the entire budget that we did have, so we just need more resources to make it happen.
Tell us a bit about your next big project.
We're producing a load of new shows on Effinfunny on YouTube. We're doing a show with the Nerdist called Game Off about what Goombas from Mario talk about in the moments before they get stomped on by Mario, it's a topical animated show. It's chock full of guest stars like Brandon Routh, Kevin Pereira, Yuri Lowenthal, Phil Lamarr, and Tony Janning. I'm super proud of it. We've got a show called Code 5 that I created with Ed Brubaker about 2 cops on the longest stakeout ever coming soon. And a show called ERliens about an emergency room for aliens coming out soon as well.
How different is doing a web series from improv?
Well it's different because a web series is something you shoot and create and though we do a lot of improv in our webseries, the finished product is something that the audience will watch at a time far removed from when we shot. So the immediacy of the audience's reactions isn't there really. Doing an improv show is awesome in its own right, and it's very ethereal because it's something that only that audience that sees it is going to really get. That experience can't really be reproduced. There's an intimacy that's created between the performers and the audience, that this show is only for them, for us, really and these jokes can't really be retold in a way that's going to feel quite the same as the moment it was told. I don't know, there's a magic to that that I really love. I don't think I'll ever stop performing improv.
What single work of yours are you the most proud of?
You know as an actor, I'm really proud of Code 5. I can't wait for the world to see it. It's really simple. Just two guys sitting in a car and riffing and vamping. (Mel Cowan is the other performer with me.) I just think that, more than any other character I've played, this type of humour is quintessentially ME. I actually watch it and don't cringe, which is a first for me. It's a new experience to watch myself and say, "Hey that's actually funny." Usually I'm thinking, "why the hell does anyone think this guy is funny, ew."
Is there a particular tie-in franchise that you haven’t been involved in yet that you’d love to work for? What are your other ‘dream’ projects?
I did an episode of Community which is one of my favourite shows that has ever existed so I'm pretty happy about that tie in. I wish I could go back in time and just be an extra in the Princess Bride. Right now I really love New Girl, I think that show is brilliant. So yeah, please show this to the people that make New Girl and tell them to put me in it, thanks. I would love to be in anything that's directed by Tarantino, or Wes Anderson, or the Coen Brothers or J.J. Abrams, or Joss Whedon, or Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi and Michel Gondry and Ricky Gervais and Baz Luhrman and Spike Jonze (I'm literally looking at my shelf of DVDs and listing off my favourites).
I also am going to make a movie by 2015, that's my next big dream, and I plan on seeing that out 100%.
What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?
I once had a fan ask if he could swaddle me for a photo. I said no. I still regret that to this day. Who knows where that would have led?
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book for company, what would that book be?
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The Simpsons or Futurama?
Traditional Games or Video Games?
Mario or Luigi?
Swords or Sorcery?
Lenny Bruce or Woody Allen?
Truth or Beauty?
Truth is beauty and beauty truth, that is all ye need know on Earth. An ode to a Grecian urn paraphrased by me for twitter. You're welcome.