Former ATV star Chris Noll goes Wylde on TV

Scott Rosenberg: How's it going? Chris Wylde: Pretty good man.

SR: You're all over my television. CW: It's nice to be all over television sets and not just be on ATV. You know what I mean?

SR: Yeah, I can understand. CW: Like, you know, in Junior year, there were a couple of weeks there where we were literally the only thing on, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you know what I'm saying. That's like twice an hour, it's at least 73 times a day. It's nice to be on real TV, not to say that ATV isn't real TV, but come on, who we kidding?

SR: It's dying. CW: It goes in waves -- in patterns. Like when my brother started "Midnight" his junior year, he was one of three shows and then by his senior year, there was like, 15-16 shows. When he left, my freshman year, it went back down to like, three shows. And then not until my senior year there was a huge influx of shows and I don't know what the hell is going on now. But yeah, whatever, it goes in patterns. There will be glory days again, I'm sure. If somebody just has the gumption to take charge and just do it.

SR: There was a lot last year and nothing this year. CW: See yeah, a couple years from now, they'll either shut the whole thing down... [laughter] If they didn't shut the whole down while we were there, they're just not going to shut it down because we gave them so much reason to.

SR: So, what's been going on, you're in television and the movies... CW: Yeah, "Strip Mall" just got picked up for a second season.

SR: Congratulations CW: Thank you. I did 10 episodes that I finished a couple of weeks ago. The way that Comedy Central is they split their seasons up. Instead of having one big season they have two. Usually, the show will get an order of 20 dude, he went to the bar Coyote Ugly in New York and saw this drunk college kid yelling "this is the greatest fucking party ever man." So he wanted some schmuck to do that. So I did that. Me and this dude Improved for about five minutes and there were about four cameras on us where these girls were dancing on the bar. I just said that line about eight different ways. Then me and him ad libbed shit so we'll see. I have no idea of how much of what I ad libbed will be in the movie, if it's just that line, I have no idea. So I'm very curious to see how much of me is going to be in that. I also have "Space Cowboys," which comes out the same day. The part was actually scripted. That was the first movie I ever got and that was awesome. Tommy Lee Jones and Clint Eastwood are in that and Tommy Lee Jones -- it's his first scene -- so my character kind of introduces his character. That's going to be funny. I got to fly in this biplane and do flips and crap in the air and I thought I was going to die. I was like, well, at least Clint Eastwood will film me dying, so that'll be cool. But I lived. So, that was really rad. I had to go and do looping for that, so I saw the actual scene and it's really funny, it's going to be good. I have a small scene in David Spades' new movie, which is called the "The adventures of Joe Dirt." I play a bully. It's a flash back and it's 1983 or something. I'm just this local bully, it's kind of a crappy part, but whatever. And Adam Sandler produced that movie. Then we went to the wrap party and Adam Sandler was there. My girl friend was like, "There's Adam Sandler." And I looked over -- I was like, I don't think that's him, I think that's like, ahh... a day camp counselor who was like, 14 years old, like he was wearing shorts. The only person dressed more casual then me was him at this wrap party. It was awesome. So he was there rocking out. Eddie Money was playing at the wrap party. It literally took me about seven or eight songs before I realized that it was Eddie Money. He had this Los Angeles Dodgers' jersey

SR: What was first role that you got when you went out there? CW: The first thing I got when I came out here was the Nintendo commercial. When I moved out to Los Angeles, I totally just sat around and did nothing but eat. I gained like 30 pounds or something -- or 20-25 pounds. I got this commercial and I'm all dressed up in this heavy winter gear so you really can't tell that I'm a big fat mess. And then the second commercial I got was for Bell South, which is like the southern version of Bell Atlantic and I got the tape of that and I'm just like, "Oh my god, who's that fat guy on the screen?" and it was me.

SR: Did you feel for the Phi Mu sisters? CW: Oh my god, I was like the Phi Mu rush class. It was me. I was Phi Mu rush class. "Commercial Boy" was my nickname. So I saw that, I was like, "Oh my god," so I lost the weight, that god. Also, my friends were calling me fat nicknames, but I lost the weight, I did four more commercials. Then I did a play and this manager dude saw me in this play and was like, "I wanna sign you." Then I got like a couple of pilots but one of them didn't get made and one of them didn't get picked up. But then I got "Strip Mall" and that obviously got picked up and that went into fruition all that kinda crap and it's on air and everything. It's gotten pretty good ratings. It's like the most watched new show on Comedy Central.

SR: What's it like working on it? CW: It's cool man; they give me a lot of liberties. They let me have fun with the lines. I'm not married to anything in the script necessarily. I'll just go and wing it and ad-lib a little. And then they'll say, "now that we have that, let's have fun with it." I'm like, "Oh, OK." They totally let me go crazy which is nice. Of course, every so often, I watch the show and I'm like, "Man, they edited out the best joke there." I have no control over what makes the edit and sometimes, because it's Julie Brown's show, you know, she's in the most. Every so often, like, probably about 50 percent of the time, there could have been a much funnier take, but they, for time constraints and that kind of crap... So, it's cool because in every episode there'll be at least one shot where there's just absolutely no lines written for me and they'll just let me flow and that's honestly where I got most of my best lines. So it's totally fun. It's crazy cause like, in college I was going a mile a minute with classes and ATV and Mission Improv-able. Then, coming out here, like I've definitely been lucky and got a lot of work and stuff. But still, I only work on average about eight or nine days a month so I'm still getting used to that weird actor's schedule. I want to be like in college where I'm going crazy every single day. I mean obviously, if I worked that much, you'd be sick of me you'd see me too much. I'm having a lot of fun, it's cool.

SR: Now, I heard rumors that something happened with Tom Green's show. What happened? CW: This is what happens -- if you take a part away from Chris Wylde, things happen to you. We pitched "Midnight" to MTV and the head of development from New York and Los Angeles went nuts for it. They totally loved it and they brought it to their vice president or president of programming right before he left MTV and went to FX. He was like, "I like this guy at 'Midnight,' it's a good show, but I'm developing a show which is a little too similar to it, we can't have both on" and that was the "Tom Green Show." So Tom Green got my show and then god gave him ball cancer. I was up for the part of Roach in "Next Friday." I went to the audition -- the casting director loved me, called me back. I went to the call back, met the director, met the producer. Casting director, director, producer -- first choice was me. Then Ice Cube steps in, cause I'm East Coast and he's West, gives it to a friend of his, the kid Casper, from "Kids." He gets my part, he dies two days ago -- kills himself. God took him out. I didn't get the part and that's fine, but I'm still here.

SR: So the lesson here is don't cross you. CW: Do not cross me because god will take you out. He give you ball cancer or he will make you kill yourself. Yeah, I'm pretty sure John-John must have crossed me in a former life -- that's so dated, don't put that down. So I mean, that was weird, when I found out Tom Green had ball cancer, I kinda laughed. And then when that dude who got my part in "Next Friday" killed himself, I was like, "OK. this is getting a little eerie." So I mean, I'm taking it day by day. The show is doing pretty well and when the two movies come out, hopefully that will lead to bigger and better things. The next thing I'd like to get is a juicy movie role. You know what I'm saying? I've conquered cable television. I've gotten the bit parts in the movies. I really wanna get some substantial on a network or get some substantial in a big-time movie, a part where you're on screen for more than five minutes. So hopefully that will happen in the next few months.

SR: Why the name change? CW: I went to the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) and the rule is, there is only allowed to be one name per person. So I went to SAG and they were like, "Here's the part of the job that nobody likes -- you have to change your name." I was like, "Fuck you, no." They essentially raped my identity from me. I had to think of a new name right on the spot. So I went through a whole list of names, like family names. My middle name is Scott. Scott Noll, didn't like it. Chris Scott -- Nee. If I wanted keep my real name, I would have had to be C. S. Noll or Christopher Scott Noll which just sucks. For a comic to have a name that's so long is just ridiculous, you know? So I went through whole list and I finally found a name I like, which was my grandfather's middle name, which was his mother's maiden name, and it was Sands. I was like "Chris Sands, cool; I sound like a Vegas lounge singer guy." That was taken too. I was like Jesus Christ! I'm on the phone with my brother trying to decide my future name and he's got this big movie poster for "Wild Things" cause he's a known pedophile. So he was like, how about Chris Wild? Chris Wild, I thought it was kinda corny. So I was saying Chris Wild and the woman was like, "OK, how do you want to spell that?" I was just like I don't want to do it Wild, so I'll do it Wyld, and that I realized that is Chris Wyld (Rhymes with guild), so I said throw an "e" on it and that's the story of the Hollywood phony you see before you today, Chris Wylde. It was definitely weird. It totally took a while to get used to. My girlfriend made a short for her film class and she put Chris Noll in it and I was just like, "Oh, right, that's me." It was just weird. Now that I see Chris Wylde everywhere, I'm totally used to it by now. Totally weird. I don't recommend losing your identity; it's definitely weird. I had to do it. What you gonna do? So that was weird. My brother helped me -- he was like "Chris Wylde -- that kinda rings in the ear, like Chris Rock." Michael Keaton, for example -- his really name is Michael Douglas, but he couldn't use Michael Douglas because Kirk Douglas had a son named Michael. You know what I'm saying? It happens to tons of actors. I don't even know who the real Chris Noll is. There's like rumor that he's a male porn actor, which I hope is true. I have no idea who he is. For a while I thought I was Chris Noll and they screwed up the system. Who knows? My agent and manager -- they don't even want to hear about Chris Noll, they're like, "That's the grossest name ever." They're all a bunch of idiots. This town is filled with idiots, but I'm used to that because I went to AU.

SR: Have you been keeping with the old Midnight crew? CW: Oh, definitely. Me and 40 (Brian Walsh) and City (Chris Compton) and Paul Hogan and my brother (Dave Noll) all made an independent movie last summer that we're gonna pitch around. Now that I have love at Comedy Central, we're going to go to Comedy Central and either pitch it as a movie event or a show or a series of specials and that's going to be like our safety. Then we're also going to pitch it to other places as either a TV show or possible a series of specials or a possible made for TV movie or try to pitch it to movie house and try to get it distributed as a film. So, you know, we did that, it's in the can. It's being edited as we speak. It's really really funny. 40's awesome in it. It's called "Jack Halloween." It's about this dude -- he's got these crazy priests for parents who don't let him celebrate Halloween and they go off to do missionary work in some dirty country. He's got the whole house to himself on Halloween for the first time ever. So he decides to celebrate Halloween and there's a bad guy in it who challenges him to get a 100 trick or treaters by midnight and if he does, he becomes the king of Halloween. And if he doesn't, he gets a night with Jack's 12 year old sister. So that's the trade off. It's beat the clock comedy. Me and 40 are constantly in different weird costumes as different characters. I've seen clips of it, the first 20 minutes of it are done, and literally, people are in tears they're laughing so hard when they watch it so I'm very confident that you're going to see it one day.

SR: Have you ever thought about showing it at AU? CW: My brother definitely wants to have a screening at AU. Just because he's got love for AU and ATV and I do, that's definitely where we got our start. I know AU kids would go crazy over it. We're hoping to have the whole thing done by Halloween 2000 so that would be something I'd love to do, show it at AU and come back.

SR: People are still interested. When I went to 4000 Wisconsin Ave. movie theater to see some crappy movie, they had the preview of "Coyote Ugly" and you have a line in that and the whole place just started cheering. You don't hear people cheering for previews. The place was cheer, clapping, it was amazing. CW: That's awesome. I hope people get out there and see "Space Cowboy's," because I have a much bigger part in that. But I'm not in the trailer because there is no names in "Coyote Ugly" as opposed to Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones. They're like, "We don't need to show the cable kid to get people in it." So, yeah, people should definitely go see "Space Cowboys" because I have a very funny part in that. I ran into a friend of mine from ATV. Me and City, he's out here in Los Angeles now, we went to go see "Mission: Impossible 2." We ran into this dude, Chris Stanley who used to work at ATV. He's like, "What have you been up to?" The movies about to start. I was like, "I'll tell you after the movie." He sits down. We sit in our seats. The first trailer is "Coyote Ugly." So he like starts freaking out as soon as he sees me. That was the first time I'd ever saw it, I didn't even know I was in the trailer. But I was like, "That's what I've been up to." It was cool. When you're in a trailer for something, or you know, Comedy Central's been doing a lot of buzz for "Strip Mall" so I see myself popping up on random things. I've also been recognized for things I didn't do. The other day I was at the movies and this group of teenage guys was like, "That's the guy from 'Gone in 60 Seconds.'" I was just like, "Yeah, that's me -- Nick Cage." I don't know if they thought I was Giovanni Ribisi or if they just got the Bruckheimer thing messed up, who knows? It's definitely bizarre to get recognized A, but to B, get recognized for something you didn't even do.

CW: Dave directed "Jack Halloween." He and I wrote it together. And then 40 and City and I just tried to add as much funny stuff shit to it as possible. And then Paul Hogan, who used to direct "Midnight" was the DP, director of photography and Forstadt helped out. My girlfriend Caroline helped out, who used to go to AU, but transferred to USC film school, she was the producer. It was like total AU. All my friends from high school and college just got together and had a lot of fun together in New Jersey. And if we get the show or interest, because we have other ideas to continue this as a show or other movie ideas, we want to do all the filming in New Jersey. We want to keep it real in Allandale, New Jersey. We just had so much fun last summer. It was just unbelievable. I had just come off "Space Cowboys" so I was feeling good and when I went to do the filming for "Jack Halloween," I had to fly back to Los Angeles to do my last call back for "Strip Mall." Then all my friends are there filming this big party scene for "Jack Halloween" when I found out I got "Strip Mall" so all my people where there when I found out the good news. It's just been really, moving out here to Los Angeles has just been the best thing I could have ever done. It's just been fantastic. I just had so much fun doing ATV and having people from AU seeing me on their TVs, I just didn't want to quit. When I graduated, I was like, how can I get the AU kids to still see me? And then I found out they get Comedy Central in the dorms so I was like, "OK, I got to get a show on that channel." It's been awesome.

SR: Free word association. 40 CW: 40 -- the man, the myth, the legend. The funniest kid I know. Makes me funnier. I think I make him funnier and I he makes me funnier. I am never funnier then when I am on the screen with 40. And I think the same of him. I think when the two of us get together, we just have so much fun and we fuck shit up and we don't give a fuck and it usually turns out good but we really don't care. Every time I look at anything I've done -- if 40 is there, it's going to be funnier. I'll go off the hook and go crazy and he'll just be there saying weird shit. Nobody makes me laugh more than 40. And he's drinking now so that's good.

SR: ATV CW: ATV -- Fantastic. I thought when a group of monkey's got together they were just going to do was chew gnats off each other's back and eat bananas. Who knew they could have an actual television station? But no, ATV's fantastic. I don't think any school in the world has something like that where you can just go do whatever you want and say whatever you want and as long as your there every week and are committed, they'll put it on. It's brilliant. I mean, like I said, my junior year, you turn on channel two and it's "Midnight." You couldn't do that at any other school.

SR: Julie Brown. CW: Julie Brown. She is the woman who cast me in "Strip Mall" and I like her for that. I think she's funny. She's got big boobs; she's got red hair. She's old. She introduced Jim Carey to Damon Wayans, which was kind of cool but they never ever worked with her again. So, I got love for her now. Talk to me a year, I don't know. She's great. She's a very nice boss, one of the nicest bosses I've ever had.

SR: Phi Mu CW: I think Julie Brown was a Phi Mu. Phi Mu, I think that's hysterical that I had that much of an impact. By my senior year, their pledge class was one girl. I personally was hoping to get that for every Greek system down to one. But I failed in that way but I was happy and I'm sure that they're doing better now and their numbers are more than one. But if they are less, that's pretty cool. It's cool that I destroyed a group of girls.

SR: Benjamin Ladner CW: Ben Ladner. Great man and a great kisser.

SR: Adam Keiper. CW: Better man and a better kisser. That fact that Adam Keiper doesn't have a show on CSPAN -- it pisses me off. It really pisses me off. He needs his own show on cable.

SR: I heard he started a think tank. CW: Really?

SR: That's what I hear. CW: I think it's a drink tank. You were a little wrong. He's somewhere in West Virgina right now, drunk in a country bar. But he's having a great time and he's hosting "The Advocates" there.

SR: Mission Improv-able CW: Mission Improv-able was so much fun. The funniest things that I've ever said when I was doing something with Mission Improv-able. The funniest things I've ever seen have probably come about when we were doing Mission Improv-able. But at the same time -- way too many people in it. It was a great college experience. It was fantastic when it was there. Also, it taught me how to hate comedy. I think I would have like comedy graduating college, but I went through Mission Improv-able. When I graduated Mission Improv-able, I knew enough to hate comedy. So I think Mission Improv-able for that. I had a blast with it. I can't even watch Improv anymore, because I've seen it done so well and so crazy. I just think when you're doing Improv comedy and you're making it up off the top of your head, there shouldn't be rules, there shouldn't be regulations. You should be able to go as nuts as you want. Now I can't even watch Improv anymore because people are so ridiculously strict about the rules and you know, it's just so corny and white bread and spoon-fed. Because we had so much fun and didn't care -- it was Mission Improv-able, like I said, it's ruined comedy for me. I can't watch Improv anymore. I can't even do Improv anymore unless it's with 40 and City and all those guys. I can't wait until I have enough pull to just take the best people from Mission Improv-able that I work with and put the together and put the on a stage like in New York or in Los Angeles just to have fun and do it like we used to. That's my dream. My dream is to have pull; I've met so many funny people through AU that I don't know if America is going to necessarily meet them if I don't introduce them to America. So, hopefully, I'll have, one day, enough pull that I can just take the 40s and the Judd Weissmans and the Jeff Olivers and put them, because they're so damn funny they need to be seen. They're so good. It was just awesome.

SR: Tom Green CW: He'll be dead soon. And he married that fat girl Drew Barrymore, so good for him.

SR: Dave Noll CW: Dave Noll is my older brother and growing up, I just wanted to do everything he did but try to do it better. When he was in high school, he did plays and I said I want to do that. When he went to college and he did "Midnight" and I saw him do that and I said I want to that. I just want to do it my way. The fact that we've never been into a huge fist ever is totally weird for brothers. So we've always just had a great relationship and always supported one another and I'm going to get him out of that "VH1" channel pretty soon. That's just for old women.

SR: And get him on to "Lifetime?" CW: Exactly, and get him on to older women.

SR: What are 40, what are Compton, what are Hogan up to these days? CW: City works for Sony and is developing a script with a friend of his from AU based on some book. He's making a movie script out of it. So if that pans out, that would be awesome. Him and I are working on random stuff together. City moving out to Los Angeles is such a great thing, he's such a great writer -- this is the place for him to be. Hogan still lives in the Washington, D.C. area. You can visit him at Crate and Barrel. He might be moving to Philadelphia with his high school girlfriend, which would be funny. I think Hogan's got a great eye with the camera. He'll be fine. 40's working for People Magazine, because when you think of a people person, you think Brian Walsh. And I don't know what exactly he does for them, but I'm hoping this "Jack Halloween" will be able to pluck all my friends away from their veritable pits of despair and put the on the boob tube. We'll see. 40 still does stand up and stuff like that and he's just as funny as ever. And he's now drinking like I said before, so that just means that he's funnier and angrier and can't stand as well. We hadn't done comedy together in over a year. When we did "Jack Halloween," it was beautiful, forget about it. It was gorgeous. And the kid is just so damn funny. I'm not worried about any of those guys; they're all going to be big superstars.

SR: Any final words. CW: [Fart noise.] I really should have prepared something. Yeah, please don't put a racist cartoon above this article.

SR: You know, people almost don't know about that anymore. CW: I know and I want people to still know. Yeah, I can't even think of a good joke then because I haven't been to AU in so long. Everything I say is going to be so dated. Watch "Strip Mall," go see "Space Cowboys," go see "Coyote Ugly." This is you need to put. We need to get as many people writing e-mails to Comedy Central -- Mail -- m-a-i-l- @, little "a" with a circle around it, and write how much you love Barry. Write "Give Barry his own show," because as soon as Barry gets his own show that means 40 will be on TV and that's exactly where he needs to be -- that's were we need to be. So write to your congressman and write to your Comedy Central congressman and make sure they know how much you love Barry and Chris Wylde and which ever other fictional names that you know whom you went to college with. But seriously, definitely write e-mails and pester Comedy Central to give me my own damn show because I am so much funnier than Julie Brown as you can probably see, every week, Sunday night at 10:30. I really want people to write to, because if enough people write in letters and we come in with a really good pitch, there will be no way could possibly say no to us.

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle