T.J. Miller is among the many entertainers who now have a different outlook on the role of a performer following Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.
The comedian and “Silicon Valley” star, whose standup special “Meticulously Ridiculous” airs Saturday on HBO, told TheWrap that although he is not a political comedian, he still feels that there is a newfound importance in being heard during this polarizing time.
“It used to be different — before it was, ‘What is absurdist?'” Miller said of his approach to performing. “Then this mother f—er in the White House totally changed everything for everyone.”
He continued, “Immediately after the election, Kumail Nanjiani was walking around the set of ‘Silicon Valley’ saying, ‘Everything’s changed now — standup, everything.’ Now, I have a political obstacle to a social mission, and the f—ery that must be dealt with.”
Miller, whose final “Silicon Valley” episode airs June 24, focuses on a wide range of topics in the special, and among the highlights are his crowd work, which includes bringing an audience member onstage to call his mom. Miller said he likes to interact with the audience in order to make each performance a unique experience.
“Every performance I do has crowd work, and whether or not it goes well, it is still live, and people feel alive in their reception of the crowd work,” he said. “But it usually works because I don’t try to force anything. It’s f—ing fun, people love it. And I don’t believe in being mean.”
“T.J. Miller: Meticulously Ridiculous” premieres on Saturday on HBO.