Rob Riggle and Eliza Coupe Interview: ‘Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy,’ ‘Future Man’ and ‘Night School’

Rob Riggle can always be counted on to turn in a funny performance in comedies like Step Brothers, 21 Jump Street or the upcoming Night School. Now he has his own comedy series coming to Crackle. Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy is Riggle opening a jet ski school and hilarity ensues.

Eliza Coupe joins Riggle in Ski Master Academy and they both spoke with Showbiz Junkies at a Crackle reception for the Television Critics Association. Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy premieres August 23, 2018 on Crackle, but Fire TV users get a preview through their Sony Crackle app starting August 13.

You got your name above the title. Do you play Rob Riggle?

Rob Riggle: “Yes, I’m playing me, a heightened version of myself who’s dumber.”

Eliza Coupe: “You know what, he’s more full of himself and naive, optimistically stupid.”

Rob Riggle: “You might find people who argue ‘It’s him, I don’t see any difference.’ And then there will be some people who say, ‘No, he’s playing a heightened version of himself.'”

Eliza Coupe: “He’s playing a character.”

Rob Riggle: “Yes, to answer your question.”

How did this come about? Are you a proficient jet skier?

Rob Riggle: “Oddly enough, ironically enough, yes. I own a jet ski down at the Lake of the Ozarks.”

Eliza Coupe: “Is this true and I didn’t even know this?”

Rob Riggle: “I have that lake house down at the Lake of the Ozarks and I have a WaveRunner and a boat. I grew up on the lake since I’m five. So I’m very familiar with the personal watercraft world. However, I’ve had this idea for like five years and finally got around to pitching it. Sony Crackle had the guts and vision to go for it. I called in favors of friends and asked people to come in and play that I wanted to play with. We got the best cast that we probably could’ve ever asked for or hoped for. Everybody brought it and I’m very proud of it.”

If you were thinking about it for five years, what was that passion for this show?

Rob Riggle: “Because the title made me laugh. It was originally titled Rob Riggle’s Jet Ski Academy. You tell people the title and they’re like, ‘I want to know more. Tell me more.'”

Eliza Coupe: “You say it and people laugh. I said where I was going today and everyone was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t wait to see that.'”

And you’re able to do Ski Master Academy and Future Man?

Eliza Coupe: “Yes, right now I’m doing both today.”

Rob Riggle: “See what a trooper she is coming out here supporting this after an 18-hour day yesterday on Future Man.”

Eliza Coupe: “Yeah, it’s what you do.”

Do you get to ride jet skis on the show?

Eliza Coupe: “Yeah, I was the only one. I did a lot of stunts in the little pond up at Calamigos Ranch. We do a lot of stunts up there.”

Rob Riggle: “We don’t have the super budget yet. Once this is a hit we’ll have the budget. We had to film, we had to actually write into the script why we weren’t on the water. So, it became a running joke that our cadets never got on the water. They had to stay in ground school for most of the academy. Then we got one day of filming out on the lake.”

Eliza Coupe: “But it’s going to be a big blockbuster and probably made into a blockbuster Michael Bay thing.”

Rob Riggle: “It’s that level. It’s Bay level financing.”

Is doing a fictional version of yourself anything like being a Daily Show correspondent?

Rob Riggle: “Totally, you heighten yourself. That’s what it is. It’s your name but you just heighten your character.”

Do you have more of a script for Ski Master Academy than a Daily Show segment?

Rob Riggle: “Yes, oh, definitely. It was all scripted. We had amazing writers, great producers and a great cast. Like any comedy, you find yourself in the moment, you improvise a lot, this one especially.”

Eliza Coupe: “We had a good time.”

Rob Riggle: “It takes on a life of its own.”

Did any of the characters change when you got your friends to play them?

Rob Riggle: “Dialogue changed but the characters, we always knew what their intentions were going to be. We let them have a lot of leeway on the dialogue.”

What can we expect from Future Man season two?

Rob Riggle: “It’s out of control, crazier than you could ever imagine, truly. There’s sh*t in there that barely makes sense. Actually, it all checks out but we just got the scripts for 111 and 112. I’m like, ‘Wait…’ and the writers break it down for me because it’s so complicated. It’s awesome. It’s going to be so fun.”

So, they’re messing with time even more?

Eliza Coupe: “Oh yeah, they mess with everything.”

Do you have more cool stunts on Future Man?

Eliza Coupe: “It’s different. There are stunts for sure, but you’ll never see the stuff coming that happens in this season.”

Rob, what do you play in Night School?

Rob Riggle: “I played Big Mac, a student, a night school student along with Kevin (Hart) and a great ensemble of comedians. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Al Madrigal, Anne Winters, Romany Malco, great group.”

Do you get funny moments?

Rob Riggle: “Oh yeah. Everybody gets their moments to have some fun. Kevin’s very gracious, Tiffany’s very gracious. They’re really fun to play with. Like most comedies I’ve done, you try to play a scene or a bit or your character, you try to get a rise out of the other person you’re playing with. That’s what we did and we had a blast.”

You do so many different things, including a vodka company. How many different things do you have going at once?

Rob Riggle: “Oh, in show business and life you’ve got to have five irons in the fire at all times. Just because there’s no finish line. I eat what I kill so you’ve got to be working all the time. It never stops. I’m learning a lot too from Kevin Hart. Have you ever noticed he never stops?”

He has two or three shows on and all these movies and standup.

Rob Riggle: “You’ve always got to have things going because one thing gets going, great, but until then, you always have to be working.”

Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy Poster