Will Forte is having a pretty big week.
This Sunday, the Saturday Night Live alum will guest star on The Simpsons for the very first time as King Toot, owner of King Toot’s Music Store, which neighbors Moe’s Tavern. (To put it briefly: He and Moe don’t get along). Plus, the premiere date for his new show, Last Man on Earth, was just announced a few days back. Mark your calendars for March 1!
EW caught up with Forte—who was in the midst of shooting Last Man’s fourth episode—to talk about his upcoming works. What’s in store for you, fine readers? Talk of dealing with neighbors, bringing comedy to a solo performance, and shooting a flame thrower at a bunch of wigs (seriously — just read on).
EW: This is your first time guest starring on The Simpsons. Are you a fan of the show? Is this something you always wanted to do?
Will Forte: I am an old man of 44 years. I have watched The Simpsons from the beginning. I remember watching them when they were just little shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. I’ve always been a fan and loved it. I was so excited when I heard they were turning it into its own show. I could not be more excited to be a part of the show.
You play Moe’s neighbor, King Toot, in the episode. From what we can tell, there’s a lot of animosity between you two. How would you describe their relationship?
King Toot and Moe have a strange relationship. They have a little fight over the shared dumpster. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Things dissolve into a messy situation.
Have you ever had strife with a neighbor of yours? Is this something you related to personally?
I have wonderful neighbors! They like to stay up late and have parties, people over. They’re lovers of life. I’m totally fine with that. They never worry about keeping me up. As long as I have earplugs…I get nervous that I’m making my neighbors stay up if I have people over. If I have ammunition of them having people over all the time then I don’t feel bad.
The premiere date was just announced for your next project, Last Man on Earth. There isn’t that much information out there about it. I think everyone is wondering: Are you the last man on Earth, or the last person? Also, what is the greater story you want to tell with the show?
I am the last man on Earth. I’m not going to say much more than that. It’s been really fun and exciting because it’s such a weird concept and Fox has really embraced it, giving us their full support. Trying to figure out how to tell a story with one person has been an incredible challenge, but also a really exciting challenge. Figuring out how to do it all has been really, really fun. We’re really proud of what has come out of it so far.
Watching the trailer, the show reminded me of Nebraska in that both have a sense of isolation.
There’s an interesting connection. Nebraska was a mixture of comedy and drama so that was exciting. Before Nebraska, I was pretty used to doing stuff that was over the top, absurdist comedy. Our attempt here is to kind of toe that line, having some real moments and treating this just like a person would. Obviously it’s a comedy, but there are moments where there’s a very real feeling of isolation and loneliness that you would feel if you were the last person on earth. I never really made that connection before, but I’m sure having that experience of getting to be in Nebraska and do that type of role is really, really something that affected the show.
That said, at its core, the show is a comedy. How do you create humor when you’re acting by yourself?
That was the trick, trying to figure out all that stuff. I think Fox was kind of nervous because a great deal of this first episode especially is just visual stuff. Once we actually filmed it they were much more comfortable. It’s a lot of wish fulfillment, which is really fun to watch. It’s all just kind of stupid stuff that I go around and do. That’s been one of the most fun parts of the job. About once a week I get to do something that seems like it’d be amazingly fun to do: shoot a flame thrower at a bunch of wigs, have a steamroller steamroll over a case of beer. Just dumb stuff like that, which pretty much is all it takes to make me happy. I’m a very simple person. Just give me a steamroller or flamethrower and I’m good.
The Simpsons airs on Sunday at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox. Last Man on Earth premieres on March 1 on Fox.