Since 2009, New York-born Rannazzisi has been starring as Kevin MacArthur on FX’s fantasy sports comedy The League, alongside the hilarious Nick Kroll and their castmates (which includes Maine-born actress Katie Aselton). Additionally, his stand-up tours have had him cross the country several times over the last 13 years.
Now he’s in town taping his upcoming Comedy Central special at the Wilbur Theatre on June 21, so I caught up with him to talk about Boston drivers, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and why Nick Kroll would make a fine sweater.
As a pretend sports league commissioner, how would you have handled Deflategate had it landed in your lap?
It’s pretty ridiculous. I think people are making too big a deal out of it. [And] I’m a New Yorker. We’re bred to hate anything to do with Boston, the Red Sox, and the Patriots.
Let’s talk about your new Comedy Central special. Why film it in Boston?
I was asked [by Comedy Central] where I’d like to shoot my next special. First place that came to mind was if the Wilbur is open or available that would be the perfect spot. I love the area and the venue.
You’ve shot doomed pilots with both Heather Locklear and Bradley Cooper. Who’s prettier?
I don’t know how old [Locklear] was when we did the pilot, but she would rival any 25-year-old on the street. A genetic freak. Bradley, all smoke and mirrors with him. He’s not that good looking. I’m much better looking. If you like nice hair and a structured symmetrical face, I guess you’d be down with Bradley Cooper.
You’re turning 38. Do you feel like you’re in your mid-thirties or late thirties?
I feel like I’m 65.
How is Nick Kroll to work with?
He’s great to work with. Wait no, he’s a monster. You can write that down. He’s a monster to work with. Human garbage.
If he was an item of clothing what would he be?
He’d be a nice warm sweater. You’re protected, but you will always be a little itchy, a little “blech.”
Where does Paul Blart: Mall Cop fall in the pantheon of comedic films?
[Laughs] when we were making it we knew we weren’t signing on to go to the Academy Awards.
There was a sequel right?
I knew I wasn’t going to be called back for that. There was no reason for [my character] to return.
Do you have a go-to Boston anecdote?
Yes. I was in town once and walking through the park, I think. While crossing the street, I was wearing my Yankees hat, and this guy slowed down and swerved in my direction and almost hit me. He rolled down his window as he drove past, after I almost shit my pants, and he just yelled: “Get the fack outta heah.” And I was like, “Ah, welcome to Boston.”
Just for your hat?
Just for wearing a Yankees hat. Just crossing the street, minding my own business. I wasn’t yelling, “Go Yankees!” or “Fuck the Sox!” or something. I was just a human being wearing a piece of clothing. In fact, I take it back. Nick Kroll would be a Yankees hat in Boston.
STEVE RAZZANNISI. PLAYING THE WILBUR THEATRE JUNE 21. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THEWILBUR.COM