Interview: Sandeep Parikh

Sarah had the opportunity to speak with the Legend of Neil director and The Guild Actor Sandeep Parikh.

By Admin, Posted 06 Oct 2013

This week I had the chance to catch up with Legend of Neil director and The Guild  Actor Sandeep Parikh whilst trying my best not to Fan Girl. The guild has just finished its 6th series and now Sandeep has started to focus on his latest project for EffinFunny.com.

He took the time to have a chat to us here at NoobFeed, We hit the usual hot topics like Zelda, Legend of Neil and of course The Guild!

Interview, Sandeep Parikh

Sarah: Tell us a little about what you do?

I make jokes for a living. I'm known for acting in The Guild. Creating, writing & directing The Legend of Neil for Comedy Central, and as the founder of Effinfunny.com.

Sarah: Most people would know you from the guild, how does it feel being part of one of YouTube’s most popular shows?

It feels like warm melted butter on the perfect pancake. Honestly, I'm still pretty blown away by the whole thing. You just never know what's going to really strike a chord with people and catch fire, I'm really lucky that I have a part in something that did.

Sarah: You Character Zaboo has some crazy traits.. Do you enjoy playing him?

I Love it. The further away from myself, that I get to play, the more fun it is. The best part about playing Zaboo is what grounds him, his heart. Even though he's a total creepazoid in many ways, he's super sincere and doesn't have a malicious bone in his body.  He really cares about his friends, many times to a fault, but even though he's memorized your menstrual cycle, he's really just trying to be helpful. It's such a wonderfully written character. And he's SOOO good looking. I mean, it's really hard to play that good looking, but I pull it off. 

Sarah: The Guild is based around MMORPG gamers, would you play any of those types of games?

Not unless you build a time machine and put me back in high school when I had time for that kind of thing. I love gaming. I mean, LOVE IT. Too much..frankly. To the detriment of relationships. But I like games that end. I need the satisfaction of a climactic finish, the resolution of story and the rush from "beating" the game. My favourite video games of all time are Zelda (the original & Link to the Past), Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Portal 2. I love board games everything from Risk, to Dominion, to Taboo. I play sports beach volleyball, flag football and backyard games like cornhole, spikeball and kan jam (look it up). So, yeah, as long as there's competition, I'm there. I also took 3rd place in the 2012 Beer Olympics. Bring it.

Sarah: You also co- wrote and directed YouTube sensation Legend of Neil tell us about that?

Thanks for calling it a sensation, first of all, that'll make my parents slightly less ashamed of it. It's a show about a lovable loser that masturbates himself into Zelda and then has to fight his way out of the game. It's all live action. Felicia plays a very naughty fairy in it, as well as cameos from folks like Jeff Lewis, Robert Hoffman from Step Up 2, Alex Albrecht, the Sklar Brothers, and more. It has dragons, and octoroks and wizzrobes, and more. I'm super proud of it. I made the pilot for $500 that (lead and cowriter) Tony Janning and I split and then we sold the show to Comedy Central and it ran for 3 seasons on the web. Watch it already. 

Sarah: It’s based around Legend of Zelda right? You really are a big fan of the series.

Yeah, it really was the first game that I fell in love with. That golden cartridge, oh the memories. The non-linear style of play was such a novel thing, I loved everything about it. I drew my own maps, and since this was before the internet, I really had to collaborate with other friends that had the game to figure out where the extra heart containers were. I mean, it was a real adventure all from the comfort of my couch. It's a special game for me.

Sarah: You have done some work with Geek & Sundry how does it feel to be involved with such a popular channel?

It feels like crowd surfing a top a swath of care bears. It's so fun to collaborate with friends and Felicia too. (oh snap)

Interview, Sandeep Parikh

Sarah: What is it like working with Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day?

It's a bit like ice skating with the devil eventually it becomes swimming with ice-skates. Wil is a nut, he's so passionate about gaming and beer, I can just sit and listen. He also has a tremendous beard.

Felicia and I were friends before she was Felicia Day back when she was just Felicia, hilarious comedian who wore bright orange to improv class. We've had the pleasure of being each others' bosses. As an actress she's a totally brilliant, easy going, improv machine, who will do anything to help the production. As a showrunner, she's often stressed because there's so much to do, and she's a G-D perfectionist, but that's what makes her shows so good. She leaves it all out there and expects the same of everyone else. It's totally inspiring, energizing and frightening. However we always come out on the other side of it better off.

People don't really realize it but creating a show like The Guild or Neil with small budget is an uber logistical challenge that can weigh on your soul and turn you into a demon. We've both been there, so it's funny, we can sometimes be mirrors for each other and let each other know when we're losing it. I truly appreciate having her in my life. It has been and continues to be a wild ride.

Sarah: You have your own new project coming up soon; tell us a little about that?

Well I'm producing a slate of new shows for my company Effinfunny.com. My latest effort is a co-production with The Nerdist, and you can watch it here:http://bit.ly/GameOffShow. It's called Game Off and it's about what Goombas from Mario talk about the moments before that pesky plumber runs through and head-stomps them. We've had some great guest stars like Kevin Pereria (Attack of the Show), Phil Lamarr (madTV, Futurama) and Yuri Lowenthal (Prince of Persia).  Effinfunny is coming out with a whole slew of shows including one co-created by Ed Brubaker that guest stars Anders Holm from Workaholics in a couple episodes, and if you haven't watched Save the Supers my superhero webseries guest starring Felicia Day, Seth Green & Tony Janning among others please do so here: bit.ly/SupersPlaylist.

Sarah: When starting up a new project do you get nervous or anxious?

Sure. It also springs new hope and excitement. I love working in a project oriented environment, there's something about starting with the blank page and working all the way through making a packaged DVD that's really satisfying and stimulating.

Sarah: What was it that made you want to get into writing and acting?

I was a computer science major at Brown University, but one summer I decided to make a short film rather than get an internship in the dotcom universe like I had done previously. And I just fell in love with the whole process. It worked both sides of my brain, so creatively satisfying but the logistical puzzle, and problem solving were also left-brain stimulating. I decided then, this is what I want to do with my life. My parents cried, and I moved out to LA.

Interview, Sandeep Parikh

Sarah: The cast of the guild went to a lot of conventions. Which was your favourite to attend?

So many for different reasons!

DragonCon is probably the most fun because it's just a non-stop 4 day party. Going to New Zealand and Australia for Armageddon con was awesome because it was always a dream of mine to visit that part of the world. We just did Denver Comic-con where we put on an Effinfunny party bus, we sold tickets to fans and went bar hopping around town with Robin Thoresen, and the cast of my improv troupe Hammer Dont' Hurt 'Em. That was unforgettable experience. Fans can look forward to more of that in the future (follow @effinfunny)

Sarah: You are pretty busy guy, is there a game that helps you chill out after a long day?

I love people. So when my friends come over we play Dominion and we're currently obsessed with Hidden in Plain Site an awesome 4 player indie game that you can download on Xbox.

Sarah: Can you see yourself buying any of the next generation consoles?

Yup. I will. I have some money now and no one to tell me not to.

Sarah: If you had one game to play for the rest of your life what would it be and why? 

Well this is a tricky question and my answer is going to go against my ethos above. Since it's the rest of my life and presumably I can't play anything else, I'm going to go with World of Warcraft because at least it's constantly evolving and you can play with a community. Otherwise I don't know that I really enjoy playing games again and again. Simple games like Mario Kart and Dr. Mario have great repeat value or if there was endless levels to Plants vs. Zombies.


Sarah Doherty, NoobFeed

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Themes: Feature, Editorial, Interviews, Opinion Pieces
Release Date: 2009-02-14

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