'Veep': Creator Armando Iannucci and the Cast Reveal Their Favorite Insults

"Timothy Simons gets abused. What he is called, the verbal abuse against that man is intense and it's a lot," co-star Tony Hale tells THR of the show's frequent and memorable put downs.
Courtesy of HBO

Dizzy Gillespie. One Erection. Hagrid's Nutsack. After four seasons of delivering creatively hilarious and vicious put downs, Veep's already high insult game has truly reached a fever pitch as the show heads into its fourth season finale this Sunday.

Last week's penultimate episode of HBO's caustic political satire found Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her administration under investigation by the House Judiciary Committee for potential illegal lobbying and a felony data breach. However, while some revelations were quite damning, one was just a bit more humorous — the office's shared 'Jonad Files,' a seemingly endless collection of the wittiest, meanest nicknames for the West Wing's biggest (literally) punching bag, Jonah Ryan (Timothy C. Simons).

Other gems Jonah had to endure being read aloud? Spewbacca, the Cloud Botherer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Asshole, the 60-foot Virgin, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidickcheese.

"[The writers are] all British and it's like they have this vault of insults that it's phenomenal," Tony Hale, who won an Emmy in 2013 for his portrayal of Selina's hapless bagman Gary, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "They put people down so creatively. It's really funny."

Adds Reid Scott, who plays Selina staffer turned lobbyist and Jonah nemesis Dan Egan, "There's so much vitriol spit at [Simons], but he wears it so well."

Even in today's wealth of smart comedies, few series can compete with the biting Veep when it comes to delivering colorful name-calling, brutal put downs, and inventive ways of telling people to f— off. ("You have sex and you like to travel? Well, you can f— off," Selina once said to none other than Jonah.)

In honor of Sunday's finale, which marks the end of creator Armando Iannucci's tenure with the show,The Hollywood Reporter caught up with members of the cast, and Iannucci himself, to dish on their favorites jabs.

Tony Hale

"Somebody called [Jonah] 'human scaffolding,' which I loved. And the 'world's largest single-cellular organism.' Also, [I love] the, 'You're Frankenstein's monster, if his monster was made entirely out of dead dicks.' I remember Zach Woods came up with that."

Armando Iannucci

"There's one in season four where Ben shouts to Kent, when [Tom James] is saying something onstage that isn't going down well, he says to Kent, 'Get him off, you f—ing mannequin,' which I quite like because it worked and Kevin Dunn's delivery is great."

Reid Scott

"I think a lot of us share this one, but 'Jolly Green Jizz Face' is one I will remember for the rest of my life. That is just brilliant and it's just fun to say. It feels good, it's got a good mouth feel to that insult."

Matt Walsh

"'Jolly Green Jizz Face' was out there for a long time and that was on a lot of top 10s. [There's one] about how Jonah's mother was raped by Sasquatch and then had him. ['It was an accident. Much like when Big Foot got your mom pregnant and had you.'] I think that's one of my favorite insults."

Veep's season four finale airs Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.

comments powered by Disqus