'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Trevor Moore of 'The Whitest Kids U'Know' Gets 'High in Church'
The founding member of the boundary-crossing sketch group tells #THRpodcasts about his new musical comedy special and growing up the son of "Jesus music" icons.
Though his brand of comedy often bends towards the sacreligious, The Whitest Kids U'Know's Trevor Moore is actually the son of two of the biggest stars of contemporary Christian music, or "Jesus music" as it was called in '70s. On this episode of Off the Cuff, he tells us what it was like growing up with Mickey and Becki Moore, whose huge hit single "Love Song For Number Two" dominated Christian radio and turned the Moore family into a traveling band, performing at festivals all over the country while son Trevor worked the merch table.
"How I got into comedy," he tells us, "was from that sort of being in a different city every night. If the pastor of the church, or people who were throwing the festival had kids my age, then you try to become quick friends for a day — and then you'll never see them again."
Though his parents didn't allow him to watch anything on TV that they considered too profane ("I've seen a lot of the first five minutes of The Simpsons"), they did let him host his own sketch comedy public access show at the age of sixteen. The Trevor Moore Show, as it was called, found popularity among college students at the nearby University of Virginia, and Moore and his high school buddies produced the show for a couple of years. During his freshman year of college, a millionaire businessman asked to buy Moore's show to air on the family-friendly Pax TV network.
"I did that show for a year and then I got canceled because they thought it was offensive," Moore recalls, noting that Pax programming at the time was more of the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman variety, not "irritate and annoy people on the street" sketch comedy like he was doing.
Moore tells us how he rebounded by moving to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts, where he started The Whitest Kids U'Know troupe with fellow students Sam Brown and Zach Cregger; how performing at the HBO comedy festival in Aspen turned their lives around ("They give you a TV show when you win that!"); why the only concept they ever discussed when conceiving that show was "making a very dirty show for kids," and the experience he drew from when writing his latest special for Comedy Central, High in Church.
"I never got high in church," he insists, before admitting, "I've been high at religious school functions."
Listen to Moore's full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff, and be sure to subscribe to #THRpodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.