Interview: Comic Cole Escola on Inspiration and Spaghetti Hair


If sketch comedy was looking for a new king or queen you could easily nominate Cole Escola. A doyen of the NYC sketch comedy scene with radical showcases such as Help! I’m Stuck! and time spent with sassy comedian Bridget Everett, the young native of the Pacific Northwest has been branching out into television with Logo’s Jeffrey & Cole Casserole, Hulu’s Difficult People and Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle. It’s the sketch stage where he’s best served though, allowing him to wear an array of wigs and impersonate Broadways darlings such as Bernadette Peters. He called us from his home in NYC.

A.D. Amorosi: I have been to your shows in the past, and I am thrilled with how you tackle characters as they are VERY MUCH you and VERY MUCH them. How do you choose your “people”?
Cole Escola: All I look for is that I think they’re funny. I wish it were deeper, like ‘I’m drawn to flawed individuals, quiet outcasts with rich inner lives,’ but it’s more like, ‘what if I had spaghetti as hair and was too horny to walk?’

A.D.: Who did you ‘get more’ from comedic-ly or aesthetically – your dad or mom?
Cole: All my work is about my dad through the lens of my mom. That’s a lie. I dunno. I guess I got more from my mom because she was actually around. Although my therapist might say I was just as informed by my father’s absence as I was by my mother’s presence. But what does my therapist know, he’s dead.

A.D.: I have a friend who has co-starred on Difficult People. How did you get there, and what do you love most about that gig? It seems tailored for you.
Cole : I happened to be in L.A. at the same time they were reading an early draft of the first episode for the producers to hear. She asked me to come in and read the part of “Matthew”. I read it and I thought, “um, this is me?” And I guess they were like, “yes,” because after that they offered me the part. I love doing it because I have fun. I know that’s a boring answer but I refuse to apologize for telling the truth! Make America great again.

A.D.: What most frightens you as a comic actor and why?
Cole: Men, because they lack self-awareness.

A.D:  How is the Help! I’m Stuck show evolving. Do you see yourself morphing what the characters say or replacing one with another?
Cole: So far I’ve only done it twice. Between the first and second show, I swapped out one sketch for another and shifted the order around a little bit. I think it’s important that my show reflects what’s happening in the world today, which is why so much of it is about Cars 3.

Cole Escola’s Help! I’m Stuck! plays at Good Good Comedy Theatre in Philadelphia’s Chinatown area (215 N 11th Street) on Saturday, August 19, at 8:30 PM.

Photo courtesy of Rise Management

Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2017