Jason Nash is a comedian, actor, writer, director, and Vine star. Nash created the web series Jason Nash is Married, a film version of which was released last year. Nash also created the web series How to Be a Man and The Shaman, and co-hosted and produced the long-running Guys With Feelings podcast.
We recently caught up with him to discuss his new film FML which is jam packed with the likes of Busy Philipps, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino, Jimmy Tatro, Andrew Daly, and Brandon Calvillo, his days at Saturday Night Live alongside Norm Macdonald, and what it’s like to be caught in between two generations who both really just want the same thing. Here’s our interview with Jason Nash. And head here to get the movie!
Congratulations on the new movie FML. Did you try to call it F*ck My Life and they made you go with FML?
That was the joke to me. I don’t know if it comes off or not. Gary Dell’Abate was like, “Real quick Jason, what does FML mean?” And I was like, “Gary, how do you not know that?” And once I told him he responded, “Well, it looks like I just sold the movie to the over 40 crowd.”
I really just thought that was a good title because the movie is about this guy who’s 40 being put in this millennial world. And I just said, “Oh, F*ck My Life.” That’s it really, and that’s why I did the title that way.
With the way entertainment works these days, you simply just have to be up on the latest social tech or you’ll be left in the dust. Especially in comedy. Comedians are the early adaptors right? And what’s with the no eye contact between you and your co-star?
Haha. Yeah, exactly, and in real life he’ll [Brandon Calvillo] will have to explain things to me. I’ll just say, “How does this even work? What do you do?” And he’ll just be like, “Oh Grandpa. I’ve got to take you to the home now.” Brandon is amazing. I met him when he was nineteen while I was doing Vine. I had a movie out and I thought I would use Vine to help promote the movie. It started to go pretty well. And I never really had an audience like that before. Brandon didn’t even have his license so I would drive down to Fullerton every day – you see that in the movie – the character drives to meet with this 19 year old kid. And it was great, he was the best comedy partner I had ever found in my life. It’s so good and it’s also so weird. And my wife would say, “Why are you hanging out with this 19 year old kid?” I just told her that she had to meet him, he acts a lot older.
There were all of these good things going on with Vine and all of these bad things going on with Vine. My friends were like, what are you doing? Why are you doing this? But also at the same time I was getting a big audience. And that was really cool, but with that came a ton of hate for being so old on the platform. Then it clicked, this is an idea for a movie. There were a couple of moments in particular that really set it off. One, I got asked to head out to Vegas to promote this party with my vine account. And I was like, “Yeah, sure, I’ll go.” But then when I got there I was so naive. It was a party of 18 year olds. I was the chaperone. You just walk around and you feel so weird. It’s this new millennial generation. I looked around and I felt like I was on another planet. Everyone is on their phone. Everyone is live streaming. Everyone is selfie-ing. Four or five people were just live streaming each other. So weird. I grew up with a rotary phone. Everyone was smoking vape pens and on molly. There is this new lingo. I get scolded if I say something weird, the P.C. police are on it. I just thought this world would make a good movie.
My new favorite game to play in New York City is catch someone taking a selfie because they get so uncomfortable so fast yet they’re so quick to put that pick online for everyone to see. Real life is uncomfortable, but online is safe.
Haha, that’s great! And what’s so funny about social media and the pics that are posted or stories or whatever is everyone’s best foot forward. You’ll be like, “Wow, that person’s life looks so amazing.” I have this friend Matt who is a really good looking dude. And if you look at his Instagram you’re like, “Jesus Matt, your life!” He’s on a boat, he’s on a yacht, but it’s not really his life. He’s working. It really is a weird time. And the movie is about that too. Brand deals, and people getting paid, and selling out in the digital age.
Speaking of brands, the character Swagg in the movie is simply amazing. Absolutely hysterical. When we were kids, did you ever think of yourself as a brand?
Yeah, it’s so weird. I’ve pitched online videos to 16 year olds and they’ve come back at me telling me, “Nah dude, that’s not my brand.” I’m like, “You don’t even have your driver’s license.” That’s always hilarious to me. And yeah, Bart [Baker], who plays Swagg is amazing in it. I based that character off somebody that I met on social media. This really really big Viner. And he was such an assh*le. And I said, this would make a perfect character for the film. I think at one point in the movie, Bart takes five cellphones and he fans them out like cash. “This how Swagg do. Multiple phones. Multiple uploads.” Someone in real life actually did that to me. And I was like, “Oh my god, you did not just do that.” But it’s always been like that I guess, people up until they are 25 are figuring out who they are. And we feed it to them, these child stars. They get way too much way too soon. And they don’t know anything different.
There are so many awesome comedians that pop up in the film. So many great cameos. You are surrounded by great people; how did you find your way to all of this?
I was working for Norm Macdonald at Saturday Night Live. I was doing update with him. I was photocopying jokes and I just really loved Saturday Night Live. And then he was like, “You’re really funny. You should get up on stage.” And I was like, “Oh, you really think so?” So he really inspired me to get up on stage in the beginning. And then I left Saturday Night Live and started performing. Did a bunch of one man shows. And as I got older, I stopped doing sketch. I wanted to do something where I would just talk about my life. Because that’s what I was drawn to. The stuff that I always thought was the best would be when someone like a Louis CK would talk about his wife and kids. It was always so cool. And he inspired me as well and so I made my first movie called Jason Nash Is Married with Rob Corrdry, Casey Wilson, TJ Miller, Patton Oswalt, and Will Forte. That was really fun. I just get a charge off of working with really funny people. And the idea that there is this new crop of people coming up, I’m totally latching on to them. They are the ones with the young audience. And they are also really talented. And if they’re willing to work with me, that’s awesome. And a lot of them were. I’m hoping that their audience and my “older” audience will want to see the same movie. That’s why we have the two story lines running throughout the film.