Q&A: Comedian Jen Kober talks comedy, road rage, great bad movies and Yoo Hoo chocolate drink

Jen Kober performs stand-up at Sacramento State on Thursday in the University Union.

Robert Linggi

Jen Kober performs stand-up at Sacramento State on Thursday in the University Union.

State Hornet Staff

The State Hornet caught up with comedian Jen Kober after her stand-up show at Sacramento State on Thursday.

Kober, who is in the middle of a national tour, has appeared in feature films like “American Reunion” and T.V. shows like “The Mindy Project” and “Anger Management”.

Kober loves toying with the audience, making fun of skinny girls and reminding everyone that it’s rude to call her “fat”; she prefers the term “hard to kidnap”.

Her comedy is a personal blend of storytelling and stand-up that her fans relate to.

It also helps that she’s funny as hell.


SH: Why comedy?


Kober: This is seriously the only skill I have.

I was the kid in class who wouldn’t stop taking and never stayed in their desk; and just kept moving around and trying to distract everybody else, and joking.

Everything the teacher said was just more material for me.

That’s just who I’ve always been. I did really well in school, so I didn’t feel the need to actually pay attention. So I didn’t want anyone else to pay attention either. It’s really my only skill.


SH: About your upbringing; you were born and raised in a small town in Louisiana. How does it influence your comedy?


Kober: I mean, it’s… completely. It’s where everything comes from. That’s the filter through which I see everything because that’s…what’s ingrained in me.

I get asked all the time ‘Are you really from Louisiana?’ like I’m making it up to sound glamorous. Ya know what I mean? (laughs) I’m like ya, I’m really from Louisiana. I’m not trying to sound cool (laughs) But ya, it’s really a big part of how I am.


SH: In 2011 you gave an interview to thenervousbreakdown.com where one of the questions you were asked was “What do you want to know?” One of your answers was “Why is Tara Reid a star?” Then, in 2012, you worked with her in “American Reunion”. Did you get your answer?


Kober: I did not. I still don’t understand why that vapid whore has a career. I really don’t get it, I don’t.

You know what was so funny? I literally was just on set with Robert De Niro. We’re making this movie (Grudge Match) and he says to me, “What was the last movie you worked on?” and I go, “Well on the last movie I worked with Tara Reid, and now I’m working with you.” and he goes, “Who?!” and I went, “Exactly!” Right? Why does she have a career?

So Robert De Niro had no idea who she was. We had to literally whip out our phones and show her to him and he was like, “I’ve never seen her. She looks awful.” And we’re like, yeah, yeah that’s Tara Reid.


SH: Speaking of skinny bitches, why do you hate skinny bitches so much?


Kober: I don’t hate them. I just, you know, when you’re a person who huffs and puffs after wiping their own ass, you have a sort of uh…. disgust in your heart for people that you see the world as being very easy for.

So these little skinny girls kind of have…all the clothes in the mall fit them and all the pictures in the magazine reflect them and things like that, you know?

So as a kid, the way to deal with that is to be funny about it, so that you don’t have to cry that you’re shopping in the husky section. 

So you just start making fun of it. And I’ve always had a bunch of little skinny girlfriends, so it just felt natural to me to sort of start making fun of them.


SH: You talk in that same thenervousbreakdown.com interview about how your temper is one of the things you don’t like about yourself. (The actual question was what makes her feel most guilty.) Has it ever gotten you into trouble?


Kober: My temper. Oh god yes. Oh god yes. Listen, this is a true story. The other day, I’m in my home town. I’m in the drive through line at the Wendy’s. There’s a guy behind me, and he’s taking pictures of my car. I can see him taking pictures of my car. He’s typing on his phone and he has a press badge on his rear-view mirror. I’m like, who is this guy, and why is he taking pictures of my car with a press badge?

I got super, super paranoid. I’m in front of him, so I get my food and I pull around and I wait until he comes around and then I start following him to see who he is. And eventually he realizes I’m following him; he starts weaving down little streets and I’m f—ing chasing him. I like, did not let him go. 

Finally he pulls over and he goes, “Why Jen Kober, why are you chasing me?” and I’m like, “Why are you taking pictures of my f—ing car dude? What the hell!” and he goes, “I just thought your bumper sticker was funny I swear to god! I went to college with you, we know each other!”

I really almost made this kid cry because I was like who the hell are you, and why are you taking my picture? It just infuriated me because I thought it was some weirdo like trying to know my license plate or something.

And so I had to be like, I’m sorry, I’m a freak here, it’s not you, this is me. My anger issue has apparently gotten me into trouble again. And you can stop cowering in the road from me. And we got it all straightened out and he was very sweet and he posted the picture on Facebook and he tagged me. And he was like, thank god she didn’t kill me in the street.


SH: That was actually a really good story.


Kober: It’s sadly true…


SH: You’re getting movie roles now. You were in “American Reunion” and worked with Jason Biggs and all those guys. Then you were in, “30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”. (Kober begins laughing) It got a 2.6/10 on IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t reviewed it yet, (Kober laughs harder) but gave it a 13 percent based on average user reviews. In the film you played Kat… What do you think about that?


Kober: You know what, that film was such a fun departure from anything I ever get to do. The director was literally like, I don’t care what you do, be funny.

There was one point where there was a baby… Well, I play a security person putting cameras in their house so that they can record all the paranormal activity. It’s very ambiguous what my sex is, but I had a sock stuffed in my pants, because that’s what the director wanted. And we’re next to a baby crib.

At one point I realize the sock of my c— is in the slats of the baby crib. And I’m stuck and so I can’t move so I just start shaking the baby crib so it looks in the take like I’m f—ing the baby crib. And finally at the end of the take I just go, “Pine cribs! They’re good for f—ing!” And then I walked off. And that’s in the movie. I’m like oh my God!


SH: They didn’t cut it!


Kober: No! No, that’s the kind of movie it is. That’s what I’m telling you. I did that ridiculous thing and they kept it in because they thought it was funny. They didn’t care. They were just having a good time and making the silliest and most ridiculous movie they could make.

It was…I mean at one point I pee on a bush. I stand up and piss on a bush. Do you know what the logistics of that were? Like it was really hard to film that, and really hard to make happen. But we had such a good time.

And the guys that were in it with me, Kat Fiore, and Flip Schultz, and French Stewart, and all those guys were just…everyone was in that mode of let’s just be super silly. That is probably the most fun I’ve had on a movie set ever. 

Nobody was uptight, nobody was weird. Sometimes you do these movies and you literally get told, don’t look so and so in the eye; they don’t wanna be looked at. They don’t wanna feel like they’re being stared at. I’m like, I’m in a scene with the f—er, he doesn’t want me to look him in the eye? That’s weird.


SH: Are you talking about larger stars?


Kober: Ya, like famous people. And you’re like, really? You don’t wanna be looked at douche-bag? So to be on a set then, with people that were literally letting you be as silly, and fun, and crazy, and outlandish and just heighten and heighten and heighten your choices; and just keep pushing that envelope, was incredible.

Is it a fine piece of cinema? No. Should it be in a bargain bin at Walmart? Yes. But that was probably the most fun I’ve had on a movie set ever and because I had a bigger part in that movie I got to work on it for a week or two and it was really fun, just really fun to be around all those people and to have such freedom and to just play.


SH: Worth it?


Kober: Totally worth it. What did I lose? So I’m in a s—ty movie right? Dustin Hoffman made “Ishtar”. So I mean bad movies happen to good people. So I’m glad to have gotten one out of my system so early and to have kind of embraced it the way I did.


SH: So last question – I hear you like Yaa? Yoo? Yaa Hoo? How do you say it?


Kober: Yoo Hoo! Yoo Hoo chocolate drink. It’s like chocolate water. It’s so delicious. It’s not a dairy product, but it tastes like chocolate milk.


SH: I doubt there’s dairy, you probably don’t even have to refrigerate it?


Kober: No, not at all. And in my town they sell them in these big 40 ounce cans. So I would always have a paper bag around a giant can of Yoo Hoo while all my friends were drinking. Cause I don’t drink. So I would get a big can of Yoo Hoo, but I’d cover it with a paper bag like they did. And they didn’t know. And then, you know, turn the can into a pipe and smoke a little out of it later. It’s a useful can!

I love Yoo Hoo, I’ve always loved Yoo Hoo. And that actually gets a lot of questions. People are like what’s Yoo Hoo?

It’s amazing, and if you can get one ice cold do it! You will thank me.


SH: Yoo Hoo and ranch flavored Corn Nuts?


Kober: Yes, ranch flavored Corn Nuts, those are the only corn nuts worth eating. When you get the spiciness of that ranch and you can taste it flavoring your breath, and you get that cold, cold chocolate Yoo Hoo to rinse it away. It’s beautiful. It’s sex in your mouth. It is food porn – it is delicious. Good, good stuff!


More information on Kober including tour dates can be found at www.jenkober.com.