Ever since the world lost Chris Farley, John Candy and John Belushi, people have had a serious hankering for a portly jester. After years of playing bit parts in more than 30 films and touring with his band Tenacious D, he broke into the big time with a memorable performance in 2000’s “High Fidelity.” The man I speak of is Jack Black.
In a recent Hatchet interview, Black talked about several irreverent topics, standard stuff such as penises, eyebrows, Tenacious D and, oh yeah, his new movie “School of Rock.” Interviewing Black is a little like getting in a fight with a rodeo clown. Yeah its funny, but it’s also a dangerous undertaking. The man lies, plays dumb, mocks his interviewer and trumps up his personal mythos at every turn. But in between there are some pearls, some poignant insights, and a hell of a lot of penis and fart jokes. Behold the wit and wisdom, the filth and philosophy of Jack Black.
A small penis can do wonders for rock n’ roll.
“I don’t have much of a package and I rock pretty good. Here’s the weird thing, I think some of the best rockers have really small dongs and they rock extra hard to make up for it. Ozzy? I got news for you. Two inches. Hard. I’ve seen it. I wish I had a smaller dick so I could rock even harder than I do. Mine is small. But not small enough.”
Eyebrows make a difference
“I inject my eyebrows with steroids. No, no. Well, I do lift weights with them. I clip on some one-pound weights to them and just lift, some power lifting every morning. Then I get a deep tissue eyebrow message for a bout two hours every after noon. Then I have someone come in and wax ’em.”
The state of modern music
“I like a lot of the music today. I like White Stripes. I really like Radiohead. And I also really like Outkast, I think they’re really funny. I really like “Bombs over Baghdad.” That’s not very funny, oh wait.
“I don’t think (music today) is sucky and shitty so much as there’s no real gods of rock anymore, right now anyway. I think it might be because, it seems like the world’s about to end and seems like there might be bigger fish to fry than worshipping musicians. Like, music has to take a back seat when the world’s about to explode because of religion and all the horrible things that are happening.”
On being an artist
“My parents were really cool in terms of letting me do art and stuff. They were very encouraging.
“I’ve always entertained. That’s all I’ve ever been good at. From the beginning I was just a big looser living at my mom’s house and trying to get music and acting gigs. I did a little telemarketing. I was awful at it.
“I’m trying to develop (scripts) but… the hardest part of moviemaking is scriptwriting for sure. There are only a handful of people that are any good at it. I’d like to do more writing, but I have to work somebody. I can’t do it alone. I’m a collaborator.”
“My major music influences are Abba, Simon and Garfunkle and Black Sabbath. I also like Bobby McFarin. Don’t ask me why. I don’t want to talk about it.”
The upcoming Tenacious D album
“The D will ride in on its shiny white horse hopefully by the end of 2004, we’re going in our new movie, Tenacious D: in the Pick of Destiny. It’s kinda like the origins of the D. You see me as a child. You see us form the D and then go on our quest to become the greatest band on earth. It’s the true story behind the whole thing. Including the dragons the sasquaches, the devils. All of it true. All of it. And I don’t care if you believe.”
On his favorite era in music history.
“What’s an era?”
On legalizing “it”
“I think the war on drugs is really wrong and irresponsible. The Rockefeller drug laws are really horrible and ruin lives. I think that everyone in the government is just too scared to say anything about it.”
On being a cartoon
“I just tell (the animators) just make sure you get the eyebrows right on the cartoon.
“(Voice acting is) a thousand times easier. That’s why they don’t pay you any money. Because you go into a recording booth and you scream and sing but you do it like five hours. It takes like four of five years to make those. It’s insane that much work goes into one of those cartoons. But the actors have the easiest job in the process for sure.
“I wanted to animate when I was a little kid. I made some cartoons, not the just flip books either, dude. I did the real deal, out there with the camera and the tripod over the thing and you stop and you click it over the thing. Stop motion photography. You gotta draw like a thousand drawings to make like a one-minute cartoon.”
On working with his underage co-stars for “School of Rock”
“Before this I was already thinking about doing a kids show on television, cause my favorite show on TV was Pee Wee’s playhouse.
“We hired kids who were kinda prodigies, ’cause if you’re 10 years old and you can really play, you’re pretty much a prodigy as far as I’m concerned.
“We made sure the parents weren’t allowed on the set, they had to be over in a room far away where the could watch what was happening on a camera. You can’t rock in front of your parents. Well, you can, but you can’t rock hard. And I wanted to rock hard for them. If you got your mom, right there, how can you rock.
” I couldn’t drop the F-bomb, but we had a good time.”
“I don’t have a five-year plan, like some actors do. I just do whatever the best thing is at the time to do. And this was by far the best script I’d read, for me especially, it was written for me. And I read it, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I don’t really think I’m going to do anything. I don’t know that I’m ever really doing to be another movie again. I try not to dwell to much on what the future holds. I follow my nose, kinda like the Fruitloops Tucan.”