Matt Porter and Charlie Hankin, the comedy duo that comprise Good Cop Great Cop, met when they were randomly assigned as roommates at New York University. They collaborated sporadically before teaming up in their senior year to produce a late-night talk show in Hankin’s living room. After graduating, they set a goal of producing one new video each week. More than two years later, they’ve published nearly 100 videos, screened shorts at SXSW, been featured in The Onion A.V. Club, and a new digital show on Comedy Central called New Timers, a web series following two guys who survived the apocalypse. Their videos are aesthetically beautiful and the jokes come from tiny oddities or neuroticisms (think Wes Anderson directs Curb Your Enthusiasm). Wag’s Revue contributor Chris Duffy sat down with Hankin and Porter at a Mexican restaurant near the apartment they share in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
Chris Duffy, Wag’s Revue: You two have a lot of interests outside of comedy. Do you feel like that’s a strength for your videos?
Charlie Hankin: I like to think that the reliable humor in Good Cop Great Cop is a matter of finding a really interesting problem or premise, and then doing the problem-solving work to resolve it. That’s something that you can’t hone in any one specific field.
Matt Porter: I can say two things about that. One is that a person should never be defined by their art. Their art is an expression of who they are at that given moment, so you have be a full person. I think that we both have that instinct to constantly be pushing ourselves in other directions, because that informs the ideas. They’re still all coming from, oh, “I went on an audio tour when I was going into this museum, and that’s where this idea came from.” It’s not like it all came from nose to the grindstone, in a certain genre. The other thing I would say is, that when we started Good Cop Great Cop, I don’t even think we had fully embraced that we were comedians for the first year of it.