With a new sitcom on NBC and a Judd Apatow project in the bank, the longtime Human Giant casts his line for stardom.

As Told To Damien Scott; Photography by Pamela Littky I didn’t realize how southern and rural South Carolina was until I left. When you’re there, it’s all you know. And then you get out and you’re like, Oh, not everyone goes to Hardee’s every morning… But in the early ’90s, everyone still had Doggystyle blasting out of their pickup truck. It’s the same culture with a slight twist.

I feel like any comic can talk about anything—it’s just a matter of being really funny. I really like watching Louis CK. There’s a whole bit talking about the “N”-word in his last special, and it’s hilarious and no one is offended about anything. He starts with a premise that may put off the audience a little, but he gets them on his side by how hilarious he is… But the thing with Michael Richards, that didn’t go so well.

I never felt an obligation to talk about politics in my routines. When you do stand-up there’s the old saying, Don’t talk about things that’ll make you angry… But the whole gay marriage stuff, I just get so upset when people oppose gay rights. It seems like blatant discrimination, so I talk about that a little bit in my act. But I’m opposed to other bad stuff, too.

I occasionally get offered some stereotype roles… But at this point I think it’s clear what kind of stuff I like and dislike. As far as stuff I refuse to do, here are some examples of roles I’d turn down: “Masturbating Guy With Thick Indian Accent,” “Kevin, the Guy Covered in Honey That Also Has Thick Indian Accent,” and “Mike, the Guy That Is Stung by Wasps and Has Thick Indian Accent.”

Acting is really fun to me. This Apatow movie [Funny People] that I’m doing is probably my favorite movie I’ve done. Doing the character in front of people has been so fun, just improvising with those guys and stuff… But I could definitely see trying to write my own thing or writing with some of the Human Giant guys. I just hope I do a good job with these small parts I’m doing in other people’s movies, and then I’ll worry about trying to write my own.