Dana Gould has written for The Simpsons and Parks and Recreation. He currently acts in the TNT series Mob City. Gould will be performing at Helium for four shows from Wednesday through Saturday. We caught up with him to talk about writing for television and his career in comedy.
WitOut: What was it like working for Parks and Recreation? Can you tell us about a memorable contribution you made to the show?
Dana Gould: I wrote during Season 2 in the awkward years when it was taking a while for the show to gel. I coined the name “Duke Silver” for Ron Swanson’s saxophone playing alter ego and created his album name “Memories of Now.” It’s funny because Largo, a place where I perform stand up in L.A., has a framed copy of that album that they had made up and put on the wall.
WitOut: What was one of your favorite creative contributions to The Simpsons?
Gould: I wrote an episode from Season 16 called “Goo Goo Gai Pan” where Homer and Marge go to China and adopt a daughter for Marge’s sister which was based on my own experience of adopting my two daughters.
WitOut: Do you have any advice for comedians that want to write for TV?
Gould: My advice is to just do it. Don’t take a class or anything, just do it. A writer who isn’t writing isn’t a writer. It takes discipline. You have to make a habit of getting up every day and doing it. Make it your top priority and don’t leave the house until you get it done.
WitOut: What have been some of the highs and lows of your career?
Gould: When I first started out in stand up I was obsessed with Albert Brooks. Albert was at a Simpson’s Party later in his career and I had met him several times before in a professional setting, but one time at this “Hollywood Party,” all the sudden he just said, “Hi Dana.” He was always this hero of mine and in this moment I saw him as a peer. Oh and everything since then was a low.
WitOut: Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year?
Gould: It’s strange because 2013 was terrible, personally. I got divorced. But, professionally, I released a new album that was number one on iTunes and I am getting to do amazing stuff on Mob City.
I’m just hoping for something in the middle this year.
WitOut: Any comments on the Chris Christie scandal?
Gould: I assumed the lane was blocked because Christie wanted people to know how it feels for him to squeeze down the aisle of an airplane.
Check out Gould tonight (7:30p.m & 10:00p.m.) and tomorrow (10:00p.m.) at Helium Comedy Club.