It's always a good day when I see funny lady Kristen Schaal's big grin on my screen. This weekend, she returns to TV as Mel, the adorable but possibly certifiably crazy stalker on HBO's Flight of the Conchords. A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to chat with Schaal about her role, her appearances on The Daily Show, and her favorite Conchord. Here are highlights:
How did you come to play Mel?
The show was being developed with HBO at the same time I was doing the HBO comedy festival in 2006, so they showed the guys a tape of me doing standup, and from there they decided that I could do the part. . . They pitched it to me kind of like, "Mel's crazy about the guys, but she also has a husband, Doug, and Doug kind of treats her obsession with the guys like, 'Oh, she really likes chocolate.'" They never pitched that she was a stalker, but she's . . . obviously a stalker.
What's Mel's favorite Conchords song? And what's yours?
Mel's favorite song is "Who Likes to Rock the Party," which is the one song they play at every gig. My favorite song I don't know if I really have a favorite. I just got the album! I love "Prince of Parties," I love "Sally," "Hiphopopotamus Versus the Rhymenoceros ", there isn't one song where I'm like, "ehhh, I don't like them."
I heard "Prettiest Girl in the Room" playing once at Forever 21 and it was the weirdest thing! Have you ever heard the songs anywhere odd?
That happened to me at Urban Outfitters. They were selling the album, so that was probably why. But the guy who was checking me out was also mouthing the words! They're novelty songs and they're funny, but they're also really well-crafted, so they can be played on the radio.
To hear her thoughts on The Daily Show, her romance novel, and whether she has a Mel of her own, just read more.
You've popped up on The Daily Show a couple of times. How did that come about?
I did some standup about Hillary Clinton, and that idea got pitched by one of the writers to Jon Stewart, and that's sort of how it developed. Hopefully I'll be able to do more stuff. My role is women's issues on the show, so that kind of makes it harder to get on the show it just depends on having an idea and if it has a feminist approach and then pitching it to Jon Stewart.
Do you get recognized on the street now? And do you have a Mel of your own?
I usually get recognized about once a day. I have a rule that if someone sees me when I walk by and then realizes who it is and turns around and yells "Mel!" I won't respond I'll just pretend that they're yelling for another person named Mel because that's not my name. Mainly just they like the show, that's all. It's all been pretty low-key. There are all these funny moments when fans say, "You do this on the show." I'm like, "Yep."
How much will we see Mel in the new season?
One of [the episodes], she's more heavily in the main storyline, which is exciting. She also gets to sing her own song.
Does Mel have a favorite member of the band?
She does not. A lot of people speculate that she likes Bret more, but I don't know where they're getting that, because as an expert on Mel, I can assure everyone that she does not have a favorite.
And I read you were working on a romance novel?
I'm working on it with my boyfriend. It's hot and steamy, it's sexy it's gonna be just like a "how to have sex" manual that's funny.
And besides Conchords, where else will we see you soon?
I'm in the movie Cirque du Freak, just a small part in that. My friend Kurt and I are making a pilot for Channel Four in London of our web series, Penelope, Princess of Pets. It'll be a social experiment.