I had the great pleasure of attending the Silicon Valley panel at Just For Laughs this year. Everyone from Thomas Middleditch to Martin Starr was there including showrunner Alec Berg and creator Mike Judge.
Well, not everyone. Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Dinesh Chugtai, didn’t attend to my utter dismay given that I listen to his podcast Indoor Kids every week, but whatever. I’m sure he had better things to do than meet one of his biggest fans who’d tell him that his role in 12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer changed my life and that the only reason I’m excited about the new X-Files is because he’s in an episode. Maybe some other time.
In any case, the rest of the cast was just crazy entertaining and quite forthcoming. We found out some things about the show that we’d like to share. So without further ado…
(1) Zach Woods Is Donald ‘Jared’ Dunn
My favourite character in Silicon Valley is Jared. He always seemed to reek of authenticity in his awkwardness. Now I know that that’s not just good acting, that’s good casting. Stories abounded about Zach’s oddness including my favourite where T.J. got Zach to admit that he was sitting in the dark, cross-legged on a yoga map, in front go a candle listening to the Indigo Girls. Zach is Jared.
(2) T.J. Miller is Erlich Bachman
Anyone who’s ever heard T.J.’s stand up knows that he’s not far off from his character Erlich Bachman, an incorrigible blowhard with a little pride and a lot of gumption. But when I heard him yell across the stage at Middleditch “He elected to get a foyer instead of a solarium! What an idiot!!”, I knew that they were more alike than I ever knew.
(3) Dr. Dre Heavily Influenced Silicon Valley
On the list of things I didn’t expect the show’s creator, Mike Judge, to say, referencing Dr. Dre as a source of inspiration for the show has to at least be seventh.
In response to someone asking about keeping the show true to life in Silicon Valley, Judge said that Dr. Dre wanted to initially create music that appealed to people in Compton and then expand outwards. Similarly, the show tries to stay true to Silicon Valley proper and then appeal to a wider audience.