Ted Alexandro began his comedy career as part of a duo, with Hollis James.
Two decades later, Alexandro and James are back working together, collaborating on the fun new webseries, “Teacher’s Lounge.” It also reunites them in old familiar roles, with Alexandro teaching music and James as the janitor of a New York City elementary school, where they find solace and surprises in the teachers-only lounge. They successfully Kickstartered their costs for shooting and editing six of their first 10 episodes, and then convinced the new Thundershorts YouTube channel to distribute it.
If that’s not impressive enough, consider this: Alexandro also convinced Alec Baldwin — Emmy-winning star of 30 Rock who said he may be done with TV — to take over the voiceover role delivering P.A. announcements at the school; a role that had been voiced by Janeane Garofalo!
- Jim Gaffigan (episode 1) plays a nutritionist
- Lewis Black (episode 2) is the school principal
- Judah Friedlander (episode 3) teaches computer science
- Judy Gold (episode 4), gym teacher
- Dave Attell (episode 5) shoots the school’s class and student photos
- Michael Che (episode 6) represents as faculty president
- Rachel Feinstein (episode 7) provides care as the school nurse
- Ted Leo (episode 8) appears as Ted Leo, rock star
- Todd Barry (episode 9) keeps the peace and quiet as school librarian
- Jim Norton (episode 10) heads up school security
The Comic’s Comic spoke with Alexandro about his casting coups.
So how’d you convince Alec Baldwin to join your webseries. You weren’t on 30 Rock.
“No, no, not that I’m aware of,” Alexandro said. “He had Tweeted about me five months ago…just randomly…he was listening to my album. He said I was smart and funny. I just wrote back saying I’m a huge fan.”
“Janeane Garofalo had done the first five (episodes). Then we had to do the next five, but Janeane is in Vancouver shooting something, so she said I’m busy, I can’t do it. I said to Hollis, ‘I’m going to take a shot.’ It can’t hurt. It’ll probably just whatever. So I went through Judah (Friedlander), because Judah had known about that Twitter exchange,” Alexandro said. “Within 24 hours, I heard back from Judah.”
“We recorded him at his office,” he said of Baldwin’s voiceovers. “It took like an hour and that was that.”
So you hear Garofalo’s voice on the P.A. for episodes 1-5, then Baldwin’s for episodes 6-10.
“There’s no thrilling season conclusion where it all wraps up,” Alexandro said. “Each one stands alone. We solve all the problems.”
That said, he added that this first season of Teacher’s Lounge “surpassed all our wildest dreams.”
“We had the best comics in the business, but Alec Baldwin’s a movie star. So it was pretty absurd,” Alexandro said.
Watch them all here.
The season finale of Teacher’s Lounge debuts Wednesday, with guest Jim Norton as the head of school security.