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T.J. Miller’s round of alternate Silicon Valley insults is staggering

Silicon Valley

“We riffed a lot,” is a pretty common refrain to hear about comedy sets in the post-Judd Apatow era, which conjures up images of actors throwing out a couple of alternate takes. But this reel of unused Silicon Valley footage reveals just how insanely elaborate that riffing can be. In the third season premiere, Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) greets his new boss “Action” Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) with a 25-second string of insults before the two eventually bond over their mutual love of Erlich’s former startup Aviato (here’s the final scene). But to get that perfect string of insults, Miller actually filmed dozens of potential options, which HBO has now released in this new four-and-a-half-minute supercut.

The ageist insults were a combination of written material and Miller ad-libs. The video features over 75 different options, which were eventually trimmed down to the nine that appear in the episode. Miller told Entertainment Weekly, “[The producers] actually had to stop us and say, ‘Listen, this continues to be funny, but we have way too much material.’”


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