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Comedian Rob Riggle on ‘Cursed Friends’ and making the perfect funny horror movie

Comedy Central’s newest movie, Cursed Friends, is being billed as “The scariest movie ever…on Comedy Central” and features a fantastic ensemble cast of comedians like Rob Riggle. Joining him in the cast are Kathy Griffin, Jessica Lowe, Nicole Byer, Nikki Glaser, and Will Arnett, along with a few special cameos from “celebrities” like Nicole Richie and Joey Fatone.

Riggle’s comedic career spans more than two decades and includes his tenure on shows like Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, as well as starring alongside comedy legends like Jim Carrey and Kevin Hart in hit movies. Now, he and the rest of the hilarious cast are forced to deal with a menacing spirit who curses groups of friends by forcing them to live out a life chosen at random from the popular kid’s game, MASH. Riggle speaks with Digital Trends about horror, comedy, and what it was like to work with so many funny people.

Rob Riggle hands Harvey Guillen a mysterious MASH game in Cursed Friends
Image courtesy of Comedy Central

Digital Trends: What attracted you to Cursed Friends? What made you want to join the project?

Rob Riggle: The people! Everybody involved was really talented and really funny. For me, these days it’s about the people who are involved. I had a feeling that making this movie was going to be tons of fun, and it totally was.

The movie has a talented cast. There’s you, Kathy Griffin, Nicole Byer, Nikki Glaser, and Will Arnett — just to name a few. Was there ever a moment when the whole cast was together?

Not the full cast, but we had some scenes where a good chunk of us were all together, which was great. I had a lot of scenes with Harvey Guillén and loved every minute of it. When I was lucky enough to be around the bigger group, we just had a blast. We’d sit around and tell stories. A lot of us had always admired each other from afar but had never had the chance to work together, so it was a really great chance to get to meet people that you’d always wanted to work with.

Your character is an overly nice and optimistic teacher. Did you ever have a teacher like that who helped frame your character?

I think we all had a spectrum of teachers… the real tough ones, the hard-asses, and then also the really nice, super positive, genuinely happy ones. I had a wood shop teacher who was very energetic and always had music playing and seemed to just really love his life. His attitude was a little contagious. You’d walk into his room and music was playing, and he’d greet you with a, “Hey, come on in! Grab your safety glasses and let’s get to work!”

A group of friends go to a psychic (Will Arnett) to help them with the curse
Image courtesy of Comedy Central

Did you ab-lib your lines, or were they all in the script?

It’s always a combination, so I never know what makes the final cut. There’s always a solid script, plus the writers for Cursed Friends were great. But you always end up adding stuff yourself. You find little moments where you make it your own, so it’s always a good hybrid of both.

Cursed Friends is a comedy, but it’s very much a comedy inspired by horror. What are some of your favorite horror movies?

As a kid, I loved thrillers. I know Jaws doesn’t technically qualify, but when a movie can screw you up for life and make you fear the ocean, I think it qualifies, so that’s on the list. Also, The Exorcist. I know a lot of people watch it now and laugh, but back in the day, that thing was terrifying. And of course, I always loved the slasher movies, like Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers. There’s so many good ones.

There’s also one that I find really fascinating: The Others with Nicole Kidman. I liked that movie for some reason. It had a weirdness and it was scary, but not in a jump-scare type of way. Jump scares agitate me to no end, because they get me every time. I’m such an easy mark for that kind of stuff.

Cursed Friends | Official Trailer

Imagine they’re going to make Cursed Friends 2. Give me some comedians that you would want to be in the cast with you.

Oh man, well, we gotta get Paul Scheer, Owen Burke, Rob Huebel, Jason Mantzoukas, Melissa McCarthy, and Jessica St. Clair. I think that would be a great start, but I could go on and on listing off the comedians that I love, like Heidi Gardner, Jason Sudeikis, and Paul Rudd.

If someone is flipping channels, and they come across Cursed Friends, what would you say to make them want to watch the film?

I’d say, if you want to see the funniest scary movie ever made, stop surfing the channels and tune in. Be sure to bring a friend, and keep your phone in your hand just in case the movie is too much and you need to call for help.

Cursed Friends premieres on Oct. 8 at 8 pm ET on Comedy Central.

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