15 Trivia Tidbits About Will Forte
You might know him as MacGruber or the voice of Abe Lincoln or as both a writer and actor on the criminally underrated The Last Man on Earth. However you know him, though, Will Forte has done some rad and sometimes eerily prophetic comedy through the years. To celebrate the man who’s turning 53 this weekend, we’ve gathered some trivia tidbits about the comedy legend who introduced us to the “upper decker”...
He Has a Comic Book
Forte published 101 Things to Definitely Not Do If You Want to Get a Chick in 2016, a comic book he created back in 1994 when he was a wee lad of 24. The comic collection helped him land his first TV writing gig for The Jenny McCarthy Show, moving to The Late Show with David Letterman soon thereafter.
He Almost Did ‘The Amazing Race’ with Val Kilmer
For a brief while, Kilmer bunked with Forte while looking for a house in Malibu. Forte said he convinced Kilmer to watch The Amazing Race, and the two of them got so into it that they wanted to compete in a future season. “We even both checked with our agents to see if they would let us do it, and both agents were wildly against it,” Forte told Vulture. “We both really wanted to do it. We almost said, ‘Oh, well, screw them.’ But we got busy.”
He Has an Uncredited Voice Over in ‘22 Jump Street’
Forte voices one of the football announcers at the big college game where Zook and McQuaid are officially dubbed the power couple in 22 Jump Street. Forte is the one who says, “It’s the hormones in the milk, Bob.”
He’s a ‘Donkey Kong’ King
Back in 2011, Forte let slip that he was ranked 29th worldwide at Donkey Kong. “I had one score which I was really proud of so I took a picture of it and brought it in and showed it to him,” Forte told Movieline about playing the arcade game with his friend, Leo Daniels. “And he said, ‘Oh, that’s a really good score.’ And I had no idea, but he then checked it against the existing registered Donkey Kong scores, and it was number 29, I think. I think he might have sent it in to Walter Day, who is in that King of Kong movie — the guy who verifies the scores. And so they got me in on the list. I think since then, I’ve moved down; I don’t even know where I am now.”
He Overdid It During Rehearsal for the ‘SNL’ Potato Chip Sketch
Forte revealed that he completely threw out his voice during the rehearsal for that absurd SNL sketch with Jason Sudeikis. “The original guy talked like an octave higher. Just that high register was completely gone by the time we did that,” Forte has explained. He also added that there was a lot of wild stuff that ended up getting cut. “It’s also a longer version; there’s much more back and forth between me and Jason about his desires to be a part of the space program. It’s nuts, but Lorne wanted us to get to the potato chip stuff sooner. Rightly so, after you see the dress rehearsal. The bummer is the stuff where we really get going and get into the argument is even more bonkers than the one that actually made it in.”
As for how the idea came about, Forte told Uproxx, “I was at home or something, and every once in a while, you talk in a weird voice to yourself. I called myself so I could record myself saying, ‘Don’t touch my potato chip because I’m really, really hungry. Just promise me you’re not going to touch my potato chip.’ And then there was one night, and I hadn’t written anything yet, it was like seven in the morning on a Wednesday morning, so I said, ‘John, come in, let’s just jam this thing out and fucking go nuts.’”
He Has Some Peculiar Behavioral Ticks
Forte told Vanity Fair that he would almost always shower for about eight minutes, even when he’s in a hurry because he has a thing about shampoo “I am a little OCD, and I feel like if I have any shampoo in my hair, my head is going to explode.” He also has a ritual that involves making sure the sinks, the showers and the stove are all turned off, checking them in a very specific pattern. “I don’t cook. So it is weird,” he explained.
He Did His ‘SNL’ Character Hamilton at Seth Meyers’ Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
While visiting Meyers on his late-night show, the host told the story of how Forte gave a toast at his wedding rehearsal dinner as his bad guy SNL character, Hamilton. Watch the short clip (cut for censored reasons) from the toast at the 0:50 mark:
He Has a Lifelong Yogurt Obligation Thanks to Charity
During a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, Forte auctioned off an opportunity for one person and five of their friends to see MacGruber with him and Ryan Phillippe before its premiere. Thinking the auction wouldn’t bring in more than $5,000, he said that if someone paid $100,000 for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Forte would take them out for yogurt twice a year for the rest of his life. Little did he know that some folks would totally cough up that much dough to enjoy a bowl of fermented milk with their favorite comedian.
He Was Secretly Relieved That ‘The Last Man on Earth’ Was Canceled
During an interview with Decider, Forte was asked if he wished he could do a fifth and final season of The Last Man on Earth just to give it a proper ending. This is how he responded: “You know what? I’m so proud of that show, and when it first got canceled, I was so happy. I mean, it was so tough, physically and mentally, just because of the workload. I didn’t know what went into running a show and doing it that way. And I also was very bad at delegating. I mean, I had a ton of people supporting me in this, so I’m not trying to say that I did it all on my own, but at that time, I don’t know that I would’ve made it through another season without breaking down physically or mentally. So I was jumping for joy when it got canceled.”
If He Absolutely Had to Be Abducted By Aliens…
During an interview about his 2023 Sundance film, Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out, Forte was asked under which circumstances (if any) he’d be okay being abducted by aliens. The comedian replied, “If they said, ‘We are going to abduct you, and we’re going to abduct everybody in the human race. Everyone’s going to come hang out on this other planet for a while, and we’re going to go down, and we’ll clean up your planet. We’ll put solar panels on all houses.’ Help us get off fossil fuels. Not to wade into a political (discussion) ... but it would be nice to somehow figure out this climate change situation. If it was like, ‘Okay, we’re not going to hurt anybody. We’re just going to help your planet a little bit,’ that would be a very nice thing for aliens to do. I thought initially, ‘Oh, if they were going to harm the planet, but they were saving me,’ but then I felt like that was pretty selfish. Something where they’re saving everybody would be my number one. You’d also get to experience this other planet for a while. It’d be fun!”
His Show ‘The Last Man on Earth’ Had Some Eerie Predictions
Written by Forte and aired between 2015 and 2018, the post-apocalyptic comedy about a global pandemic wiping out humanity by the year 2020 had some creepy similarities to what would happen to the world soon after. The show featured survivors wearing masks, homemade PPE, Tom Hanks being an early recipient of the virus, and as the clip above shows, streets all quiet and cities abandoned.
Forte said it was strange and shocking to see these things play out years later and that he felt guilty making fun of such a global disaster. “Kristen Wiig came and did a couple episodes on the show. She played one of the characters we got to follow and see how she handled as the pandemic was hitting,” Forte told Observer. “There was one episode where she made her own hazmat suit, and she’s walking through the grocery store. Then when we would see these horrifying images in the news last year, when there was a huge shortage of PPE, you’d see nurses basically wearing what we wrote her wearing as a joke. It was a sad thing to get right.”
He Almost Didn’t Audition for ‘Nebraska’
Forte wanted to blow off his audition for the Oscar-nominated 2013 film Nebraska because he was convinced he couldn’t land such a high-profile gig. “Auditioning is not something that I’m comfortable with, so I thought, ‘What is the point of going through all of that dread and pressure if I’m not going to even get the part?’” Forte told The Mercury. “I called up my agent, and she had to actually talk me into going in. She said, ‘You’re being crazy. Suck it up.’ So I did, and I am so happy I did.”
His ‘SNL’ Keepsakes
Forte kept the “big fake ham” that was used in the 2003 SNL sketch, “Give Up the Ham.” He also has a copy of Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, signed by nearly every host and special guest that appeared during Forte’s years at SNL, including President Obama and Robert De Niro.
He’s a Big Prankster
Forte has loved him some pranks since he was a kid and once pulled a stunt on his dad for Christmas. The story goes that when asked by his son what he wanted for Jolly Day, Dad Forte said that anything would do — as long as it wasn’t a bathrobe. “So Will went out and bought like 12 bathrobes and put them in different-size boxes, so it didn’t all look like bathrobes. He (put) one in a little teeny box and one in a giant box,” his former SNL castmate Rachel Dratch has said.
Forte himself confirmed it, adding, “Never tell me there’s something you don’t want for Christmas because that means for sure you’re getting that, and not just that but a bunch of them, probably.”
He Gave His Daily Allowance on the Production of ‘MacGruber’ to the Crew
According to MacGruber director Jorma Taccone, of Lonely Island fame, Forte gave his per diem to the crew after the movie wrapped. “He’s the most polite slash generous, almost to a fault, human I’ve ever met,” Taccone said about the man who was willing to walk around set, naked, with a celery stick shoved between his butt cheeks. You know, for comedy.