Ever since he stole scene after scene as the deadpan oddball Marmaduke Brooker on the criminally short-lived sitcom Carpoolers, TJ Miller has been on our radar. Even though that show was unfortunately cancelled after a partial season in 2008, Miller’s work in it has helped him find consistent film and TV jobs, culminating with his breakthrough role as Erlich Bachman on HBO’s acclaimed Silicon Valley. (His wry demeanor and Chia Pet afro tend to get him cast as strangely named characters.)
Now Miller is poised to become an even bigger part of the HBO lineup. The network announced this week that it’s ordered a pilot for The Gorburger Show, which Miller originated on YouTube and the Funny or Die comedy website. The premise of TGS is that a life-size creature-slash-puppet has commandeered a Japanese talk show so he can interview actual musicians and other celebrities (who appear as themselves). It’s a bit like Between Two Ferns, only hosted by a creature who looks like the Cookie Monster after an industrial accident. It’s very unusual, very funny, and very Miller.
Although the Denver native spends much of his time in California, Miller frequently returns to his roots; he co-headlined a gathering of local comics at the Gothic Theater just last week. The timetable for HBO’s TGS pilot hasn’t been announced, but whatever Miller ends up doing next, we’ll be watching.
Follow 5280 editor-at-large Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.