"Mr. Miyagi is Phil Anselmo, and the Karate Kid is Dave Hill, and it's not karate it's heavy metal": that's the premise for Metal Grasshopper, according to Supagroup's Chris Lee, who co-created the comedy web series that stars the metal star and comedian. Anselmo, Hill and Lee will preview the series at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 25 at One Eyed Jacks. (Read Gambit's interview with Hill here, and Anselmo's 2013 interview with Gambit here.)
"You got a comedian and heavy metal rockstar: who's going to be the funny guy?" Lee says. "Through Phil's force of personality, and he's just insanely funny, he's like, 'I'm going to do whatever I want.' We're like, 'Well, f-k it. We're not going to fight funny. He's great.'"
Lee, a self-described "comedy nerd," met Hill through gigs with Supagroup. "I'm basically brother in law to Phil, he's one of the funniest people I've ever met," Lee says. "I mentioned to him, 'if you ever want to do something in comedy let me know.' Meanwhile, Dave said, 'Hey, I want to do something with Phil.' … Phil was immediately in."
Lee says Adult Swim "basically bought it in the room" and "six weeks later we're on the Northshore filming on Phil's compound." But Adult Swim's offices folded and the project fell through. Lee was able to get the footage back two months ago and is working with distributors and brand sponsors to release the series later this year.
With each 8-10 minute episode, "Phil tries to teach Dave his inner darkness," Lee says. "Dave shows up on his lawn shredding. That's how the show starts."
Each episode focuses on Hill's lessons, from vocal styles and stage banter to how to apply corpse paint.
"All these 'wax on, wax off' lessons that Dave doesn't understand until he puts them into practice."
The Metal Grasshopper premiere also features stand-up sets from Hill and New Orleans comics Andrew Polk, Molly Ruben-Long and Fayard Lindsey open. A Q&A with Anselmo, Hill and Lee follows.