Exclusive: Danny McBride Gives The Scoop On Those K-Swiss Ads (and The Office)

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If you don’t like this, then change your mind.

The utterly vulgar, completely rude and absolutely hilarious Kenny Powers of the HBO comedy series Eastbound & Down will be back this Sunday for Season Dos (set in Mexico). But in between seasons, fictional Kenny got an endorsement deal from K-Swiss, which led to an innovative Funny or Die viral video (that is a little too colorful to be posted here, for our younger Newsfeed readers) and multiple 30-second spots.

And then real-life Danny became the subject of rumors that he would take over for Steve Carell as the new boss on NBC’s The Office (which Danny’s agent denies he will be doing).

NewsFeed talked to McBride on Tuesday about the scandalous K-Swiss campaign. Below is an excerpt:

Q: Your K-Swiss ads have been a huge hit. What was the origin of those?

A: K-Swiss came to us that they wanted to use Kenny Powers as spokesman. And (co-creator) Jody (Hill) and I were really nervous about it because we really kind of liked where we left Kenny last time. And we were perfectly fine if that was the last time people saw Kenny before the new season started. We also didn’t want to appear like we were trying to sell out our comedy or sell out what we were doing or just trying to cash in. We really wanted to keep it organic to the show. Then we saw the boards and the scripts that the guys from K-Swiss were coming up with. I mean, the stuff was pretty much in line with the stuff we were doing for the show anyway. And the more we talked with them and saw that they weren’t really interested in watering down what we were doing, that they were just inviting us to do that with their shoes, it just seemed like a funny idea. So we just kind of went for it and crossed our fingers and hoped we wouldn’t suffer some sort of crazy backlash from it. Luckily, people responded positively to it.

Q: But wasn’t K-Swiss still a little worried about Kenny Powers’ filthy mouth?

A: The whole time we were shooting it, me and Jody just kept looking at each other and were just like, what? The head of K-Swiss was there and there were all these marketing people. And we’re shooting this stuff, and we’re like, “What the hell? They’re still letting us do this?” We had one thing with Steve Little (who plays Kenny’s friend Stevie Janowski) on the video on Funny or Die. There was a whole run from Steve Little where he just went on an improv rant and was like, “K-Swiss needs Kenny Powers! Kenny Powers doesn’t need K-Swiss! Who wears K-Swiss? I’d rather put my foot in a pile of dog s— than one of these shoes!” And you’re just sitting there, and you’re like, Steve – the whole company is sitting behind the monitors. You’re taking it too far!

Check back on Friday, for an extended Q&A with Danny McBride, about the second season of HBO’s Eastbound & Down.