Matt Walsh Has a Message for the White House

If you’re anything like us, Potatoheads, it’s safe to say you’re obsessed with HBO’s Veep. It’s one of our favorite shows; there’s nothing better than settling on the couch with some popcorn and red wine to watch politicians bumble around the White House. One of our favorites? Matt Walsh. He has been stealing our hearts and making us laugh for some time now as former-Vice President Meyer’s (played by Julia Louis Dreyfus) loyal Communications Director, Mike McClintock. We caught up with Walsh at the Standard, where he shared with us the best advice he’s ever received, the issue he’s most passionate about, and what he’s learned from Mike. Read the full interview below; it’s the perfect way to kickstart your Monday morning…

From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?

First I’d have breakfast, then a second breakfast. One of those would be cold pizza, probably. For lunch, I’d go old school American Chinese food with some hot tea and a fortune cookie. The cookie makes it a celebration. Dinner would be simple American cuisine like a baked chicken with some mashed potatoes, or I could go clean Italian, like linguini with clams and a nice mixed green salad with vinaigrette with a glass of red wine. Dessert would be bread pudding, sauce Anglaise, or a slice of cherry pie a la mode. I’d need at least one nap between these meals.

Are you health-oriented? What are your diet and workout routines like?

My wife eats very healthy, so I have adopted some of her habits. Lots of roasted vegetables, protein at breakfast, and we keep sweets out of the house. Recently, I have started going to the local YMCA to work out twice a week, and I get in 2 or 3 good hikes in the scenic hills around our neighborhood.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My dad told me once to choose a career you like because whatever you do, you’re going to work hard at it. So you better like it.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?

What could possibly go wrong.

What always makes you laugh no matter what?

Monkeys doing just about anything, and humans awkwardly falling down.

Words to both eat and act by?

Try something you haven’t tried before.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard Julia Louis-Dreyfus say?

What could possibly go wrong.

Who’s someone you haven’t worked with, that you’d still like to work with and why?

Bob Newhart or Mel Brooks because they both seem awfully sweet and are brilliantly gifted at comedy.

Which one scene from Veep (if any) has been your favorite to film?

Maybe this year, when Selina and Mike got to trash a barn with an oar and a tennis racket.

How do you get into character as Communications Director Mike McLintock? What have you learned from him?

Mike pretends that everything he says is clear and a perfect answer. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to answer with little or nothing because you won’t create more trouble for your boss, and the news cycle will just move on to another problem.

What do you think Veep can teach us about American politics?

Veep is a work place comedy with a crazy self-centered boss. Many people in Washington work in a similar environment. So, your hope in DC is to push your ideals or agenda forward knowing full well that you may have to compromise yourself to gain support or your boss may change their mind at any second. Understanding that helps, and finding some kind of joy or love outside of work can give you a solid foundation to survive this roller coaster.

What advice would Mike give Sean Spicer?

Quit your job.

What is the issue you feel most passionately about right now and why?

It seems like addressing our decaying environment is an issue that benefits us all. With all the scandal coming out of the DC right now, it is sort of taking a back seat.

What are your favorite cities for food? What do you get in each?

In Chicago, you should always get pizza or a hot dog. In New York, I always get a bagel or some Chinese. LA has the best sushi and Mexican. Also, Atlanta has amazing food BBQ and gourmet Southern stuff.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ right now?

I think quinoa might be the new potato.

*Matt Walsh, photographed at The Standard in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann

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