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Will Arnett

September 06, 2007|Mike Flaherty

The Toronto-born funnyman who stole our malevolent hearts with his "Arrested Development" character Gob has moved from scene-stealing character parts to the lead (with Will Forte of "Saturday Night Live") in the new film "The Brothers Solomon." He talked with us about the comedy of malice and the potent humor of Canadians.

So, "Brothers Solomon." What's it about?

It's about to be the best comedy you've never seen.

Ba da bum! But seriously. . .

It's about two super-naive guys who grew up in the Arctic, removed from civilization. To honor their comatose dad's last wish, they need to come up with a grandchild before he dies, so they've got to figure out how to impregnate women.

You're returning to "30 Rock" as ruthless NBC exec Devon Banks. Describe him.

It's the first gay character I've ever played, but he's not defined by anything other than his ambition, his work and his desire to beat everybody else.

You'll forgive me for saying you excel at playing jerks.

And I'm a nice guy! But I like playing flawed villains. I've always maintained that really dumb and really confident is a super combination. I'll listen to anybody who is an idiot and talking louder than everybody else.

You've a knack for tapping into a certain kind of petty spite.

It's always the petty stuff that undoes people, and those are people who are obsessed with the most ridiculous things.

"SCTV," Kids in the Hall, Mike Myers. . . . What's with all the funny people from Canada?

Canadians tend to be cynical and fairly sarcastic. They've got a chip on their shoulder about the U.S., but people don't say what they actually feel. It's a very passive-aggressive society.

It's like comedy allows their id to come out.

Yeah, that's exactly it!

You're married to "SNL's" Amy Poehler. Who's funnier?

I would say she is. . . . [then whispers] I am.

-- Mike Flaherty

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