Sam Stern, in brief: Martin Starr teases Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV


Funnyman Martin Starr gives us a look at his computer-wielding character on the Adult Swim parody series ‘NTSD:SD:SUV’, which is now in its second season.


Martin Starr doesn’t say too much when talking about his character on Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV – after all, that’d be a breach of national security. Starr plays Sam Stern, the tech expert for the super-secret National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle, on the comedy that parodies the glut of TV procedural dramas. Each episode is only fifteen minutes long, so Starr has mastered getting right to the point.

He calls the gig “Pure enjoyment. The feel on set is a lot like making a sketch comedy show.” Who amongst NTSF‘s hilarious cast is his favorite to work with? That’s something he’s happy to declare. “Kate!” he declares, meaning Kate Mulgrew, who dropped by for a chat last month. “The rest of ‘em are okay but Kate wins by at least one million fun points.”

Starr is relatively tight-lipped when it comes to spoilers. “I believe that part of the beauty of watching a show, finding out what’s going to happen,” he says. “But I will tell you that I got divorced and remarried three times this season. In my personal life. Was that the question?”

I do get him to talk about this season’s third episode, “Sabbath-tage,” which sent him out into the field to take on a terrorist who decided to attack San Diego on a Saturday. He tells me that the best part of the Sam-centric episode was “Working with the immensely talented Alison Brie. We almost got married,” he quips. “Dodged that bullet.”

“… working with the immensely talented Alison Brie. We almost got married,” he quips. “Dodged that bullet.”

He’s got a short list of oddball things he’d like to see Sam do next: “Skydive, be the only male at an orgy full of sexy villainesses, skateboard on an airplane, turn back time and fight crime as a baby,” he says. These are not all that implausible, given that past episodes have included Mulgrew’s character Kove getting her own podcast and the city of San Diego being destroyed.

Given that NTSF parodies crime procedurals and action flicks in equal measure, I ask him to name his favorites in either genre. “True LiesFace Off.  It certainly isn’t as amazing as I remembered as a child but it is still pretty amazing.  I mean Woo!  John Woo!” he says, adding that he’s a fan of actor Matt Bush.

When it comes to his other work, Starr tells me that his small role in 2008s The Incredible Hulk opposite Edward Norton was “a fantastic experience,” but doesn’t have a favorite role on his resume. Instead, he advises fans just to “keep thy eyes open; I’m not quitting anytime soon.”

“Keep thy eyes open; I’m not quitting anytime soon.”

And with that, those are all the secrets I can get him to give up. If you want to find out more about Sam, you’ll have to tune into NTSF:SD:SUV, which airs at 12:15AM tonight (or technically, Friday morning) on Adult Swim.

Photo Credit: Adult Swim

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