Chris Redd says his Bust Down character ‘should be in jail’

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "James McAvoy" Episode 1757 -- Pictured: Chris Redd during the "Love Rap" sketch on Saturday, January 26, 2019 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC/NBCU Photobank)

Chris Redd plays a guy named Chris on Peacock’s new dark comedy, Bust Down, which debuts tomorrow. Like all the characters in the show, which focuses on the misadventures of four casino workers, Chris is named after the actor portraying him. But that doesn’t mean Redd aspires to be like his onscreen alter ego.

“My character should be in jail,” Redd, 36, told UPI, “He’s a ridiculous man.”

Bust Down is a co-creation of Redd and his fellow stars, Jak Knight, Langston Kerman, and Sam Jay. The show has its roots in the actors’ real-life friendship, and much of its humor is borne out of the friends’  actual banter. For better or for worse. “We wrote these characters as a way of antagonizing each other, honestly,” Redd’s co-star Kerman, told UPI. “It’s us trolling each other in terms of our worst qualities and then amplifying them.”

Bust Down purposely sets out to go low; the principals describe the humor as “raunchy, irreverent, and complicated’ in a statement to Collider. That take is evident in the show’s trailer, which features the ensemble of Black actors engaging in art, scholarship, and dance, interspersed with the phrases “Black Excellence,” “Black Beauty,” and “Black Power,”  immediately followed by a caption that reads, “This Ain’t That.”

Redd’s Chris does his best throughout the series’ six episodes to establish the lowbrow tone; he sleeps with homeless women, and even visits a sperm bank to hype his own “product.” Jay told UPI that their onscreen antics are exaggerated versions of real-life experiences, saying “wejust wanted to write from a real place.”

Kerman agreed, noting that while their own experiences may be less dramatic than the fictional ones, “Everything, I think, is born of some sort of experience we had — except having sex with homeless people.”

All the Bust Down creators met while performing on the road in the standup comedy circuit. Both Jay and Kerman have roots in the Boston comedy scene, while Knight met Kerman at the 2015 Just For Laughs festival. Jay and Redd are fellow Saturday Night Live vets, and had met previously while both were hanging out at Knight’s house.

The four decided to collaborate after Knight appeared on Jay’s HBO Max show, Pause With Sam JayBust Down‘s setting of Gary, Indiana, was chosen due to their mutual experiences of performing stand-up in the city’s casinos. Knight describes said casinos as the “saddest place in America,” with Kerman adding that the nature of casino jobs makes them a perfect fit for the underperforming characters. “There’s no accountability at a casino,” he said. “Nobody’s checking in to see if you’re behaving the way you’re supposed to.”

Redd made Bust Down while simultaneously filming season one of Kenan Thompson’s new sitcom, Kenan, and performing on SNL. He acknowledges the heavy workload, while also expressing gratitude for being at a point where he can create and act in the projects that mean the most to him.

“I’m a workaholic,” Redd told UPI, “I’ve been working like this my whole career. I was just broke doing it. Now I get to do it with projects that I like and I love.”

The Bust Down premieres March 10 on Peacock.