Selections from Bill Chott's Bag o' Tricks, #2

Sep 3, 2009 at 8:01 am

Bill Chott has collaborated with some of the biggest names in comedy these days -- Stephen Colbert, Adam McKay, Amy Poehler. Which you can read all about in this week's feature story, "Big Funny."

Back in 2001, Scott Dikkers, founder of The Onion, was getting into the film-making business and asked his friend Bob Odenkirk to recommend an actor for a short pic Dikkers wanted to do, The Kill. (Which you can watch above.)

"I told Bob I was looking for sort of a lovable oaf, and how I hadn't found anybody, and he threw me Bill's name, and I cast him without even auditioning him," Dikkers tells Daily RFT.

Dikkers and Chott shot The Kill in the dead of winter in Wisconsin and Illinois. "Before we start shooting," recalls Dikkers, "the animal handler on the deer farm wanted to address the crew. We go out to meet him, it's 5 a.m., dark, ten below zero, everybody's freezing, and he sits us down in this half-outdoor hut. He says, 'Now the first thing I want you all to know is that more animal handlers are killed every year by white-tailed deer than by any other animal!' We're all like, 'What are you talking about?' He told us the bucks were in their rutting season, and he will have his shotgun, and if the bucks come at us he will shoot. Because he does not want to get into a one-on-one wrestling match with a white-tailed deer. He's done it before and he doesn't want to do it again.

"I remember Bill having this [bug-eyed] look--because he knew he'd be out there [with the deer]. I, of course, wanted a buck in the film, because hunters go after bucks. But there was no way that was happening. So we went with a doe."