“On The Spot-Light”: Thomas Burns Scully

On the Spot NYC

The “On The Spot-Light” series wraps up today with actor/writer/musician extraordinaire (and On the Spot‘s production manager) Thomas Burns Scully. Before that, however, I want to thank readers for checking out the series and getting to know the talented folks behind On the Spot. I haven’t seen a show that combines cabaret and improv quite like it, and if you enjoy Broadway standards and comedy in the style of Whose Line Is It Anyway, you can still see On the Spot Monday nights at the Broadway Comedy Club. Tickets are available here, and check out the previous spotlights with Meg Reilly, Chris Catalano, Patrick Reidy, and Andrew Del Vecchio.

Thomas Burns Scully is a multi-talented performer, writer, and musician. He starred in the short film The Boy Under The Piano, which was nominated for a BAFTA, and he composed and performed the score for A Girl Without Wings. Scully is also a recipient of the Origin Theatre WB Yeats Emerging Playwright Award. Read on for his decidedly British comic influences and why he is drawn to villains (specifically mad scientists).

Thomas Burns ScullyHow did you first get into improv?

I loved watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? as a kid. To me, it was just the funniest thing in the world. That pushed me more and more into acting and doing things on the stage, and after drama school and so on, I ended up working as a professional improv performer. It was a very natural progression.

Pick 3 comedians that best sum up your personal comedy style.

Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey, Ryan Stiles

How did you get involved with On the Spot?

Like most of the crew, I knew Nathan from working with him on Eight is Never Enough. He brought me in to do tech and gradually I’ve been doing more and more improv in the show.

What is your most embarrassing improv disaster?

In an early-career improv scene, I once tried to create a scene where I was supposed to be the sugar plum fairy, but for some reason, I ended up turning the scene into really bad stand-up routine that made no sense and flirted with being racist. Other actors had to come along and start a whole new scene on top of the wreckage I had made. Wasn’t a good day.

Have you ever had a sketch or character created in On the Spot that you wanted to expand into more sketches or its own full-length musical?

I’ve ended up playing mad scientists a couple of times who are very small scale and petty in their vision, who end up mired down in very dull day to day problems. I love that grand diabolism paired with really small scale, realistic disappointment. Dr. Jekyll’s Ice Cream Parlor: The Musical could be quite fun.

Doctor Horrible

What are you currently binge watching?

For my background watching it’s American Dad. For my serious pay-attention watching, it’s series 2 of Daredevil.

Louis C.K. or Amy Schumer?

It’s a close call, but Louis C. K.

Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel?

Fallon. He has this wonderful whimsical quality where he makes everyone feel included. Like he’s always inviting you to go on an adventure with him. Kimmel is very fun too, but sometimes he victimizes people. It’s generally all in good fun, but it puts me off a little.

Favorite Saturday Night Live Cast Member, Past or Present

Bill Murray. Bit obvious. But then I’m British, SNL was never that big a deal for me. Monty Python and Whose Line were my comedy training wheels. I could talk for days about them.

Kill, Marry, F—: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump

Kill: Ted Cruz

F: Marco Rubio

Marry: Donald Trump. Then divorce him and get a heck of a settlement.

The upshot of all these options is that it would remove all of them from the presidential race. Cruz, because he’d be dead. The other two, because try appealing to the far right when you’ve got a gay lover/husband.

Thanks for checking out “On The Spot-Light”, and you can see On the Spot on Monday nights at the Broadway Comedy Club. Click here to check out their full schedule, watch video clips, and buy tickets for their upcoming shows!


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