Three Great Things: Rob Corddry

The actor and comedian, who can currently be seen in The Donor Party, on non-alcoholic beer, Led Zeppelin II and the Porsche 911.

Three Great Things is Talkhouse’s series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. To mark the current release in theaters and on VOD of the comedy The Donor Party, starring Malin Åkerman, Rob Corddry, Erinn Hayes, Bria Samoné Henderson, Ryan Hansen and Jerry O’Connell, actor, comedian and all-round good guy Corddry shared some of the things he loves most in life. — N.D.

Non-Alcoholic Beer
I quit drinking about a year and a half ago. It was at the tail end of the pandemic and it was mostly about just being exhausted by it. I was just like, “I’m done with it. I’m 51 years old and who needs alcohol?” As my friend Jerry said, “I’m sober. I’m not sober sober.” But regardless, I am sober, and I realized when I was with my wife in Greece this summer that I missed drinking on vacation. My wife and I had a long talk about this and it just so happened that, on that day, we were walking around and ended up at a cafe which had non-alcoholic beer. My wife said, “You should get a non-alcoholic beer,” and I replied, “First of all, I’m not a beer drinker. And second of all, non-alcoholic beer sucks …”

Whenever you shoot a scene where you’re drinking beer, unless it’s Hot Tub Time Machine, what they give you is always fake beer. So I’ve drunk a lot of fake beer in my time. But I thought, “What the hell?” I ordered a non-alcoholic beer, and it was delicious. I realized what I’d hated about beer was the tired, logy feeling you get from a beer buzz. And oh, man, there has been a revolution – no, a renaissance in the non-alcoholic beer world. There’s companies that just make non-alcoholic beer and they have perfected it. After Greece, we went elsewhere in Europe with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and my brother-in-law doesn’t drink either. He just never has. During our time in Europe, we loved having alcohol-free beer and just watching people in cafes. So, I don’t know whether it’s the actual concept of delicious non-alcoholic beer that I really love or if it’s sitting and hanging out in a street cafe, which is a huge thing in Europe but nonexistent here. I have a feeling that the context of the whole experience really made all the difference.

Led Zeppelin II RL Cut
I collect records and the most I’ve ever paid for a record was $150 or $200 for the RL cut of Led Zeppelin II. The “RL” stands for Robert Ludwig, who was the mastering engineer, and having his initials on a piece of vinyl means you’re going to get a really good record. The problem with Led Zeppelin is they were so good, no real medium has been able to reproduce their sound. All of their albums, especially their original ones, just don’t sound good. They’re muddy.

But the RL cut of Led Zeppelin II, when it first came out in 1969, was so good that they had to stop making it. Because record players at the time couldn’t play it. The needles would just bounce off the groove and away, which I thought was fascinating. Discovering that fact is what got me researching this in the first place. You don’t even need headphones with this record. I put it on, called my kids and had them run into my office and lie down in front of the speakers to listen. I think they really appreciated it. It was that sonically amazing. It’s everything you want out of the vinyl experience.

I never saw Led Zeppelin live, as it was a long time ago when they last toured. I know they played at Live Aid and there was a big reunion at one point, but another thing I like about them is once John Bonham died, they were done. They didn’t get a new drummer, they said, “He’s as much if not more a part of the sound of Led Zeppelin than all of us, and we’re not going to be able to recreate that.” For their reunion, they got his son to play drums, which is about as close as you can get, because he had a very specific sound that I love.

Driving a Porsche 911
My caveat to this one is that I know it sounds douchey. But if you’re a car guy reading this, it will not actually sound douchey …

Anyway, I love the experience of driving a Porsche 911. I’m a big car enthusiast and I hosted Top Gear America. I don’t really know anything about how cars work, so for me it’s more about the experience I have while driving, the feeling when you’ve got one foot on the brake and the other on the accelerator and you let the brake go and the car just lowers and you take off and you’re suddenly somewhere else entirely. You’re farther away than you could have ever imagined, in no time at all. It is just so thrilling.

I’ve driven a lot of cars, but I think the best car to feel that in is a Porsche 911. I used to have that car, but I sold it about a year and a half ago because my family thought I was a douche and they hated me driving the thing. It can only fit one other person, and maybe a third small person. It’s just impractical, and me owning it was all about my selfish enjoyment. As I talk about it now, I’m getting wistful. I drive a BMW M3, which is their motorsport car, and it’s the pinnacle of the BMW driving experience. It’s an amazing car and I’m so excited about it, but the Porsche 911 ruined me. Every car will always be held up to that one.

There’s no question there will be another Porsche in my future. I know every model Porsche has made and I love all of them. I like craftsmanship. I like people that take their time to make things right, and Porsche is the car version of that.

Featured image shows Rob Corddry and Erinn Hayes in The Donor Party.

Four-time Emmy award-winning actor, producer and comedian Rob Corddry is currently co-starring opposite Malin Åkerman, Erinn Hayes, Bria Samoné Henderson, Ryan Hansen and Jerry O’Connell in the comedy The Donor Party. He is best known for his work on Adult Swim’s satirical comedy series Childrens Hospital, which he created, executive produced, and starred in. In 2016, Corddry won his first-ever acting Emmy award for his role as the misfit-clown Dr. Blake Downs in the series. Between 2015 and 2019, Corddry starred as Joe Krutel in the hit HBO series Ballers, opposite Dwayne Johnson, and in 2019 he played Forrest on the CBS sitcom The Unicorn. From 2002 to 2006, Corddry was a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Corddry’s numerous film credits including Hot Tub Time Machine and Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Office Christmas Party, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Sex Tape, Warm Bodies and The Heartbreak Kid. Originally from Weymouth, Massachusetts, Corddry studied and taught improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters. (Image by Federico Vargas.)