The Featured Presentation

Tim Jo


Welcome to the second installment of our MYSTIC COSMIC PATROL WEEK ongoing feature!

Debuting Thursday at Funny or Die, “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” is a nostalgic sitcom romp of mystical proportions. Created as an homage to kid-friendly shows like “Power Rangers” and “Ultraman,” the fast-paced webisodes combine monsters and comedic mayhem to create a parody worth every bingeable minute.

We recently sat down with series star Tim Jo to discuss serendipitous locker room run-ins, costume tightness, and how he experiences fearlessness during a performance.

TrunkSpace: “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” is a comedic take on popular shows like “Power Rangers” and “Ultraman.” Within those shows, the human hero characters are often based on specific archetypes. Does your red patrol member fall into a specific archetype?
Jo: There are definitely some strong personalities within our cast of patrolmen. While our characters do adhere to some archetypes, they are definitely not the archetypes you see in traditional ranger shows! I think one of the funniest parts of the show is seeing how this crazy crew of patrolman come together to save the world.

TrunkSpace: How did you become involved in the project and what drew you to it?
Jo: I have always been a huge fan of toku, especially “Kamen” Rider and Sentai ranger shows. My friend mentioned that he knew a group of people working on a ranger comedy series and I remember thinking, “OMG, I GOTTA get in on that!!!” He passed my name along and one day, I was in the locker room at the gym when someone tapped me on the shoulder. “Are you Tim Jo?” “Uhh yes?” “Sorry, I’m Gavin. I created Mystic Cosmic Patrol, I heard you were interested?” “Hell yeah!!!” A possibly awkward moment turned into a glorious one!

TrunkSpace: You’ve worked on a lot of comedy projects over the years. From a performance standpoint, how did “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” differ tonally in what you have done in the past?
Jo: I actually think that tonally it is very similar to “The Neighbors.” I really feel like fans of that show will just love this one. There are lots of fun gags but the humor is really smart and there is a lot of heart. I hope that people who tune in to watch MCP will be able to feel the genuine love we have for the source material that inspired it.

TrunkSpace: What was the most enjoyable part of playing a character within this hyper-reality type of world?
Jo: The patrolman suits! I wasn’t lying when I said I was a big fan of this genre. I was SO excited to wear the costume each and every time. The skin-tight grasp on my groins did not bother me for a second – I felt like a real hero wearing that suit!

TrunkSpace: Those Mystic Cosmic Patrol suits did not appear particularly forgiving given their tightness and brightness. Does one need to avoid the crafty table on the days when one knows the suits will be a part of the wardrobe?
Jo: Very tight and very bright. The colors were actually quite beautiful in person. Our costume designer found perfect shades of each color for our spandex suits. As for the tightness – we actually took training pretty seriously. Even though this is a comedic series, it needed to be balanced with the belief that we could really defeat some nasty monsters. We took some personal lessons from Noah Fleder, who played our big robot Gigantus-6. He is a world class martial artist,  taught us how to fight and really made that robot kick some serious ass.

Jo in Mystic Cosmic Patrol

TrunkSpace: When do you feel the most energized and inspired as an actor? What is it that excites you about the craft?
Jo: Watching live theater usually gets me fired up and super inspired. I love the intimacy and intensity from live performances that you don’t quite get from watching things on screens.

As an introvert, acting is the only time I feel fearlessness. I get a free pass to explore myself and others without the fear of judgment or consequence. That’s why I love acting.

TrunkSpace: Where are you the hardest on yourself as an actor?
Jo: I’m always hard on myself and never walk away from a scene feeling like I got it. But I think that is what is also what keeps me going. I’ve always been a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I would pick up new hobbies every other week and once I got good enough, I would move on to another. With acting, I don’t think I ever got good enough. That’s why 10 years later, I’m still trying to get better.

TrunkSpace: We loved your character Reggie Jackson’s innocence in the series “The Neighbors.” How did you approach playing that character? Did you view him as an emotional fish out of water?


Jo: I had such a strong connection to Reggie because with that character, I was basically wearing my heart on the outside. I played him with every ounce of optimism, purity and love in my being. My personal life at the time was a bit of a wreck, so playing such a bright character was quite therapeutic. He was totally an emotional fish out of water because he had yet to be tainted by the world. He had no emotional guards or walls because he never had a need for them prior to meeting the human neighbors.

TrunkSpace: Life is weird. You played a character named Reggie Jackson and then starred in “Pitch,” a show about baseball. Are there any other coincidences or strange career occurrences that you have experienced?
Jo: Meeting the creator of a dream project in the gym locker room is right up there. But honestly, every step in my career has felt like divine intervention, so I am extremely grateful for all my opportunities.

TrunkSpace: We believe you spent more time with Reggie Jackson (the character) than you have with any other role. Could you see yourself spending just as much time as a member of the Mystic Cosmic Patrol and what would be the most exciting aspect about playing a spandex-wearing hero for that long?
Jo: I would love nothing more! They say the real success of a project comes down to casting and I think we hit it out of the park with ours. Everyone that worked on this project has become a dear friend and I would love nothing more than to continue making episodes of MCP for years to come. And really – I love spandex. It just hugs you in all the right places.

“Mystic Cosmic Patrol” debuts Thursday at Funny or Die.

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The Featured Presentation

Gavin Hignight


Welcome to the first installment of our MYSTIC COSMIC PATROL WEEK ongoing feature!

Debuting Thursday at Funny or Die, “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” is a nostalgic sitcom romp of mystical proportions. Created as an homage to kid-friendly shows like “Power Rangers” and “Ultraman,” the fast-paced webisodes combine monsters and comedic mayhem to create a parody worth every bingeable minute.

We recently sat down with “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” creator and star Gavin Hignight to discuss the inspiration for the series, fighting rubber monsters in cardboard cities, and the power of the word “kaiju.”

TrunkSpace: Is “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” for young adults who watch shows like “Power Rangers” or is it for the parents who are now forced to watch those shows with their kids?
Hignight: Well you know, I think for me, the idea of the show really came from seeing stuff like “Big Bang Theory.” The characters in that were labeled nerds, and there was this expectation that, “Oh, this is a show for nerds.” I never felt like that. I was like, “No, this is what the mainstream thinks nerd culture is like.”

I wanted to make a show that really was like a sitcom for the Comic-Con crowd and I’ve always loved stuff like “Ultraman,” “Power Rangers,” and “Kamen Rider.” All the good Tokusatsu stuff.

TrunkSpace: So it comes from a genuine place of love for the source material?
Hignight: I’m an especially big fan of “Ultraman.” I thought, let’s make something for all these people who are our age now who grew up on two plus decades of “Power Rangers” kind of stuff. Let’s make something that’s funny to them now when they’re in their thirties and forties, but at the same time, let’s not alienate the kids. I wanted to be clever with our humor so Mom and Dad can enjoy the sitcom of it, while kids can enjoy robots beating up monsters and vomiting on each other.

TrunkSpace: You mentioned the monsters. We would have to imagine creating those for the show would be one of the more genuinely exciting parts of the gig?
Hignight: Oh, totally. Laura Monaco, my co-producer and I, there was a point when we were just kind of day dreaming when I was starting to write this. We looked around and we said, “You know, there’s people in this town that have fun and get paid for it. Let’s be those people.”

And that evolved into us thinking that the best kind of day would involve fighting rubber monsters in a cardboard city and calling it work, so we started putting it together. Resources are always slim when you’re starting something out and I didn’t know where to go for our monsters. Through a friend we found Cig Neutron, who had just come off of his first run on “Face Off.” And I was just thinking, we can’t afford this guy. He’s on this show, he’s really talented, and he’s working. And I just said the word, “Kaiju,” and that was it. He was like, “I’m on board.”

So he sculpted the head of our robot hero and he sculpted and worked on arguably our favorite monster, which is Potty Mouth. And it was exactly what you’re talking about. It was hard to call it work because we were having so much fun.

TrunkSpace: When you see Potty Mouth come together, are you all fighting over who gets to give the suit a test run?
Hignight: (Laughter) Well, I wanted to find somebody who could actually fight in the monster costume, so that costume was very custom tailored to my friend, Stewart. I have known him for years through the martial arts community. We want to make more, but we also want to have Potty Mouth make a return, so I was like, “Stewart, don’t put on any more muscle, dude. I don’t know if the costume will still fit!”

TrunkSpace: (Laughter) So what can people expect from the episode run that they’ll find on Funny or Die?
Hignight: What we’ve done is, we’ve crafted them as webisodes. With the resources we had, we were able to make four of them. And then we have another two or three down the line, which are a probably a few months off. We hope to maybe release them as a Thanksgiving Special or something really stupid that doesn’t match. So the initial rollout is just four weeks of episodes and each storyline is two episodes long. The first one is “Potty Mouth” and then “Potty Mouth Part 2”, and then “Time Crisis.” And we did that for a reason, because in an online Funny or Die type platform, people just want to get in and have some laughs and move on four or five minutes later.

TrunkSpace: So is the relationship with Funny or Die a permanent home for “Mystic Cosmic Patrol” or are you hoping it is a springboard to another platform?
Hignight: We’ll see. Their format is really cool. Sometimes they embrace stuff, and you know, take it under their wing. It all comes down to the rights, which you still own.

TrunkSpace: And that’s extremely rare.
Hignight: Yeah, which is super rare and very cool because if it’s not for them, it doesn’t exclude you if it’s for somebody else. And our hope with doing this little micro-season is to find someone who’s excited and wants to see us make more monsters and fight in more cardboard cities.

TrunkSpace: You can’t beat a cardboard city!
Hignight: Totally! We made a very conscious effort to emulate the quality of those kids shows. Technology has changed and we very easily could have gone the extra mile on some of it, but we made a very conscious decision to say, “No, let’s emulate the kind of effects that we saw in those.” It’s purposely low budget in some ways. There’s a scene in one episode where they’re fighting Time Bats and when you see those fishing lines, it was not an accident that those were left in. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: That gives it a great nostalgic look and helps the audience feel like they’re in on the joke.
Hignight: I hope so. And it saves a little money while we’re at it. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: One of the most difficult things in the world to create is a hella catchy opening theme song. You guys nailed it. That song is gold.
Hignight: Thank you! I wish I could take credit for it. I guess I can take credit for finding and sweet talking Wordburglar, who performed it. He is interesting. He’s, as you can tell, just an insanely talented musician. I discovered him because he made an entire concept album and the whole album is about G.I. Joe. He’s known as The Rap Viper. Every song on the EP are just these incredible rap songs and then if you dig in and really start listening to the lyrics, it’s like, “Oh, wait, he’s talking about Cobra Commander and G.I. Joe!” I knew he was the one for us. I swear I said the magic word “Kaiju” and he was like, “Japanese monsters? I’m in!”

TrunkSpace: It sounds like “Kaiju” can open any doors in Hollywood.
Hignight: It’s like our secret handshake.

TrunkSpace: Well, we can say one thing is for certain and that is that we hope to one day have a Potty Mouth figure sitting on our desks here at TrunkSpace.
Hignight: You and me both, my friend! If I can hold a Potty Mouth vinyl figure or action figure, I think that would be a true measure of success.

Mystic Cosmic Patrol” debuts Thursday at Funny or Die.


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