Actor Douglas Olsson isn’t known for playing Dos Equis beer’s famous ‘Most Interesting Man In The World’ on TV, but his new comedy series THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY shows that one actor can generate huge giggles by playing a remarkable range of goofy characters.

Created by and starring Olsson, who’s previously played crooked con men and no-nonsense authority figures on shows like NCIS:, MACGYVER and SCANDAL, THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY’s 18 skits (now for rent or purchase on Vimeo on Demand) are a fun departure in character type for the actor, who bluntly describes his past roles as “a**holes in nice suits”. (The show’s thirteenth episode ‘Man Wins Gold Medai…20 Years Late’ can be viewed free during a 30-day window on Vimeo.)

In INTERESTING, Olsson presents characters that are wackier and more diverse than the jerks he’s portrayed before. He plays, among other roles: an annoyed NASCAR driver who is sick of kissing up to his sponsors, an ex-bicyclist who receives an Olympic gold medal 20 years later when his competitors get caught doping, a weird cop whose suggestive behavior ticks off his rookie partner in a 3-part sketch called ‘Cop Talk’, and an adulterous politician who shamelessly tries to rebut the news media’s reporting of his affair during a strange interview.

Actor Douglas Olsson, the star/writer/producer of THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY.

Actor Douglas Olsson, the star/writer/producer of THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY.

Yet Olsson, who entered acting after a 2 decade career as a fireman/paramedic for the Marin County (California) Fire Department, created INTERESTING to show off his well-honed talent as a comedic improviser. Olsson perfected his skills during hours of training in the craft, including through a challenging yet fun game.

“One of my favorite exercises in Improv was ‘10 Characters in 100 seconds.’ You would greet 10 different people in 10 different characters in 100 seconds,” he says. “It forced you to just change your voice and/or body and see what popped out of you.”

As for how the title ‘THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY’ popped into Olsson’s brain, it germinated during some fun conversations where he and a longtime pal compared each other’s travel destinations.

“A good friend of mine and I used to brag about who was more ‘interesting’ per the Dos Equis Guy. He would list where he’d been and I would do the same, so I just downsized ‘in the world’ to ‘in Studio City’, though that might be a tough claim if (George) Clooney still lives in town.”

In comedy, the buildup to the big laugh is just as pivotal as the payoff. In writing THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD’s vignettes, Olsson reverse-engineered the humor before constructing the foundations of each episode’s situation. “I work backwards. I start with the punchline and then create the story that brings it to that point,” he says.

The stories that Olsson developed for his show have some fascinating roots. “For example, the NASCAR driver episode (episode 4, ‘NASCAR: Behind The Scenes’) came from seeing a 60 MINUTES spot about that world and how they promote all the products that are plastered on their car and tracksuit. The ‘Gold Medal Winner’ (idea in episode 13, ‘Man Wins Gold Medal…20 Years Late’) came from a news article I read about retesting of medal winners blood and urine from 20 years ago. Are they Fedex-ing medals back and forth?”

Art also imitates life in some of Olsson’s funny characters in INTERESTING, including one inspired by his years in public service. “The lazy cop ‘in Cop Talk’ (episodes 9, 10 and 11) I took from my days in the Fire Department in Marin County (22 years as a paramedic/firefighter). There was always a couple of guys near retirement that didn’t want to do much more than watch TV,” Olsson recalls.

Politics and politicians are reliable punching bags in comedy, and INTERESTING doesn’t pull any punches on both in 2 of the show’s latter episodes. “The Texas Congressman’s voice (in episode 16, ‘Texas Congressman Cheats On His Wife…A Lot’) I based on a good friend of mine,” adds Olsson. “The Trump Oval Office recording (in episode 17, ‘Inside The Trump Oval Office’) is pretty close to what is happening today…no need to embellish there.”

Among Douglas Olsson's many hilarious characters in THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY is a hotshot NASCAR driver who's tired of kissing up to his corporate sponsors.

Olsson plays a hotshot NASCAR driver who finally gets fed up with doing product endorsements in the show’s fourth vignette (“NASCAR: Behind The Scenes”).

Some of the personalities that Olsson created for him to play in THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY are funnier versions of the ‘a**holes in suits’ that the actor has displayed for audiences.

“The Texas Congressman (I play in episode 16) has the air of invincibility, and the FBI agent (I play) in (episode 12, ‘Most Interesting Man In Studio City Gets Caught By The FBI’) can’t stand to have his authority tested or mocked. I like playing the pompous ass version of the authority figure.”

In filming INTERESTING, Olsson addressed the limits of his production’s time and money by being creative with his on and off-camera resources. “I usually had 3 scripts in hand at any one time and would ask my actors who was available to shoot (that) weekend. The three ‘Cop Talk’ episodes we shot (were done) in four hours total. I couldn’t afford the liability insurance to drive the (police) car, so this was the place the cops ‘hid out’ during their shift.

With THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY moving to Vimeo on Demand, Olsson hopes that the successful start of his own series will motivate his viewers to support his incredible work, and will motivate the industry to help him do more than just play ‘a**holes in nice suits’. “I had some of these on YouTube and friends begged me to make more and said they’d be willing to pay for them. So here we are. (I also hope) to show my agents and casting directors that I can do funny. When we shot 12 episodes in 12 weeks, it felt like I had my own show.”

NOTE: Regarding closed-captioning/subtitling of THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN STUDIO CITY’s episodes, Olsson says: “They aren’t subtitled yet, but I will change that if it is wanted.”