One of the rowdiest panels I saw at this year's Comic-Con was the one for Chuck, which included a live performance by Jeffster — aka the show's Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky. How did it feel to be the singer at the center of all those screaming fans? I recently chatted with Sahay himself to find out. Here are highlights:
So after rocking Comic-Con, what's the going rate now to book Jeffster?
We now have to pay a little less to perform. That's the rate. I don't think anybody's going to pay us yet! No — it was insane, Comic-Con.
Craziest crowd reception you've ever received?
Well, my family's pretty good. No, I don't think I've ever experienced anything like that.
Chuck fans are obviously well-known for their absolute love of the show. What's it like to be on a show with that kind of fan base?
It's indescribable, honestly. It's so gratifying and moving and overwhelming and kind of startling, and it gets me a little emotional. I remember that I did a show in Canada, and the show got canceled, and I was in a grocery store and some people came up to me and were like, "Hey, are you on that show? Ah, too bad it got canceled." And I was kind of blown away by that! So this — it's just like a tidal wave of feeling. There's so much joy, I think, in the fans.
So I know you talked a bit about the origins of Jeffster at Comic-Con, but how did you get to be the singer?
Good question, after you've heard me sing. I don't know what that bizarro, brainy, brilliant group of writers were thinking. Literally one day, we were shooting some episode and one of them came up to me and said, "Can you sing?" And I was like, "No." And they said, "OK, well, you're gonna."
And what did you feel then?
Utter terror. Pure, violent terror. I thought the idea was so funny, and I was so happy to have more to do, and then I was like, "Oh my God, I have to sing these songs" — you know, I was like, "What's the song?" And they were like, "We'll tell you, we'll tell you." We don't know until the last second, and then I've got to go rehearse and get them down. What I have to do basically is almost close my eyes and jump in with utter abandon.
To find out if he has any dream Jeffster songs and what TV character Sahay thinks is Lester's dramatic counterpart, just
Do you have any songs you dream of rocking as Jeffster?
I picked "Fat Bottom Girls" [for Comic-Con]. I was just like, this is the song — this has got to be the song — mainly because I think Freddie Mercury is Lester's icon. But . . . it's hard to dream about songs that I myself have to sing. I'm a huge fan of music, and to actually go, "Well, you are now going to have to sing it," part of me goes, "Well, shouldn't it be the simplest, easiest song?" And part of me goes, "No, it's gotta be the coolest, biggest song." Somebody said, "Oh, you should be singing Prince," and I was like, "I'd love to be able to sing Prince, but he's magic!"
As you mentioned, we got to see Lester do a lot more in the second season — often with Jeff, about whom we learned some disturbing things, too. Do you have any favorite Lester moments thus far?
When we first came together as Jeffster, it was in an episode called "Chuck vs. the Best Friend," and I think what I really liked about that episode was that it kind of showed, in a hilarious and as you say disturbing way, the kind of social "misfits that fit" that Lester and Jeff are. . . . In everybody else, Lester finds total judgment, and from Jeff, he kind of finds a soft place to land, so to speak. He finds benevolence and sweetness. I think because Jeff's kind of got his own little bubble of a world that he lives in, I think he really likes Lester, and I really like seeing somebody — somebody — actually love Lester.
So at the end of season two, there were a lot of changes to the Buy More lineup. In season three, will we still see the Buy More?
I don't know. I think there's going to be some Buy More. I think it's up in the air how much, what kind of role it will play. But to be honest with you, I don't know. . . . They don't tell me anything.
What do you think Lester thinks of Chuck at this point?
I think that Lester just sees him as a guy who is utterly absent from his job — and ultimately he quit — and yet still has all the charm and power and charisma that I think Lester wants incredibly badly. Lester wants it so badly that he does bad things. I think he's just viciously, viciously jealous of Chuck.
Are you hooked on any TV shows right now yourself?
I literally just sat down — in a day, day and a half, in a kind of detox from Comic-Con — and watched the entire last season of Mad Men. I hadn't seen it, don't know why, and I sat down and was like, "Well, I'll just watch one episode." And then I ended up watching all 13. Sometimes I look at the character of Pete Campbell, especially in the first season, and I go, "That is the dramatic version of Lester." This kind of guy who just wants to be Don Draper — Lester just wants to be Chuck.