Why We Love Rob Corddry on ‘Ballers’

Maarten DeBoer
Rob Corddry

He Plays Fast-talking and crude moneyman Joe, a Miami-based financial adviser who recruits former NFL player Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) to start up a professional sports division at his firm, Anderson Financial, in the new HBO comedy Ballers. “Joe is one of those guys who is good at his job for a lot of reasons, but sometimes he benefits from his lack of knowledge of how the [sports] world works,” Corddry says. “He’s often the butt of jokes. He suffers that and learns as he goes.”

Where You’ve Seen Him The 44-year-old actor spent five years as a correspondent for The Daily Show before creating and starring in Adult Swim’s medical parody Childrens Hospital in 2008. He’s also appeared in the film Warm Bodies and the Hot Tub Time Machine franchise. But, despite his comedy background, it was the dramatic side of Ballers that appealed to him. “It’s really a drama in half an hour with a lot of jokes, and I’d never done anything like that before,” he says. “This is the first time I felt really challenged as an actor in a fun way.

Why We Love Him Corddry’s on-screen chemistry with Johnson and impeccable comic timing transform Joe from a possibly abrasive character to an outrageously quotable comic foil. “There are a few anchors of our show, and one of them is the relationship between Spencer and Joe,” Johnson says. “What makes Rob so brilliant is, for someone who isn’t a stand-up comic, he’s one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met.” Corddry cuts loose in this week’s episode when Joe throws a raucous, drug-fueled bash aboard his boss’s luxury yacht in order to entice potential new clients. “He’s basically a child with a man’s mind for numbers,” Corddry says.

Livin’ Large While filming on location in Miami, Corddry didn’t exactly adhere to the high-rolling Ballers lifestyle. Instead of searching for a stylish home away from home, he opted to rent a dormlike apartment for some quality alone time when he wasn’t filming. “I mostly just sat in my apartment in my underwear, drank wine and did jigsaw puzzles,” Corddry says with a laugh. “If we do another season, I’m going to look at campgrounds near Miami, rent an RV and live like Matthew McConaughey: never wear a shirt and play the ukulele. Just as long as I have a table to do my puzzles.”

Ballers, Sunday, 10/9c, HBO