Martha Stewart Living talks to Brendan Hurley, Prop Master for ‘The Colbert Report’

Brendan & Drinky Hurley | Photo: Kristopher Long

Jodie Levine: WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING AT TCR?

Brendan Hurley: I love this job, I’m proud of it, it gives me purpose, and I feel I’m good at it, so that’s one of the best parts, but also the people I work with, I would say a lot of us are very, very close. And Stephen pushes the envelope in a way that makes us all realize that there’s stuff that we can do that we wouldn’t have thought we could do before that. He makes the group as a whole stronger, and he just brings out the best in the people that work here. He thinks anything is possible, and he hasn’t been wrong yet.

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Jodie Levine: AND HOW DID YOU END UP AT TCR?

Brendan Hurley: Someone I worked with heard they were looking for a prop master here. They’d interviewed four people before me and had already decided who to hire, but then I showed up and I guess they felt like they had to interview me. They hired me, and thank God they did because it just seemed like the perfect fit for me. Because every other show I’d worked on, I wouldn’t watch it. To work on a show where you get to create very childlike, fun items, it’s just the perfect job for me. I consider myself very lucky.

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Jodie Levine: HOW MANY PEOPLE PITCH IN TO HELP YOU GET STUFF DONE BY SHOWTIME?

Brendan Hurley: In the beginning, it was just me, and back then I would tell interns to go out and get whatever materials I needed. I’d make the phone calls, and try to find out if they had stuff, how many were in stock. But about a year and a half ago, I got a props assistant, Liz Migliaccio, and now I have her do that, so it takes a lot off my plate. She’s great. There’s a bunch of other people that, when there’s something to be done, people here just do it, other staffers including Kate Sunbury, our Production Manager, and Torey Strahl and James Kuo, our production assistants.

Jodie Levine: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PROP YOU’VE EVER MADE?

Brendan Hurley: Actually, it was when Stephen went over to do [Late Night with Jimmy Fallon]. He needed a huge pint of Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack ice cream. That was a crazy day. The first [ice cream container] we worked on was 5 feet high, and Stephen, Ben and Jerry were going to pop out of the top with spoons. But then there was a change of ideas and it needed to be more of a Trojan horse. We remade it so that it was 9 feet high, and Stephen, Ben and Jerry just walked out through a door I’d made in the pint, located where the nutritional facts are printed.

Full Interview: Martha Stewart Living.