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Inside the logistics of Tim Robinson's I Think You Should Leave's "Coffin Flop" sketch

  • Initially, the plan for the Season 2 Corncob TV sketch was to "create a hidden-camera-style show that would allow people holding iPhones to cover the falls from several angles in order to generate as much footage as possible using the least amount of coffins," reports Vulture's Anne Victoria Clark. But co-creators Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin immediately dismissed the idea. “They were very certain that it should be like professional-looking footage,” says director Jeffrey Max. “There were crews getting sent out to funerals to film them; they’re not hiding. They’re just there to film the funerals in case a body falls out, and so that was the aesthetic.” So it was up to lead prop maker Joe Holliday to construct a bunch of coffins that people could fall out of. "I got five coffins, and I realized that for the amount of breaks that we’re going to have to do, I’d have to make everything really modular,” says Holliday. “I had to remove anything with sharp edges or any bolts that might be sticking through. (Coffins) are designed for people that don’t feel pain anymore, so if you’re putting live people in them, you have to make sure that it’s going to be safe.” Using balsa wood, Holliday replaced the parts of the coffins from which the bodies would need to burst and scored the wood for extra-easy breakage. “We had so many breaks, we wouldn’t be able to get as many coffins as we had breaks,” says Holliday. “It’s not like we could just throw away the coffins when we were done. So we had to figure out a way to very quickly change out the breakaway panels.” Meanwhile, the show's stunt coordinators, Nito Larioza and Lou Simon, had to find smaller people who could not only fit in the coffins, but pull off each fall. “I wanted to make sure that I got tough kids in there that were willing to do it,” Larioza says. “When I was looking for people for this gag, there were a lot of people that wanted to do it. It was a unique gag. It wasn’t a fight. It wasn’t a car gag, it wasn’t fire. It was a coffin job. And you rarely see that.” ALSO: TV experts weigh in on whether "Coffin Flop" can be an actual TV show.

    TOPICS: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Netflix, Tim Robinson, TV Stunts