In the show you call yourself "corn." That's also in your Twitter bio. How did you come to define yourself as corn?
Martin: Actually that is something that an ex-girlfriend identified early on when we were dating. She said that I looked like corn and then it's something I internalized and held onto for the rest of my life. But I have to credit an ex.
And you just held onto it?
Martin: And yeah, my head is just very round and yellow. It's like a vibe thing. I can't explain it. I feel like I am corn in my core and in my soul.
Seeing Mae, the character, relapse is very upsetting, but in the very last minutes of the series there's a very funny moment where George discovers that Mae got a Sum 41 tattoo. Why Sum 41?
Martin: We just thought of the most adolescent band we could think of and we liked the idea that my character had held onto the idea of Sum 41 since adolescence as her favorite band. My co-writer Joe and I both play guitars and during filming we brought our guitars up and we would play Sum 41 songs. Charlotte plays the keyboard, so she would join in.
So would you say you too have held onto Sum 41?
Martin: I think Sum 41 is more my co-writer Joe and for me it would be more Third Eye Blind.
Fair enough. Not as funny a tattoo.
How did you go about crafting the Narcotics Anonymous scenes?
Martin: I go to NA semi-regularly. I go if I feel I need it. It's such an interesting cross section of society in NA. You get such an amazing mix of people who all have this shared experience even though their life stories may be completely different and it can be hilarious and tragic and all of that. There's things that I find really useful about the 12 steps and other things that don't necessarily. I wanted to present that. I think that people could go and be turned off because there's a couple of things that don't resonate with them so they don't go back to NA. Actually there are ways to make it work for you. I wanted to make sure we didn't have the ending that you expect where Mae ends up really committing to that 12-step program. All the characters have to find what works for them. Even George with her sexuality and feeling pressure with labels. I think a lot of the characters have to eventually reject dogma in favor of a more personal solution.
When did you know you wanted to turn the material you've been working with into something more narrative?
Martin: Joe and I had pitched a couple of other pilots around. They were all weird genre things. There was a whodunit. There was a sci-fi thing. And then when Channel 4 was like, "Can you just take your stand-up and write about your life?" It was like, "Of course, that makes way more sense." Why would we write a sci-fi show set on Mars? We always knew that we wanted to work together because we have really similar sensibilities.
Do you still hold out hope you might one day do a sci-fi show set on Mars?
Martin: Oh, I genuinely have a whodunit set on a Mars colony that I am desperate to write. So, yeah, hopefully one day. I would love it Lisa Kudrow did my Mars whodunit as well.