For 50 episodes over five seasons, Broad City told the story of Abbi and Ilana as they absolutely owned New York City. But they had a crew of characters surrounding them that made their lives better and easier. Well, more difficult and awkward would probably be more accurate.
One of those characters was Trey, Abbi’s boss at Soulstice. He was played by Paul W. Downs and was always memorable every time he popped up on the series. Downs has been in a variety of movies and TV shows some people might not be aware of, though Broad City was definitely his best role.
10 Trey Pucker – Broad City
Getting this one out of the way right off the top is important. Paul W. Downs has built up more than a few great credits on his IMDb page over the years, but those who know him best recognize him as Trey Pucker.
It’s also worth noting that Paul didn’t just have a recurring role in the acclaimed comedy. He also has writing credits on 10 of the episodes, a theme throughout his career. Beyond that, he’s also a credited producer on several episodes and even the director of one. Paul was a much bigger part of this seminal comedy series than some people realize.
9 Zak – Ghost Team
Exploring the paranormal is often a solid starting point for many great movies or TV shows. Such was the case for Ghost Team, a 2016 independent comedy starring Jon Heder, Justin Long and Amy Sedaris.
Paul W. Downs had a starring role as Zak, the nephew of Heder’s character who joins the team. The film was largely panned by critics and mostly ignored by moviegoers, possibly because of the predictable twist, partway through.
8 Chris Linnseed / Lance Henning – At Home With Amy Sedaris
When talking about modern Queens of Comedy, the name Amy Sedaris can’t be overlooked. No matter where she appears or what part she plays, things get weird – but funny – fast. For the most part, they get really, really weird.
Most recently, Amy has had her own series on TruTV called At Home with Amy Sedaris. It is completely surreal and bizarre, with Amy playing multiple characters. Paul W. Downs appeared as two different characters, one in season 2 and the second in season 3.
7 Funeral Director – The McCarthys
There is a lot of TV series that end up being one and done – they get one season on the air, but don’t make it past that. In many cases, these series don’t even get through that first season before cancellation hits. This was, unfortunately, the case for The McCarthys.
It told the story of a sports-loving Boston family and was most notable for starring the absolutely brilliant Laurie Metcalf. Unfortunately, having her involved wasn’t enough to keep the show on the air. Paul had one appearance on the series, playing a funeral director in the unaired pilot.
6 Peter – Rough Night
Rough Night was a dark comedy film released in 2017. The Scarlett Johansson-starring film also featured Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Downs’ Broad City cohort, Ilana Glazer. The plot focused on a bachelorette party gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Downs had a role in the film as Peter, Johansson’s husband-to-be. What’s less well known is that Downs co-wrote the script with the film’s director, Lucia Aniello. The duo have been partners in crime since meeting at the Upright Citizens Brigade many years ago.
5 Jeff – Time Traveling Bong
Time Traveling Bong was yet another project featuring the collaboration of Glazer, Aniello and Downs. The trio co-wrote the script together while Aniello directed the mini-series. Glazer and Downs co-starred in the project.
As the title would suggest, Time Traveling Bong was about a bong that allowed people who used it to travel through time. Glazer and Downs played cousins who made use of the bong, then got trapped in time, as one would expect when you travel through time using a bong.
4 Brett – The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling is one of the most respected comedic minds around Hollywood. Her work on The Office was hilarious and was the first time fans got a really good look at her work. But she’s had funny turns on other series like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
She also created, produced and starred in her own series, The Mindy Project, which garnered several award nominations and wins. Downs appears as Brett in the episode “Girl Gone Wild,” which sees Mindy go on her honeymoon by herself.
3 Nev Schulman – Inside Amy Schumer
Standup comedian Amy Schumer rose to fame in large part due to her sketch comedy series, Inside Amy Schumer. Each episode was a mix of sketches, standup comedy and interviews with interesting, unexpected people.
The series also featured a veritable litany of comedy guest stars, including Ali Wong, Jerry Seinfeld, Tig Notaro, Bill Nye, various Gyllenhaals, and both Abbi and Ilana from Broad City. Paul W. Downs even popped up in a sketch parodying Catfish: The TV Show.
2 Paulilu Mixtape
For Downs, meeting Lucia Aniello at the Upright Citizens Brigade in 2007 turned out to be quite auspicious for both of their careers. They have worked together on a variety of projects, both on TV and on movie screens.
One of their earliest collaborations was Paulilu Mixtape, a web series produced for a division of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. The sketches primarily featured Downs and Aniello in a variety of roles.
1 Marky Mark’s Cousin – The Real Housewives Of South Boston
“The Real Housewives of…” brand has become one of the most bankable reality TV franchises around. Love it or hate it, there are multiple versions set around North America and the world. While it does tend to revel in the worst society has to offer, there are certainly people who find it highly entertaining.
Once again, Aniello and Downs collaborated on a 2011 parody called The Real Housewives of South Boston. The duo created and wrote the sketches together, with Downs directing. They both also had roles in the sketches, but Downs stood out the most as he played Marky Mark’s cousin.
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