Over the past three years, HBO’s Silicon Valley has become one of the best comedies on TV, and T.J. Miller is a big reason why. As the wildly arrogant would-be tech luminary Erlich Bachman, Miller’s helped carry the show with his unique cadence and his ability to drift between condescension and enthusiasm in the span of a single scene. Of all of the show’s stellar main characters, he’s the most unpredictable. Particularly when he feels slighted, and that was nowhere more apparent than in this year’s season premiere.
In the clip above, Bachman is angry because he’s been passed over for a CEO position in favor of the much older and more experienced “Action” Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky). Barker just wants to say hello, but Bachman has other things on his mind. So, when Barker tells Bachman he’s “a big fan,” Bachman decides to launch into as many old person jokes as he thinks he can land.
Of course, because Silicon Valley’s cast is packed with comedians and skilled improvisers, this scene couldn’t just be a tightly scripted one-off, so Miller had dozens of insults prepared, and over the course of the outtake reel above he brings up everything from Ensure to “a nice piece of fish” to my personal favorite: “Senior citizen discounts at Perkins family restaurants.” It’s a reminder of the tremendous comedic talent packed into this show, and it might even come in handy this Thanksgiving.
Silicon Valley airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on HBO.