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The Host with the Most

Apr 23, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT

In his trademark jacket, shorts, and crew socks, Lachowecki co-hosts the 2013 OSCARS with Grant Van De Casteele.

Max Lachowecki is a funny guy. His friends, dorm mates, teammates, coaches and professors probably all knew it long before the rest of us did, but when he and Grant Van De Casteele began making their online talk-show series Grant & Max 1080*, the entire Notre Dame community got to meet Max…

…or at least his much less intelligent alter-ego, “Max.” Much like how Stephen Colbert (rhymes with “dare”) pretends to be an over-the-top, snobbish political pundit on The Colbert Report, Max pretends to be a clueless, dim-witted goof on Grant & Max. But that’s not actually Max. “I think it’s fun to just be able to act and not have to be myself for a little while, but I think people are always confused as to if I’m actually like that, but it’s like, ‘No! I swear I’m not dumb.’” (He added, “I probably act like that a lot, so it wasn’t hard for me to turn into character.”)

Last fall, different Student Athlete Advisory Councils across the nation had initiatives to get student-athletes more involved outside of athletics. At a Notre Dame SAAC meeting, the idea for a student-athlete interview series was conceived, and the SAAC committee turned to Grant and Max for help, and it just “worked out,” Max said.

Over the course of the series, Grant and Max have interviewed other student-athletes such as Frank Dyer (swimming), Kayla McBride (basketball) and Alex Coccia and big names such as Jay Bilas of ESPN and the University’s athletic director, Jack Swarbrick. In the interview room, they leave the camera running which captures them chatting and joking for about an hour and then it goes to the editor, Ally Stanton of Student Welfare and Development, who “puts in a good amount of time,” Max reports. Stanton cuts, edits and puts together the final product.

(You can view some of our favorite episodes below)

Their campus-wide fame led to Grant and Max hosting the 2013 OSCARS (Oustanding Students Celebrating Achievements and Recognitions Showcase). The show last year was part-scripted, part-ad-libbed. “[Grant and I] feed off each other pretty well, so I’d be sticking to the script, and he’d be going with whatever.”

At the beginning of the Spring 2014 semester, Grant was drafted to the Colorado Rapids, and Max lost his partner in comedy, so this year, he’s hosting solo. Max reports he’s not nervous, but “because Grant’s not here this year… if I do bad, they’re only looking at me, whereas last year we could share in the shame of doing terribly.” They never had to share in any shame, and this year’s show should be just as good as last year’s, and will include more audience participation and interaction.

MAX RECONNECTS WITH GRANT

Max and the Student Welfare and Development team put in about two hours a week working on the script, and leading up to the show, they’ll add more time in rehearsals. Between OSCARS preparations, the soccer spring season (which ends Fri. April 25) and school, Max says, “It’s difficult to manage it all.” The OSCARS provide a unique sort of procrastination for him, though. “It’s kind of a tradeoff. I actually enjoy doing this. As far as homework, I don’t really enjoy that. I may be spending more time on the OSCARS than I am doing things I really should be spending time on.”

The long hours and hard preparation will hopefully produce a showcase just as enjoyable as that from last year. “I’m just excited. It should be fun. I hope we put on a good show for everyone. I just don’t want it to be about me,” he said. “It’s about everyone else getting recognized. I’m just a sideshow who tries to keep it light.”

 

OLD EPISODES OF GRANT AND MAX

 


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