Rob Riggle talks KC barbecue and KU-Mizzou

Fri, Mar 16
11:02
AM ET

Rob Riggle has already had a diverse career. He's still a reserve in the Marine Corps, where he's a Lieutenant Colonel, and served in uniform in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Albania and Liberia.

A comedy enthusiast, he made the transition to the improv world and acting, and has had memorable roles in movies such as "The Hangover," and "Step Brothers." He plays a gym teacher in "21 Jump Street," which opens Friday.

Riggle, who grew up in Overland Park, Kan. (the hometown of Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis), attended Kansas, and is a lifelong Chiefs fan. He stopped by ESPN recently to talk about the movie, the Kansas City barbecue war, and the end of the Kansas-Missouri basketball rivalry, after attending the Feb. 25 KU-Mizzou game at Allen Fieldhouse.

In order of importance, where would you rank: KU in the Final Four, the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, or the Catalina Wine Mixer [of "Step Brothers" fame]?

Tough calls, all. Catalina Wine Mixer is an annual event. You can put that at the bottom, it's always gonna be there. Jayhawks Final Four? There's been some good consistency with that. I'm not too worried. I mean it ebbs and flows, but I feel better about that. Chiefs haven't been to the Super Bowl in a long, loooong, time. I'm ready. I want it. I want it bad. So put that at No. 1.

What if Woody Allen offered you the leading role in a film, but you had to play a Raiders fan?

Wow. That is a tough question... I don't know. I really don't know. I mean I have to provide for my family, so I might take the gig. I don't know if I could. It might affect my performance.

Where do you throw your allegiances in the barbecue debate in Kansas City?

It gets heated. It gets ugly sometimes. I grew up a Gates man. Still love my Gates. I love their steak fries. I love their beef and a half. I will say there's a new kid in town who's turning heads: Jack Stack Barbecue. They do it right over at Jack Stack. So it's getting tough. The competition's getting tough.

What do you think about the Kansas-Missouri series potentially ending?

Potentially? [Laughs] It's ending. 120 years. You're gonna walk away from 120 years? That's your call. I'm not happy about it. Original Big 6, Big 8, Big 12 member. Just going to walk away. That's the last time we play 'em.