Best known as uptight comedy writer/Harvard boy "Toofer" on Emmy-winning NBC comedy "30 Rock," Keith Powell has worked with pretty much every actor who has made us laugh. Ever. In addition to hamming it up with Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, and Alec Baldwin, he is in the upcoming Night at the Museum 2: The Battle of the Smithsonian with Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, and Owen Wilson. He also is a self-described "unqualified genius" -- and, we, of course, are always interested in hearing about fellow geniuses' gift-giving tendencies, so we chatted with him about re-gifting, Christmas, and what would make a perfect birthday present for P. Diddy.
Ever received a gift that made you laugh out loud?
When I was about to turn 16, I kept asking my mother (a single parent) for a BMW as my first car. Over and over again, and my mother would look at me like I was crazy. On the morning of my birthday, my mother presented me a box with a very real BMW key. I screamed to the top of my lungs, ran out the house, and in the driveway I saw it: a model BMW car about two feet long. My mother then said to me: "Boy are you crazy? I drive a Toyota and you think I'd get YOU a BMW?!"
Powell never did end up getting himself that BMW (although he kept the model). But he did drive a Honda for a while.
Invited to a housewarming party -- what do you bring?
Wine. SOMEBODY's going to drink it.
To find hand-crafted wines from obscure wineries (can't show up to a party with Franzia, can you?), Powell goes to The Greene Grape.
What's your policy on re-gifting: no-no or necessity?
Necessity. Don't let gifts go to waste.
That's a risky policy you have there, buddy.
What's the best gift you have ever received?
I enjoy time with my family. Corny, but true: my best gift.
Powell grew up in a house with his mother, grandmother, and two aunts. Although he has no siblings, his aunts were close enough to his age that they fought like it.
What's the worst gift you have ever received?
Boxer shorts that said "Ho Ho Ho" on them. Is this a comment on my love life?
What are the top three gifts you would like to receive?
Money. Money. A Perfect 10 Model holding money.
Man, we KNEW something was missing from our website.
Which one are you most likely to receive?
Sweaters. People love to give me sweaters.
Powell doesn't have a favorite brand, but he has been buying a lot of stuff from American Eagle of late. It's just a phase though.
What is your favorite gift giving holiday?
Christmas. I have to say that I pride myself on giving good Christmas gifts!
We hear he's an above average beer pong player, too.
You are a New York City resident -- any local favorite places to buy gifts?
I love going to the flea market at Union Square during Christmastime.
They have the most AWESOME fringe-type gifts.
Powell moved to New York from Delaware in 1997 to attend New York University, and has been living in the city for ten years.
You recently attended P. Diddy's birthday party, so tell us: what does one get Diddy for his birthday?
A solid-gold private jet that can cook you breakfast, provide sexual favors, and do cross-knitting. It would also be great if it could go to the bathroom for him and appease the in-laws when they come to town. I bet you that's the only thing he doesn't have.
Uh oh. We don't have that one on the website, either. You are putting us to shame, Keith!