‘Big Mouth’ Creator Nick Kroll Listens to This Mandy Moore Song When He’s Depressed

Nick Kroll is a comedian, actor, writer, and creator of the Netflix series Big Mouth. Kroll’s cartoon series highlights the pain points of pubescence through an often raunchy but always hilarious lens. Kroll’s fans might be surprised to learn he enjoys This Is Us star Mandy Moore‘s music. In fact, one of Moore’s songs helped Kroll through a difficult time and he still listens to the hit today. 

Nick Kroll, the creator of 'Big Mouth'
Nick Kroll | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Nick Kroll personifies anxiety in ‘Big Mouth’ with Tito the Anxiety Mosquito 

Big Mouth is all about the perils of puberty. That includes all of the usual growing pains, but Kroll takes the series one step further and focuses on what other shows about pubescence often ignore. Big Mouth touches on the uglier sides of growing up, including the feelings of shame, anxiety, and depression. Of course, all of these feelings come to life through colorful animation. Still, that doesn’t make them any less daunting. 

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Tito the Anxiety Mosquito (Maria Bamford) was introduced in season 4 of the Netflix series. She appeared initially to Natalie (Josie Totah), the first transgender character in the series. Later Nick (Kroll), Jessi (Jessi Klein), and Andrew (John Mulaney) all encounter Tito, who often pairs up with another recurring character, the Depression Kitty (Jean Smart). 

Nick Kroll and Ayo Edebiri talk about their anxiety 

Ayo Edebiri is a writer for Big Mouth. She is also the voice of Missy Foreman-Greenwald, the emotionally geeky girl on a soul-searching quest. Both creative minds have injected their experiences with anxiety into Big Mouth. But more recently, Edebiri and Kroll discussed the songs that helped them cope with their anxiety.

The Big Mouth stars were the hosts of an episode of the Duet podcast, a show that highlights one theme through song. In the case of Edebiri and Kroll, their theme was anxiety. The “Songs to Calm An Anxious Mind” episode of the show highlights tracks hand-selected by Kroll and Edebiri. Throughout the episode, they each share their memories behind the songs. One of Kroll’s choices was the Moore song that helped him when he was depressed. 

Mandy Moore’s song ‘Candy’ helped Nick Kroll through his best friend’s suicide 

Kroll hightlighted Moore’s 1999 pop hit “Candy” on the Duet podcast. He talked about living in Argentina when he learned his friend had died of an overdose. “When you’re that age, you don’t know how to deal with your feelings at all,” Kroll said. Reflecting on that difficult time in his life, Kroll recalled being “wildly depressed” and far from home. “[‘Candy’] played on the radio every morning,” he continued. “It became like a real lighthouse for me. I would listen to it and it would bring me a lot of comfort and for some reason has just stuck with me as a really important song.” 

In Kroll’s opinion, the This Is Us star’s song is a great pop hit that is “constructed well.” He remembered waking up to the same Argentinian radio station every morning, knowing “Candy” was about to come on. “Ever since then, I [have] liked Mandy Moore, who turns out to be like a very lovely person,” Kroll admitted.