Everyone knows who Patrick Warburton is. My little cousins know him from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. My brother knows him from Family Guy. I recognize him most from Seinfeld (he’s Puddy!). Others are still reeling from the swift cancellation of his fantastic live-action The Tick. He, or his voice, is everywhere! Currently, he’s starring as the old married guy on CBS’ Rules of Engagement and I spent some time chatting with him (even as he struggled with a wicked migraine) about what’s coming up on the show, and where you can find him next!
TakeFiveGal : I’m glad you had a chance to talk – even though you’re not feeling too hot!
Patrick Warburton : I used to really suffer from these things, and now that I take the medication they can actually work!
We’re here to talk about Rules of Engagement. Where do we stand – what happened last year, what’s happening this year?
I think that the show’s progressing nicely. We have a few new additions. We’ve got Adhir Kalyan, he’s a character, he’s straight out of a Merchant Ivory picture. He plays David Spade’s assistant. He’s a great addition. And we’ve got Orlando Jones who plays, he’s kind of recurring. Other than that, I just feel that the shows are a bit sharper and funnier. The show has evolved well.
CBS knows how to do comedies. The shows lead very well into one another, so you guys fit in great.
It feels good. It’s been a bit of a rocky start. Our first season, we only did 7 episodes because we were midseason. The second season, there was the strike. That broke it up. This year, we’re doing half a season, but it’s a good one. It feels really good. I hope that by the end of this season, we’ll be in there.
I read that Brian Dennehy is playing your dad. What was it like working with him?
It was fun working with Brian. I had never worked with him before. I was always a fan of his, back from the Rambo days. He is the biggest ass in the world in Rambo. He was great in Rambo. The week we were doing it, I told my eldest son about it, and he hadn’t seen Rambo yet, so I said, you gotta see Rambo, so my son Talen and I watched Rambo the week I was working with him [laughs].
It’s funny – I must have told like 5 or 6 people that I was talking to you, and every single person named a different thing that they know you from. What’s it like to be recognizable by so many people for so many different things?
That’s really nice to hear. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities throughout the years and gotten to work with some great people. I’m thankful for that. As an actor, you want to constantly reinvent and do new things. You want to try new stuff. I don’t know, I’m thankful that I’ve had some really good opportunities to do some weird things, too. The Tick was a really clever show, and I just believe there were some ingenious people involved with The Tick. You become involved as an actor. I think everybody ends up looking good because of the great production value. You’ve got guys like Ben Edlund, the creator. Then you’ve got the great Larry Charles, and Barry Sonnenfeld.
The Tick is one of those shows that I hear about all the time, people talk about The Tick nonstop.
There were 9 episodes and it was really clever. It was expensive, so I think that’s why we weren’t able to continue, move forward. It was very well reviewed, but that was a time when reality TV was coming about and they wanted to do that, and they said, well, we can do Joe Millionaire and shoot on video and get huge numbers and it costs nothing to make, or we can spend money and do a show like The Tick.
Do you get downtime at all?
I really do. Half hour TV is not a really tough schedule. It’s 5-6 hours a day, maybe. Doing voiceover is really, maybe an hour to two hours at a time. So I’m around a lot. I’ve got four kids that see a lot of dads.
Do you watch TV at all?
We watch American Idol at times. We all enjoy watching stuff on Animal Planet, and National Geographic. We like watching Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmer and just a lot of the shows. We like to watch a lot of shows on Discovery. Mythbusters we watch with the kids.
You’ve had the opportunity to play all kinds of characters. Is there a role you’d like to play that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
A good Western. Other stuff, different stuff, out of the box. Something outside what they expect you to do.
What else do you have coming up?
Hoodwinked 2 is coming up. That’s not going to be released for a year, January of 2010. That’s fun and clever. There is the new season of Venture Brothers which has started recording and I’m working on The Family Guy once again. A couple of indies that I worked on. A movie called Made For Each Other where I play a very egotistical actor who is starring in the National tour of Waterworld the Musical. They put that on youtube – I sing as the Kevin Costner character on Waterworld. It was a lot of a fun.