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Interview with George Wendt of "Clipped" on
It was great to speak with such a legendary performer! I
loved "Cheers" and watched every episode back in the 80's.
George Wendt showed us so many times what a great comic and
dramatic actor he was, in that show and in others. It's good
to see him on another comedy! It was a wonderful interview,
and I could have talked to him for a lot longer, but they
only gave me about 10 minutes.
Here is the
audio of our interview. I hope you
If the audio is not streaming well, please right-click on
this link and save it to your computer. It should work
better that way!
Here's the transcript by
1. So how did your part in this show come about?
Pretty standard-issue way. My agent sent me a script,
said they were interested. I mean, it's not spectacular; but
the good news was that a team with such a track record, with
James Widdoes as a director. I was very comfortable jumping
onboard with those guys.
2. Was the character always gay?
Actually in the first script, no; but subsequently, yeah.
3. Did you have anything to do with developing the show
or your character?
No. Nothing at all. I mean, much like "Cheers," it's an
evolving process. You find out things week by week. It's
hard in 22 minutes of television to figure everything out.
And nobody pretends that they have figured everything out.
Things change, you know, like Kirstie Alley was supposed to
be a thing for Sam, and then they realized it's more fun if
she's one of the gang. You know, that kind of thing.
4. How many episodes are there and have you filmed them
Yes. Ten, and we just finished two nights ago.
5. Your character is a gambling addict, too. Do we learn
more about that?
Yes, we do.
6. Reginald VelJohnson, another veteran actor, plays your
partner. (Boyfriend or husband?)
He's my boyfriend as we start, and there may talk of a
wedding down the road. We shall see.
7. Had you guys worked together before?
Yes, I did a movie with Reggie in 1987 called "Plain
Clothes." He's great -- a lot of fun. I'm proud to call him
8. You're a bit older than most of the rest of the cast?
Do they come to you for advice?
Yeah, I'm *way* older than all of the rest of the guys.
The rest of the cast, except for Reggie, the regulars are
between 25 and 30. No, they do not come to me for advice.
Actually, in an odd way, I think they may have; but it's
never like, "Hey, what should I do about this?" You know, it
doesn't feel like advice. It just feels like they're my
9. Does working with a lot of younger people help
Oh, my god, yes. It's so much fun. Over the past decade
or so, I've done a lot of theater; and I don't know how this
happened, but in my dotage, in my old age, I've suddenly
been doing a lot of musical theater, which is [Chuckling] a
kind of odd career turn. And those kids in musical theater,
I feel like I'm on "Glee" or something. Really, all these
talented young singers, and it's triple for us really. And
the energy that you get from them is palpable, and I don't
think that I could do without it. And it's the same way on
10. Did you do musical theater when you were younger and
Not really. No. I started out on stage in Chicago at a
nightclub called "Second City." So, it was stage work, and
we considered it theater, but we weren't doing like the
classics or anything, you know? We were just devising our
own material doing improvisation. To answer your question,
we generally had a song or two in every show, like a funny
song. But, no, I do not have Broadway chops, in terms of
vocally, or anything. It's usually more like comedy with me.
11. Did you have to take any special training once you
went back to singing and dancing?
No. What they do is they rehearse you for three weeks, so
it's very specific, just learning the show for the
choreographer and the dance captain, not taking random dance
classes. You do it over and over again until it gets in your
bones, and it's really impossible to screw up. You work with
the musical director very specifically on the songs in the
show, so that, in effect, is training, but more specific.
12. Anything else you'd like to tell us about "Clipped?"
It's hilarious, edgy. It's frankly unbelievably raunchy.
[Laughs] I can't quite believe some of things we can share
with audiences at 10 p.m. on basic cable, but there you have
it, and I think everyone is going to enjoy it.
George Wendt, star of TBS's new
comedy series Clipped, is a
six-time Emmy nominee. He entertained audiences for years
as "Norm" on the legendary sitcom Cheers makes his
return to Boston as the namesake of the local Boston
barbershop called "Buzzy's".
Wendt stars alongside Ashley
Tisdale (High School Musical),Mike Castle (Family
Trap), Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black), Ryan
Pinkston (Tower Prep), Diona Reasonover (Swadhisthana),
and Matt Cook(True Blood) The multi-camera comedy
centers on a group of coworkers who all went to high school
together but ran in very different crowds. Now they find
themselves working together at Buzzy's, a barbershop that
was recently bought by one-time loser Ben (Pinkston). Since
taking over the establishment, Ben has become the boss to
many of his old classmates and he's not afraid to flaunt his
more powerful position.
Ben's staff at Buzzy's includes Mo (Cook), his best friend
and total opposite. Mo sees the best in people, which
explains why he’s been able to put up with Ben since
childhood. Also working at Buzzy's are A.J. Salerno
(Castle), the popular kid who was once a great baseball
player until a shoulder injury pulled him out of the game
and into the barber shop; Danni (Tisdale), who could be
doing bigger things with her life if she weren't too busy
trying to figure out if a fling with A.J. on prom night
means they're more than just friends; and Joy (Lapkus), the
eternally optimistic receptionist and the object of Mo’s
affections…even though she’s already taken.
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