Interview with George Wendt from "Clipped" on TBS - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

George Wendt as Buzz

Interview with George Wendt of "Clipped" on TBS 6/11/15

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 enjoy it!

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 Gisele

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 all yet?

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 my boyfriend.

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 friends.

9. Does working with a lot of younger people help re-energize you?

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 "Clipped."

10. Did you do musical theater when you were younger and starting out?

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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