Wednesday, December 12, 2001 Updated: December 13, 1:14 PM ET
Page 2 staff
Probably best known for playing David Puddy, the face-painting New Jersey Devils fan and Elaine Benes' on-and-off boyfriend in "Seinfeld," actor Patrick Warburton is now fighting evil as the lead character in "The Tick."
Warburton's simple-minded Tick and his superhero chums fight crime and mundanity in the live-action version of Ben Edlund's cult comic book (8:30 Thursdays, Fox).
He's also done numerous voices for animated films and TV shows, such as "The Emperor's New Groove" and "The Family Guy." But his Buzz Lightyear in TV's "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" shouldn't be confused with the "Toy Story" Buzz Lightyear voiced by Tim Allen, whom Warburton happens to be co-starring with in upcoming films "Joe Somebody" and "Big Trouble."
Page 2 wanted to find out what makes him tick, so we subjected Warburton to Page 2's 10 Burning Questions.
1.Page 2: Puddy was the ultimate New Jersey Devils' fan, so is hockey your favorite sport?Patrick Warburton: I've always loved football. I still think football's a great game.
Did you play it much when you were a kid?Warburton: My father's an orthopedic surgeon, a bone doc, and he always forbade me. That's my great regret growing up.
Warburton: Denver, Minnesota, I always liked Kansas City. I guess my favorite games ever to watch were Monday night games, when Kansas City would play the Raiders, and Marcus Allen would have a great running game against the Raiders. The only reason I never liked the Raiders is: Because I don't like Al Davis. I don't know really anybody who does.
Those are the kind of games I don't see right now, with that kind of stuff boiling underneath the surface -- Marcus Allen just rubbing that crap in Al Davis' nose. That to me, that's football. That's great. Here's some real personalities, here's some real talent, here's some real people that don't like each other.
2.OK, so hockey's not your favorite sport. But you're a huge Devils' fan, right?Warburton: I was born in Patterson, New Jersey, though I moved when I was 3. The whole Devils' thing ... I was adopted by the fans of the Devils because of that episode and because after that they would show that on the Jumbotron over the ice. I became a fan of the Devils through that. I follow them a little bit. But I never played ice hockey, I played street hockey with my friends.
What's wrong with the Devils this season?Warburton: Man, I couldn't tell ya. What happened last year (losing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals) was really devastating. And I think that was somewhat demoralizing and maybe carried over into this new season.
3.You rowed crew in college. Is crew a sport?Warburton: I would call crew a sport before I'd call golf a sport ... and I love golf. But s---, yeah, crew's a sport.
I wrestled, all right, but I've never done anything tougher than crew. You race 2,000 meters, about a mile, and you're at maximum heart rate, 200, 210 a minute. My body fat when I was rowing crew was 2.5 percent. You are truly in the most incredible condition of your life.
Except for the little guy who sits backwards and yells at the other guys.Warburton: You've got your oarsmen, you've got your coxswain. And it's different. The coxswain were actually in pretty good shape, too. They would go running with us and whatnot. Oarsmen are just animals.
Are you a fan of rowing?Warburton: I would never do it again. I see the merit to it, but it's brutal. And I'll never forget what my grandfather used to tell me at the time. He'd hammer me about rowing: "Why are you rowing a boat? Are you going to grow up to be a galley slave? You should be playing baseball, football, basketball or something."
4.Your dad might not have let you, but that Tick bodysuit makes it look like you could play football. Warburton: If those were my real dimensions ... if I was 6-foot-7 or 6-8 and 400 pounds of muscle, yeah, I'm sure I could step out there and say "give me the ball." But unfortunately, all those "mus-kuls" ain't real.
So you haven't been working out that much?Warburton: Not that much, my friend.
What's it like wearing that blue Tick bodysuit?Warburton: It ain't the most comfortable thing in the world. But I don't mind wearing it, not if I get to be The Tick. That's my outlook.
What do you have to go through to put it on?
Warburton: Well, first they gotta slather a couple tubes of KY jelly on me. Then I slide into it. We go through more tubes of KY jelly in a day than Dennis Rodman on a weekend at his beach pad in Newport.
I spend the rest of the day in this suit, basically & sweating & and you know & it ain't that comfortable, but like I said if that's the cross I gotta bear to get to be The Tick then so be it. I really don't care.
What are the Tick's superpowers?Warburton: He's very strong. That's it.
Dallas Cowboys cheerleader
5.What superpower would you want most -- the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly or to be able to turn invisible?Warburton: The ability to fly.
Why?Warburton: You know, I'd love to be invisible, so I could hang out in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders' locker room ... I love the idea of just watching cheerleaders showering. Maybe that's why those B skin flicks do so well, because there's always girls taking showers.
Other than that, being invisible, I don't know what it would serve. Now flying, I think ultimately flying is gonna have a little bit more to offer than being invisible. For one thing, traffic is a thing of the past.
6.Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Maura Tierney?
Warburton: What do you mean, in bed?
Well, that's your call.Warburton: Julia.
We got along real well. I think she's just real special, very funny and sexy. I'm not saying that Maura's not those things, just that Julia and I probably had a better connection. With Maura I always felt that everything I ever said annoyed her. I don't know why. I think she always thought I was ... hitting on her or something.
The problem on "NewsRadio" was there was so many guys -- they were just weird guys. We had Andy Dick, Steve Root, and we would all get together and be really kinda rude and crude. So it took no time at all for me to be on Maura's s--- list with the other guys. I always got this look from her like one of my sisters, "Uh, would you shut up, please?"
7.Is the Tick powerful enough to overcome the apparent "Seinfeld" character sitcom jinx?Warburton: Yeah, I think so. You hear about the Seinfield curse, you know. I did nine episodes, what does that mean?
I don't think there's a curse, it just goes to show that nothing's bulletproof. Now take Michael Richards, now he's the funniest thing to ever happen to half-hour TV. Well, I would have said hey, rework the show, figure something out. But I mean ultimately you're gonna have something that works because he's just too damn funny.
I don't know what it's all about, but I don't think it's a curse. I don't believe in curses. I always hear about the Kennedy curse. If the Kennedys were all getting hit by meteorites, it would be a curse. But, I'm sorry and no disrespect to the Kennedys, but when you're getting drunk and skiing into trees and flying airplanes in bad weather, bad things are gonna happen.
Are strangers starting to recognize you more as The Tick than Puddy?Warburton: Yeah, The Tick seems to be getting some attention. So that's a good thing. I am hearing the tick more often as opposed to Puddy. It seemed rather absurd to me that being stereotyped or typecast after having done nine episodes of a half-hour show is even possible. But now I hear the same thing about The Tick. Folks ask me, "Aren't you concerned about getting put in a box here with The Tick?" I don't know, you can't let the fear of that keep you from doing something that might be remarkable or great fun like "The Tick."
8.Your career seems inextricably connected with Tim Allen's. What's going on there?
Warburton: I told Tim, when I saw him on the set of "Joe Somebody" -- he was a little surprised to see me there -- "I know I'm your worst nightmare. I want you to know it's nothing personal."
But there I was, voicing his character. Nobody wants to hear somebody else voice their character. You voice a character, it belongs to you. So I'm doing Buzz Lightyear in the morning cartoons ... and then I'm on the set with him in "Big Trouble" ... and now, all of a sudden, I'm playing his nemesis in "Joe Somebody," where I basically bitch slap him in front of his 10-year-old daughter.
But it is funny how our paths have have been crossing.
So who does a better Buzz Lightyear, you or Tim?Warburton: Well, you know, Tim's is a little effeminate. So if you want to go the effeminate, softer ... well, you know ... it's different. I even let my kids listen to the Tim Allen s--- around the house. I shouldn't, but I do.
Tim did a great job with Buzz. He invented the voice of Buzz. So when I did it, I wasn't gonna copy him. First off, and this might sound ridiculous to put it in perspective like this, Buzz Lightyear in "Toy Story" is Buzz Lightyear the toy in "Toy Story." When I did the voice of Buzz Lightyear, I do the voice of "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command." Although he's animated, he's actually Buzz Lightyear and not the toy. So it's still a somewhat different Buzz Lightyear. He had to sound different.
9.Who gets whipped the most, you in "Dragonard," Tim Allen in "Joe Somebody" or the Detroit Lions? Warburton: It would be me in "Dragonard." I get whipped like 100 times. But they're awful, awful movies. If it wasn't for this wonderful thing called the Internet, where anything on you is gonna get dug up, I would just deny it. It was a horrible movie, but I had a great experience. I was 22, and I got to go on a four-month binge with Oliver Reed, where we drank every night. And that's something I'll never forget. He gave me his pipe at the end. I don't know what he smoked out of it, but ...
He was a legendary drinker. Of course, I was in the drinking prime of my life. It was perfect. Four months I barely remember, but they were great experiences. The films, they were awful.
10.What really ticks you off?Warburton: Thoughtless people. You're in that grocery line, they open up another one and the person at the end of the line just thinks they can just jump up there. Hey, it's the next guy in line, that's who's going.
As a father of four, you spend your life -- I don't want to sound like a martyr -- making all kinds of considerations, and it's all about the kids. So when I get out there and see somebody who is just, "It's all about me," and double-parking their car and having to be first in line and all that crap, it pisses me off.