For a guy who makes millions of dollars, has a steady job, and is recognizable to most people, I always feel a little bad for Andy Richter. He gained fame, of course, as Conan O’Brien’s sidekick, but back in the early aughts, he decided to strike out on his own and gain some independent fame. He made the brilliant Andy Richter Controls the Universe, one of the best cancelled-to-soon series of the last decade, and was never given his due. He also made a miserable sitcom, Quintuplets, and a pretty good one in Andy Barker, P.I., but he remained best known as Conan O’Brien’s affable, hilarious sidekick. Eventually, he returned to Conan, and he’s great at what he does. I just wish he’d gained the recognition he deserved apart from Conan.
He has, however, kept busy with other projects, mostly voice work in animated series like The Penguins of Madagascar and The Mighty B!, but he also shows up frequently on beloved shows like Arrested Development, Chuck, and 30 Rock, obviously wanting to scratch a certain itch he can’t reach as a nightly sidekick. His latest gig is one of his best: As Penny’s Dad in Happy Endings. The interesting thing here is that Casey Wilson and Andy Richter are only 14 years apart, and the episode that Richter appears in this spring will address that issue, I guess in a That’s My Boy-like plotline.
The better news for Happy Endings fans is that rumors suggesting that guest stars refused to appear on the sitcom because of the casts cliquishness is not true (see also last week’s guest star, Mark-Paul Gosselaar). Unfortunately, as good as Happy Endings is this season, I still think it’s had a significant drop-off from its masterful, brilliant second season.
That reminds me: I miss Paget Brewster.