Telling people you’re interviewing actor Patrick Warburton is a good way to determine their age and what kinds of entertainment they prefer. Hence why I was able to immediately divide those I told into three groups — the oldest (Seinfeld), the youngest (The Emperor’s New Groove) and the “inbetweeners” (The Tick). It’s not a perfect system of identification, of course, but it proves just how wide a range of work Warburton has produced over the years. That, and the breadth of his appeal.
The 51-year-old performer has a lot on his plate at the moment. His latest effort, a multi-generational sitcom called Crowded, premiered on NBC in March. Around the same time, news broke that Warburton and Neil Patrick Harris would star in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which just started filming. And then there’s that little bit about The Tick reboot at Amazon, which he is producing. Yet, as busy as he is, the actor was gracious enough to chat about all these things and more with us.
Ahead of Crowded‘s premiere in March, you talked a lot about how the plot mirrored your own home life in many ways. How has your family responded to all the attention you’ve given them in the press?
You’re the first to ask me that. We have a very private life, and this show isn’t based at all on it. It’s just a coincidence really that this show, to a degree, ended up mirroring my own life. We have the in-laws living with us, four kids, four dogs… Oh yeah, now my daughter wants a puppy because she thinks one of our dogs has really great maternal instincts. So we need to get a fifth dog now, because four dogs is not enough. I know about crazy cat people, but are we becoming crazy dog people? This is becoming not a reasonable number of dogs. Four you can get away with, but five? No. It’s a big, odd number of dogs.
My parents have four big dogs, but they have enough space to accommodate them.
We’ve got the room for it. They’re all rescue dogs. But yeah, the show is just so relatable. I think the kids get a kick out of the show. I think they enjoy it.
Your character Mike isn’t a strict father, per se. All these things are happening to him and he just suffers through it.
[Laughs.] I think that’s the common plight of the married man and father. Once it all happens, that’s how you navigate it all. Part of your soul is ripped out, you know? It’s like, “Where do you want me to stand? What do you want me to do? What’s this insane shit happening in my life now?” You see your daughter get away from you, like Stella (Mia Serafino) on the show. All you can do is shake your head.