Splitsider

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Checking In…with the Cast of The Weird Al Show

Oh, this is a story 'bout a guy named Al, and he lived in a sewer with his hamster pal. But the sanitation workers really didn't approve, so he packed up his accordion and had to move to a city in Ohio where he lived in a tree, and he worked in a nasal decongestant factory, and he played on the company bowling team, and every single night he had a strange recurring dream where he was wearing lederhosen in a vat of sour cream. But that's really not important to the story.

Well, the very next year he met a dental hygienist with a spatula tattooed on her arm. But he didn't keep in touch and he lost her number, then he got himself a job on a tater tot farm. And he spent his life-savings on a split-level cave 20 miles below the surface of the Earth, and he really makes a might fine jelly bean and pickle sandwich. For what it's worth.

Then one day Al was in the forest trying to get a tan when he heard the tortured screaming of a funny little man. He was caught in a bear trap and Al set him free, and the guy that he rescued was grateful as could be, and it turns out he's a big-shot producer on TV. So he gives Al a contract and whaddya know, now he's [had] his very own Weird Al show. And here’s what the cast (minimum seven episodes) is doing today.

Weird Al Yankovic, as Weird Al
If you want to read 1,500 words or so on Weird Al Yankovic, please click here. Otherwise, just know that after a brief scare in 2003, when Yankovic released his most underwhelming album, Poodle Hat, the King of the Song Parody has released two solid records, Straight Out Lynnwood (featuring the biggest hit of his career, "White & Nerdy") and 2011's Alpocalypse, which debuted at #7 on the Billboard charts, his highest first-week listing ever, and become cool to a whole new group of fans when none other than Godspeed You! Black Emperor personally choose him to play their curated All Tomorrow's Parties last December. Long live Weird Al! Long live Weird Al's Twitter! Long live song parodies as good as "Yoda"!

Donavan Freberg, as Baby Boolie
Donovan Freberg appeared in a series of commercials in the 1980s, as a mullet-headed student who never could have finished his report on space without his ever useful Encyclopedia Britannica. In an interview with Geek Monthly in 2009, Freberg said of the commercials, “I remember visiting a shopping mall in Austin, Texas, and I was just mobbed instantly…In L.A., they were mostly razzing me. But I laughed all the way to bank with the $37 I made off those ads.” Freberg voiced Linus and Charlie Brown in a number of Peanuts commercials and public service announcements, and now works as a Los Angeles-based photographer.

Gary LeRoi Gray, as Bobby the Inquisitive Boy
In the eighth and final season of The Cosby Show, then five-year-old Gary LeRoi Gray was added to the cast of the hit program, playing Nelson Tibideaux, the son of Sondra and Elvin. Soon after, he was playing Young Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Little G on Family Matters, and Nelson Minkler (Ren's best friend from childhood) on Even Stevens. In 2002, Gray began voicing A.J. on The Fairly Oddparents, which he continues to do to this day, and in 2003, Sam on Rocket Power. Most importantly, however, the former-sort of Huxtable can be seen jamming in that "Crazy in Love" Pepsi commercial with Beyoncé in it. According to his Twitter, he plans on becoming one of the most amazing men to ever walk the planet.

Brian Haley, as the Hooded Avenger
If you’re a nostalgia-choked child of the 1990s, like I am, then you’ll certainly recognize Brian Haley as Sam’s dad in Little Giants, Veeko in Baby’s Day Out, and Budd (the character who replaced Thomas Haden Church’s Lowell) on Wings. Haley, a former-Special Forces soldier (who once appeared in a production of Guys and Dolls with Joe Namath!), began doing stand-up in the late 1980s, and appeared on Johnny Carson in 1990. He has made a slew of other memorable appearances in both TV and film, including playing Jack Nicholson’s Secret Service agent in Mars Attack! and Dave in the 30 Rock episode where Liz goes crazy on an airplane.

Paula Jai Parker, as Val Brentwood
Paula Jai Parker played Trudy on the Disney Channel’s The Proud Family, which aired on the Mouse Network from 2001-2005, concluding with a movie in August 2005. The actresses other work includes playing Monique on The Wayans Bros. and Joi in Friday (“You ain’t got to lie, Craig”). Here's a compilation of her best scenes from my favorite movie named after a day (sorry, Mr. Saturday Night!). More recently, Parker appeared in the Academy Award-nominated Hustle & Flow, as Lexus, and in “The Burn Unit” skit on HBO’s Funny or Die Presents… She can next be seen in King of the Underground, about a unheralded rap artist who goes on a killing spree, and Taco Shop, about a taco shop.

Beau Weaver, as "Channel Hopping" Announcer
Beau Weaver is one of Hollywood's busiest (and hairiest) voice actors. If you've ever heard a movie trailer, it's likely you've heard Weaver's voice. Click here to see a full listing of films and TV promos and commercials he's done voice-over work for, including: the promos for Fox's animated Sunday lineup and The Office (including a record scratch!), and the trailers for Little Miss Sunshine and I'm Not There, among dozens of others. Weaver, a former DJ, has also provided the voices for superheroes Mr. Fantastic and Superman.

Danielle Weeks, as Cousin Corky
It’s tough to highlight only one thing Danielle Weeks has been in, because she’s been in so much, so let’s just randomly choose…Buffy! Yes, Weeks played Debbie Foley in that weird episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that had to do with Battered Woman Syndrome, and Debbie was the one who got abused by her boyfriend Scott. Let’s chose something more fun now, like Campus Ladies (she had a recurring role as Phoebe) or Scrubs (in the episode “My House”) or VH1’s Star Stories, where she played Angelina Jolie and Britney Spears. Weeks has performed with The Groundlings and is a member of the sketch comedy troupe Very Angry Neighbors, who specialize in online videos.

Billy West, as Show Announcer
Philip J. Fry. Professor Farnsworth. Dr. Zoidberg. Woody Woodpecker. Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Elmer Fudd. Slimer. The Honey Nut Cheerios bee. Doug Funnie. Roger Klotz. Shaggy Rodgers. Felix the Cat. Confucious. Additional Voices! Those are just a few of the seemingly hundreds of characters Billy West has voiced over the years. The actor is (was) a member of the band Billy West and the Grief Counselors, whose hit songs include "I Gotta Get Laid" and "Goin' to Jail." Sadly, they haven't logged-in to their MySpace since 2008, so it's likely the band is no more.

Harvey the Wonder Hamster, as Harvey the Wonder Hamster
Status: UNKNOWN.

Josh Kurp knows Harvey is out there somewhere.

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  • http://www.kibblesmith.com Kibblesmith

    Almost didn't click on this for Hamster Lifespan-related reasons.

  • Ed Parker@facebook

    I don't understand how Stan Freberg is a porn superstar…

    • Ed Parker@facebook

      So this is funny: this article is the first result when you Google "Stan Freberg" and "porn". That's kind of odd for a "porn superstar". In fact, Stan Freberg has nothing to do with porn. He is a brilliant radio comedian and played the network executive on the Weird Al Show (this show the article is about).