-It's Friday, May 24th, 2013.
This is the 404 Show on cnet.com.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel Nunez.
-Welcome to the program, everyone.
We are incredibly happy today to welcome to the show for the first time-- You know him as Buster on Arrested Development.
You know him as Mister Gary Walsh on Veep.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr.
Tony Hale to the program.
-Round of applause.
How you doing, Tony?
-It's a nice beat you guys going into the segment.
-You can thank our friend, Ariel.
He composed that.
-Yeah, that is me.
That's all him.
So, how you doing, Tony?
Thanks for being here, buddy.
-Thanks for having me.
-You're a busy man, are you not?
-It's been a little busy.
-It's been busy, but, you know, I never complain.
Thankful for work--
-There's an extraordinary thing going on right now with the rest of Development.
-For the first time in history, really, a show that had a lifespan on regular network television canceled in 2006, being resurrected by the fans, by the public, by that sort of, you know, cult following that the show did have.
-What's it-- What is it like being a part of history and being a part of this
first show to go from network TV to platform like Netflix?
What's that like?
-Saying it like a part of history is like--
-You're-- We are gonna be an elementary school historical book years and decades to come.
No, I-- I mean, honestly, I think we were-- we're all kind of-- I mean, it's still hitting us.
It's still hitting me.
I mean, I-- I think after the show got canceled, you know, there was always rumors that we were coming back and
you didn't really know what to believe.
We were kind of cautiously optimistic and then when Mitch, I guess, about a year and a half ago told us that it was actually happening, you're still kind of you believe it, but you don't wanna completely emotionally commit because, you know, you never know in this business 'cause a lot of factors have to fall into place.
-And then last summer when-- I will say when I got the call about scheduling and when that kind of-- those calls came and then it started to hit me and then the first-- my first day was the first day everybody was on set.
-And seeing everybody in wardrobe and, you know, they put that penthouse together detail by detail they way it was, it was like-- it was like a time warp.
I mean, it was just very surreal and you just never knew something like that could happen, you know.
So, we all are very, very grateful.
-What was the vibe towards the end of the run of the show in that third season?
There-- Everyone's aware-- The show became very self aware.
There was a lot of sort of inside jokes that made it through
and we're becoming a little, you know, more transparent than I think a show has ever.
What was the vibe though behind the scenes?
Was there this feeling like I can't believe this show is getting canceled?
It's so insanely popular.
It's got this cult following, but the ratings weren't to where, you know, the network want.
-What was that vibe like?
-You know, the vibe was honestly kind of the same throughout 'cause ratings were honestly never where they should be.
it wasn't just the third year like every month of the series we thought-- I mean, are we coming back?
-And I don't know if they're taking us off the air.
So, we were always never really knowing if were gonna be axed.
So, it was the kind of thing like you know it's still on, we're still a year, so let's just kind of enjoy it.
And then when it finished, we kind of-- there was talk of us going into a new network.
-So then we were all still kinda like I don't know and then obviously it just kind of stopped and-- But I mean, to your point, it really was-- and this is not just sounding cliche or cheesy--
it really was the fans, and the press, and everybody that kept it alive.
-I mean, that kept the momentum going and that's why we're here today.
I mean, that's absolutely the only reason.
-Was there like that sense of frustration though?
Because you know it's tough for us to put ourselves in the actor's shoes and the shoes of the people involved with the program because it's tough to imagine, you know, if it penetrates that sort of like glass wall where it's like, well, it's so popular.
If only these guys knew what they had.
Was there any--
-sort of sense of that?
-I mean, we did-- we did kind of fall right before that age of DVR and there were still the Nielsen ratings were still everything.
-And that's a very kind of antiquated system.
-And so, with DVR and people would watch it in groups and it was a big college hit like a lot of college students, but they didn't know how to gauge that.
So, yeah, I mean it was frustrating in that, but I don't know.
I mean, it's-- my parents never got it.
My parents, they don't get it.
They like the one episode that Martin Short was on and I think that's the one that they really enjoyed.
-They're like, oh, we know that guy.
-That's Martin Short.
So-- I mean, I understand that it's just a different-- it's a different thing and different people like it and some people just don't get it and so-- I mean, I think it because of DVDs, really, and people were able to pass it around and get into it and binged watched.
I think that's how the popularity grew after we were canceled.
I also think that Netflix had a huge thing to do with it as well.
I mean, that's how I discovered the show.
-And, you know, the nature of the show is so packed with jokes and there's recurring jokes that happened that binge watching, like you said, is a great way to consume to show.
And if you can watch--
-7 episodes in a row, that's really the best way to do it, which is why I think the Netflix is the new platform for releasing all 15 shows at once.
It's kind of genius.
And also what's unique about this time around is the scheduling was really hard because everybody was kind of doing their own things, so they had--
his format is that each character is based-- is one episode.
You're kind of hearing what's going on-- what's been going on these people's lives.
-And so, releasing them all once, it's like a big puzzle and you can kind of-- Mitch does encourage you to watch it from the beginning and not skip around.
But once you have watched, you can go back and it's pretty amazing and intricate at how the puzzle works and that can really be only be done with Netflix because you had to have them drop at once--
-for it to make sense altogether.
-It seems appropriate that the binge watching experience that like you said that's become the norm.
I mean, you know, there's other, you know, shows on Netflix that have turned into this binge watching sort of tradition, but I think what's amazing-- You know, do you think if the first 3 seasons had that sort of format, that would have been, you know, a different sort of experience for people to get through?
'Cause, you know, the people that I know who have watched Arrested Development, they've watched it in that fashion.
And to me,--
-it's just like this is one of those first programs that I think,
you know, really resonate with that concept of binge watching.
-I think you can make the case for shows like Family Guy that had that sort of after, you know, broadcast success.
-What do you think about that whole binge watching situation?
Is that-- Is that where we're headed?
I mean, I know that for me, I kind of like to savor it.
I'm kind of old school.
I like to kind of-- I like the anticipation of another episode and I get kind of overwhelmed if I watched too much at once.
-But I will say with this show, binge watching, I can see how it makes sense because it's very dense.
-And there's a lot of stuff that you can miss and so I can see how people kind of-- you know, you watch it and you watch it again and catch new stuff and then you watch 3 in a row and you understand jokes more.
-I mean the whole-- One of my favorite story lines on the show is Tobias with the man group.
-And I just love that he thought it was a support group for depressed men.
And just like all that through line of that, you know, joke was just bits in each episode and then callbacks and--
-it's so much more enjoyable when you can watch it on a run like that.
-Yeah, for sure.
I wonder-- You know, it's funny because I really do think that it's a show that was maybe just-- and you can obviously speak to this better than we can.
Do you think it was a show just ahead of its time?
You think that's just simply what it was a case of?
-I think-- I don't know if it was.
Yeah, I mean-- That-- Maybe that would be it.
I think it's-- it was definitely a very new format.
-And I think people nowadays are more used to that format.
They're-- I mean, when it comes to comedy back then, people-- I mean like for instance, you take something like CSI which takes a lot of attention, you know.
-Or maybe not CSI, but something-- some dramedy.
You really gotta focus and you gotta figure out the crime and really pay attention.
With comedy back then or typically maybe not, people don't really wanna think.
They don't wanna--
They don't wanna have to focus.
They kind of wanna just-- which I understand.
You just kinda wanna detox and medicate and not-- you know, not have to think about it, so-- but this show takes paying attention.
Like you really gotta follow stuff.
So, I think that was a very new thing.
And now, I think it's more-- you see more of that.
You had to do-- You had to work a little bit, just a little.
-You have to work.
-You know, you couldn't-- it couldn't be completely zoned out.
-But that's what--
-I appreciate that.
-That's why I think that Arrested is so popular right now is that we live in a time where anyone can make something like a super cut.
Well, I've seen so many different super cuts on YouTube of running Arrested Development gags and it's a time when we--
-it's so easy to make those kinds of things or I also think it's great that, you know, the fans really control when a show gets popular.
And I think like most--
-recently what I was really impressed with is-- although I didn't watch this myself-- was Firefly.
Firefly getting crowd funded and then the Veronica Mars movie getting crowd funded, a little kick starter.
The fans really have a hand now in when that happens.
I guess the question here is, do you have any shows that you personally would wanna see resurrected on Netflix?
It seems like it's starting to become a trend.
-That's a great question.
Actually, you know what I'd love to see on Netflix?
Is the show that probably most influenced me as a kid was the Carol Burnett Show.
-Oh, right on.
-And I-- Tim Connolly was a massive icon for me, comic icon just because he was kind of like Bob Newhart where he just didn't have to do much to-- He didn't force the comedy.
He could do the smallest thing and it was hilarious.
And I loved the format of the Carol Burnett Show.
I loved the variety show aspect of it and I'd love to see that on Netflix because that would just be fun to just kind of watch it at the end of the day and that was just a joy for me.
-And that's-- And that's a show that would transcend generations in terms of comedy for sure.
-No doubt about it.
-I mean it's Carol Burnett and all those guys.
Just are fantastic.
-It's been a while since you did-- since you stepped in the shoes of Buster.
I'm curious is it a-- is it like getting back on the bike sort of thing?
What is like,
you know, bringing yourself back into that character?
He-- Buster, you know, I think he-- the first time around, he was probably the maturity level-- maturity level of like a 7-year-old.
This time around, he's probably about a 5.
-I think he's just got worse.
-He just keeps, you know, whacked in the head a few times.
I mean, he's-- are just-- I think it's just self-inflicted.
-But he-- It was interesting 'cause I-- I'm-- I've said this before, but I had hesitant-- I was hesistant about coming back
because there was such a wave of expectation and you kind of have that insecurity kind of match it.
-But I'm telling you, when I got on set just working across from David, and Will, and Jason, and specifically though Jessica Walter who plays my mother, Lucille, there is something about her voice that it was just so condescending.
It's so belittling to Buster and just so coddling and smothering.
There was something about that voice that just it clicked right in.
-All of a sudden it's that audio memory association, right.
-I wanna talk a little bit about, you know, the other cast members.
Is there-- Is there-- And this was something that Justin and I brought up a little before.
Is there ever a moment where you're just like, man, I'm not sure I can-- I can get through this scene because I'm just gonna--
-we're gonna run out of--
-I mean, it's a-- and the same way with Veep like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and I.
I can't you-- you know, I just can't keep it together.
I mean, I'm very-- it's very unprofessional.
She-- She'll just do-- She's just like-- She just makes this small noises or she does something with her eyes and it's like-- camera's on me and I'm like, well, sorry.
I mean it's just--
-it's not gonna happen.
And the same way was with the first time around with Arrested, you know.
Just Will Arnett, and David, and I dunno, just the ridiculousness of it all just-- I found myself-- I mean, it's just impossible.
when the camera was on them, I'd be crying off screen.
-It's like sorry.
I'm just-- I apologize.
This-- You're not supposed to do this from acting school.
-On the flip side of that question, who is the best at sort of keeping it together?
-Was there someone who just kept a straight face the entire time?
-Jessica Walter who played my mother.
-She is a very-- She's like a New York Theater, you know, mama.
-And is like-- She's all professional and I remember she'd come with her scripts and they'd have all the tabs and
she would never break.
-Yeah, is fixed.
-Ever, ever break.
That's like cutting the moral code like she was-- that just never happened.
Of course then I would just [unk] with them around, so I look like just the horrible stepchild.
-It's funny you bring that up especially with Veep, which is now still in its second season in HBO.
You know, I feel like I just started getting back into it.
I'm doing a little binge watching of that show myself
and I could-- You know, I was watching it with my life and I-- and I-- it will always be like, you know, I think they're hiding someone laughing here and you can like kind of go back and see cheeks puff a little bit.
-With me, I'm just-- I am-- It's just I have no shame.
I mean, I will literally turn my back.
-I mean I will just be talking to someone and you see Gary, my character, just turn his back where it's--
-For no reason.
-What's he doing?
He can't keep it together.
Again, incredibly unprofessional.
All the actors in the world, I'm sure they can do that better than me.
-It's, you know-- I wanna talk a little bit about the two shows aesthetically, the way they look.
There are a few similarities.
What do you find maybe different, similar?
Is it-- You know, just talk about maybe the two, you know, in terms of your role as an actor.
I mean, my character-- Obviously, there is some codependent relationships with very dominant women in their lives.
-The thing is, though,
Buster just is-- lives in a state of complete paralysis.
I mean, it's a big day if he can get to the pharmacy.
-But with Gary, he steps up to the plate for his woman.
Like he defends Selena--
-and he will-- at all cost, he will do whatever it takes whereas Buster, you know, if something was happening with Lucille, he just, you know, covers his face and cry in a corner.
So, but the show-- the characters definitely, I see, have that kind of difference, but the shows,
I will say they're very-- they're very different in kind of the-- how we-- how they came about, was Arrested-- Again, Mitch had this kind of big puzzle in his head.
So, he didn't really wanna veer off the script too much.
-Because you knew that what you were saying was very specific and it's something about a future episode or a callback.
Like for instance, when my hand was bitten off by the seal, I had no-- I mean, I, again, I'm pretty stupid about that stuff.
I don't catch stuff very quickly,
but that was like way episodes back--
-for the hand was bitten off.
I didn't even know it.
You know, I had a hand chair, but it was nothing.
Oh, that's cool.
Buster has a hand chair.
So, it's like you want it to stay very close to the script because it was very specific whereas with Veep, we spend about 2 or 3 weeks of rehearsal time just improving and kind of seeing where the story goes and getting ideas and then it morphs in to what it becomes.
-So, it's pretty different processes.
-You know what's funny is that Tumblr--
we've been talking a lot about Tumblr recently because they just got bought by Yahoo!.
-But I wanna ask you, have you seen this Tumblr?
It's called Hey Brothers.
It's a-- Basically, it's--
-The one where they're brothers?
-Yeah, that's exactly right.
It shows a world-- Imagine sort of a world where Gary Walsh and Buster, actual brothers.
-It goes through-- It goes through and just makes these Mims based on them.
Maybe we could switch to Mims we're talking about.
Have you seen this blog?
My friend actually sent me a link to it and it's-- I love that it's-- there's one that--
Oh, what is it?
It's like a picture of me with Selena and then Buster saying like anyone would wanna R her.
-And they combined them two.
Yeah, I love this one.
My favorite is the stepbrothers one where you're Photoshopped twice on to Will Ferrell's face.
-I love it.
I love that people do that.
-It's interesting because, you know, like we said, Arrested Development sort of preceded that,
you know, generation.
We're on the cusp of when the internet mattered--
-much more than it did maybe when--
-when Arrested was on.
And there's been, you know,-- As I'm sure, you've been exposed to such an outpouring of fan-created sort of, you know, illustration--
-and that sort of appreciation of the show.
What is-- What is-- What do you think about that sort of stuff where it's like, wow, there's-- now there's like this subculture of Arrested that I think that's--
-You know, it's-- first of all, it's amazing--
-'cause that's what
brought us back--
-on, so-- But what's interesting 'cause when you do a show like in 2006 when we get canceled, you kind of mentally detach from it.
You kind of-- because you kind of-- there's a little bit of a mourning process 'cause you're not gonna be able to jump into that character again and you kind of-- you gotta go on to new gigs and you gotta find work and gotta provide for your family and all this kind of stuff.
-You kind of emotionally step away from it to do other stuff.
So, it's always school to see that-- Like I haven't seen an episode of the show since we did again.
-And the day when I saw it for the first time, you're kind of seeing it with eyes-- like I remember that day of shooting.
I remember that-- But when you see it 7 years later, it's fresh eyes.
-So, I begin to see jokes and how enjoyable it is.
So, all I have to say is like when this kind of subculture happens, you kind of find-- since you're kind of emotionally detached from it, it's weird.
It seems like somebody else, a little bit, that was involved in it.
And then when-- I love when people come up and
talk about jokes and all this kind of stuff because I forgot about it.
-I forgot about events.
I forgot about-- I mean, there's stuff I'm still not catching.
I was like a total idiot.
-But it's like I just-- I don't know-- I-- 'Cause people really investigated into it and I just-- I have caught stuff that I never caught.
-Well, I'm curious.
You must have tons of people coming up to you.
Is there one reoccurring sort of thing that people just say right to use?
They see-- They say, oh my god, Tony Hale and then blank.
Some turning around.
They love saying, hey brother, which is
-I'm being called brother.
-And I think there is something that they do say since Buster was so kind of off.
They like to kind of maybe hear me talk.
-'Cause Buster has that whole-- You know, he pulls his head back and his hands go back and it's not-- he's constantly on the defense and, you know, his voice goes up a little bit whack.
-Like everything-- 'cause he's just in defense of the world.
-Everything around him is just like I've got to be prepared for anything that happens to me.
-It's like a newborn kitten.
-I'd like to see, you know, how I sound.
Hopefully they won't be like, oh, you should the same.
-Well, there's definitely a definitive difference and I think we're all getting a taste of that right now--
-I would imagine that a lot of fans would come up and ask about the potential of a movie coming up and I guess we have to ask you about this 'cause a lot of our listeners wanted us to ask you this question.
And I read an interview with Mitchell Hurwitz, the creator, recently.
-He said that the series, the upcoming series, all 15 episodes were sort of written to lead up to the story line of a movie.
Is that true or are there any updates on that?
-You know, I don't know if there's any updates.
I mean, again, I'm the person that has no information.
And now he comes to me like, oh, we're doing it again?
That is great.
Lots of free food.
-But I know that they have said that, that it's the first act to.
And I know the story will continue, that the movie is like the third act.
-At this point, I see it like-- I mean, it's-- doing this kind of work and doing this kind of writing, it's like a fantastic Sunday, you know.
-And the movie would be the cherry on top.
But if the movie doesn't happen, it's been a delicious fantastic Sunday, you know.
So, it's like if it happens, great.
If not, I would-- you know, it would suck because we'd love to do it again, but you never know with this business.
We're all onboard definitely.
We're all ready for it to happen.
I think that's pretty good to hear.
-I'm excited about that.
-A little bit of hope there.
-It's like yeah, not really.
-But now, you know what?
-We've had our fill.
So, I wanna know when you-- when you go and you work on a show like Veep, there's gotta be people who work on that show who sort of, you know,
see Buster a little bit in the way of maybe people on set.
Can you talk a little bit about that where it's like those two characters?
Did you ever-- Have you ever had?
'Cause like you said, there are similarities with those two characters like Buster and Gary have like, like you said, a very dominating female presence--
-in their lives.
-Does Buster ever come out and you almost feel like, you know what, maybe we should do that again because I kind of reached back a little bit with my hands--
-and I went--
-I went into Buster.
-I'm all ears.
-I mean, yeah, I can see-- I mean, the fact is I do both characters.
So, I mean, I think part of-- I'm sure there's some kind of maybe some crossover at times.
-But Gary is more-- He just-- I mean, I think this is for Buster too, but it's a little more on the mentally ill category.
Gary, he just sees the world in a very positive way.
-I mean, he-- I mean Selena, you know, could be cussing at him and he just hears Chicken Soup for the Soul.
It's just like, oh, you're beautiful.
-Whereas Buster, there is so-- I mean not that Gary doesn't have fear-- there is so much crippling fear.
I remember when Mitch said to me or in the first time around he goes all Buster wants in life is safety.
-That's what he wants.
And anything that threatens that safety he's gonna spiral.
-And I think it's--
-And that's so fun to do, but Gary is also just-- I like that he's a little more grounded.
I mean granted Gary still needs a really therapist.
But he's much more high functioning.
-Well, he's much more high functioning and I mean Gary could-- You know, Buster could really gain from a few lessons from Gary.
Gary needs to counsel-- Gary needs to counsel Buster.
Buster needs to counsel Gary.
-I've-- I would-- I'd need to see that.
I mean I know it would be a hell of a job for you, but I know.
-It would be a great spin off.
Real quick before we say goodbye.
We wanted to bring this up.
We never got to it.
Let's go back to the beginning and talk about when you were
in sort of the process of becoming Buster, that audition sort of-- I'd-- we were very curious about that.
-How did that go?
How did that, you know, all come together?
You know, what--
-Yeah, I'm just very curious about that.
-The whole thing was very surreal--
I mean, you know, I was doing commercials and theater in New York.
And I remember getting this audition and thinking this is way along-- this is too much of a long shot.
I'm gonna audition, but, you know, you kind of don't expect 'cause I'm putting myself on tape.
-I'm not even meeting the director and all that stuff.
And then they call me back and that alone was like, wait, I get a free trip to L.A. They're putting-- Wait, what's going on?
And so then I ended up getting in and all this kind of stuff.
And I remember Mitch telling me then in the audition Buster was known for giving massages.
That was a big thing for him.
And so, in the audition, I was doing a massage, but I was massaging my knees and the camera stopped at my chest and Mitch remembers thinking what is he doing down there?
-It's not the kind of show.
And so that kind of intrigued him I guess and, you know, so then they called me out and it was just-- I mean, I look back on that time.
That was my first I would say really-- it is my very first big gig.
-I've done a little guest spots here and there, but not to that extent.
And so I--
-The whole first year I was just like, what?
And I just got married.
10 days before the show got picked up, I got married.
-And it was just-- everything was just, what's happening?
We moved to L.A. and it was just kind of all very much of a blur, but, you know, incredibly grateful.
-That's a great story.
I-- On a personal side, I'm a big fan of animation.
I know you did a little work with The Life & times of Tim,--
-Yeah, I did.
-which is one of my favorite cartoons of all time.
-I wonder is there anything in the future we can expect from you with lending your voice to an animated character?
-Yeah, there is.
A show in Nickelodeon is premiering called Sanjay and Craig.
-And I play Mr.
Noodman who is the really obnoxious neighbor to Sanjay and Craig who is like a snake and a boy who are best friends.
Noodman and the way they've drawn me is I'm completely bald in the center, which his not too far from the truth.
-But on the side, it's like there are these-- all I can describe is like tall like vertical, dark trees,
bushes of hair that get straighten up and then it's completely bald right here.
-My best friend is a little cat named Lady Butterscotch.
-And it's really fun.
So, it premieres tomorrow after SpongeBob.
That's a great time slot.
Tony, thank you so much for being here.
This has been fantastic.
-I love it by the way.
-I love this format.
I love actually seeing somebody when I'm-- when I'm doing an interview.
-It's-- And we love seeing you.
It is a pleasure.
And speaking of seeing you, if you're ever in New York, you gotta come in to the studio.
We'd love that--
-Yes, I'd love that.
-You can check out Arrested Development this Sunday on Netflix.
All 15 episodes are premiering.
Veep is on HBO.
Make sure you check that out and then the cartoon premiering tomorrow, which is so awesome.
Congrats to you and all your success and the best of luck to you, buddy.
We really appreciate you being here, man.
Have a great weekend.
You too, guys.
Thanks for tuning in, everyone.
866-404-CNET is the number to call.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know the drill.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all that stuff.
We're back here on Tuesday.
Like Tony said, have a great weekend, great holiday.
We'll see you then.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel Nunez.
-This has been the 404 Show, high tech, low brow.
We'll see you on Tuesday.
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