Sinister Cinema: Patrick Warburton

Onscreen in The Woman Chaser, Patrick Warburton plays one of the most unlikable characters you’ll ever meet — before and after the movie, though, you’re talking to one of the friendliest people you’ll find in the bar of the Alamo Drafthouse or pretty much anywhere else.

Hands shaken, not a minute passed before we were chatting about The Tick. I told him it is one of my favorite shows — not a lie. One nine-episode season, got the boxed set.

I even liked the reboot with Peter Serafinowicz in the big blue bug outfit, where they squeaked out two seasons. (Serafinowicz first became an entity for me as the naked flat-mate in Shaun of the Dead, and recent highlights include his bit in John Wick 2 and Spy.)

While Patrick got an EP credit on the reboot, he told me he’d really wanted to reprise the role of The Tick himself.

Man. My heart sank a little. Like finding out some thoughtless producers had booted Clayton Moore out as The Lone Ranger.

Supposing they wanted a younger actor at that moment, Patrick pointed out that you’ve got the blue costume with muscles and antennae and all you see is the rectangle where the face appears. They could have worked it. Jeez, they could work it now with another run.

The Return of The Tick.

I mentioned the Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which Patrick appears as the “author” of the adventures, Lemony Snicket. He said that Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Snicket himself, came to a previous screening of The Woman Chaser in San Francisco a few years ago and when the deal was being worked out told them he wanted Patrick to play Snicket. Netflix had other ideas for the role. Snicket himself said, no, I want Patrick Warburton.

One thing leads to another. And also, when you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.

While Patrick didn’t seem to mind any objectification he received in his performance as Richard Hudson, he did tell me about his two early Dragonard movies, from 1987 and 88, and seemed to still nurse degrees of mortification over those — apparently ranked up there with the worst movies ever made.

The plus side to shooting the Dragonards, aside from some money and getting his foot in a door, he got to work with Oliver Reed.

Reed wanted him to start drinking with him in the morning on the set, but Patrick begged off until evening. Then he drank with one of the most famous drinkers in cinema history. Cool.

And Patrick got to see Oliver Reed’s tattooed dick — eagle pouncing with claws extended over the head of the displayed member — which Reed liked to haul out when he got into his cups.

Since he began drinking as soon as he got up, I wonder, How many people saw that tat?

And after the fact, I realized I could have asked Patrick about his hard-boiled flick Rock Slyde. But it didn’t come to mind among the crush of other chatter.

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