September 24, 2004

The Auditions

We had a fun little game at EA Forums this week where we suggested actors/actresses to play different folks in an imaginary EA Sitcom. I got some interesting casting choices. Now the voting begins:

  • Alan Alda
  • Tim Allen
  • Michael Gross
  • Jon Stewart
  • Sam Waterston
  • Sean Bean
  • Harrison Ford
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Jeff Daniels
  • Chevy Chase
  • James Marsters
  • Robin Williams
  • Gary Oldman
  • Matthew Broderick (this was who I cast for myself)
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Christopher Walken

Not sure what I did to garner such flattering suggestions. I think this is more a refleciton of the kindhearted people I hang out with at EA rather than my personality. But I’ll take it where I can get it.

Posted by James at September 24, 2004 11:40 AM
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Not an actor but I always thought John Smotlz of the Atlanta Braves was a dead ringer for you. Of those listed I'd go with Alan Alda but obviuosly Alda of the MASH era he's just a little old for you now.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 24, 2004 12:21 PM

I have to second Bob's pick of John Smoltz. Can you suggest this to the forum? It's the best fit, really.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 24, 2004 12:23 PM

They're not going by looks. Otherwise I assume this list would be scraping a lot deeper into the barrel.

Currently, Alda is the overwhelming vote-favorite. As BOB said, we're talking time machine here. For a number of people I had to give "circa" numbers for the actresses because I wanted to avoid insulting people. When you think of an actor in a sitcom, you can think of that person the way they were then forevermore.

Posted by: James at September 24, 2004 12:31 PM

Yeah. I think Alda is a good choice for you. Christopher Walken?!? Does someone there think you are a psycho or something?

Posted by: briwei at September 24, 2004 1:53 PM

I can see you as a Matthew Broderick or a Jon Stewart. I also second the notion on Christopher Walken, where did that come from?

Posted by: Sara at September 24, 2004 1:59 PM

Perhaps someone sees me as weirdly creepy. Not sure where that one came from. Actually, I think I know who it came from, but not what she was thinking. Still, it made me laugh. Maybe that was the point.

Posted by: James at September 24, 2004 2:06 PM

I like Christopher Walken, and I like you, but I don't think that means you're a match.

Just to be strange, I'll suggest Gene Rayburn.

Posted by: Julie at September 24, 2004 2:24 PM

What a frightening suggestion. But it also amuses me.

Posted by: James at September 24, 2004 2:30 PM

Alsa is pretty good in PBS's Scientific Fronteirs series right now. I also hear he will be on this seasons West Wing.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 24, 2004 3:23 PM

Rayburn! That cracks me up. I'm trying to picture the reverse. James as Gene. "My Aunt Edna was so slow, they were reconsidering renaming her blank."

The casting thing can be a fun exercise. After we cast James, let's cast the rest of his commenters!

Posted by: briwei at September 24, 2004 4:21 PM

I used to think that a younger Teri Garr could be me.

Posted by: Julie at September 24, 2004 4:31 PM

Like the Young Frankenstein Terri Garr? That's cool. Not sure who could be me. Someone funny, sarcastic, and not afraid to beat a joke to death.

Posted by: briwei at September 24, 2004 4:52 PM

B.O.B. would, of course, be played by Alan Ruck. (Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off). How about Oliver Platt for Chuck?

Posted by: briwei at September 24, 2004 5:14 PM

Many a joke has begged for mercy at Norm MacDonald's hands. He's a flaming Republican, though, so maybe not such a good match.

Maybe Seinfeld?

Posted by: Julie at September 24, 2004 5:14 PM

"Alan Ruck" is one possibility for BOB. But I'm going to have to think about this. I want to go on personality. Thinking...

Posted by: James at September 24, 2004 9:11 PM

Bri, would Mel Brooks be insulting? Mel Brooks at his funniest and cutest?

I totally see the JB/Christopher Walken thing. I can see him in Annie Hall, that scene where's he's driving them back to the airport, I think it is. That's very James.

Posted by: Maggie at September 24, 2004 9:11 PM

That driving scene was set up by this cinfession Duane (Walken) makes to Alvy (Allen):

"Can I confess something? I tell you this because, as an artist I think youíll understand.

Sometimes when Iím driving, on the road at night, I see, two headlights coming toward me, fast, I have a sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion, the sound of the shattering glass the, Flames, rising out of the flowing gasoline."

Okay, it *is* something I might say to my sister's boyfriend, before a long drive.

Posted by: James at September 24, 2004 9:34 PM

Er...isn't your sister married?

Yeah, I can see James saying something like that to mess with someone's head. But was Walken doing it to mess with Allen or was he really a psycho? See, to me, James never crosses the line of making me wonder whether he is psycho or not. Of course, YOU are married to him. ;-)

And I don't think Mel Broooks is insulting. As we said, we are generally talking about people at moments in time, so I imagine you are talking about the early Brooks and I can accept that characterization.

What do you think about Helen Hunt, for you Maggie?

Posted by: briwei at September 25, 2004 11:53 PM

James would do it to mess with someone's head, and my interpretation of Duane is that he was really a psycho. But James has that questionable side. Did he mean it? Hmmm.

And Helen Hunt is perfect, my MIL hates her. ;-)

Posted by: Maggie at September 26, 2004 2:12 AM

Ferris Bueller you're my hero.

Another possibility for me. Mike Farrell from MASH days again? Kind of person who causes a loty of trouble behind the scenes, make a lot of snide comments but never seems to get caught and/or deflect the blame to others.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 27, 2004 8:05 AM

Come to think of it Brian. Apul Reiser wouldn't make a bad you.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 27, 2004 8:06 AM

Come to think of it Brian. Paul Reiser wouldn't make a bad you.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 27, 2004 8:07 AM

B.O.B. has cast himself well. At least he's got the type down.

Brian, I'd love to see Richard Lewis play you. That would be hilarious. Put Richard Lewis into any of your real-life stories and you've got comedy gold.

For Chuck, I'm thinking Richard Kind. Not a good match with the looks, but it could make for some laughs. Otherwise, gotta be John Cleese.

I want to see Denis Leary playing Jim Correia.

Ryan? I'd go for Woody Harrelson.

More later

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 10:48 AM

I love Gene Rayburn, and I'm here to say that James isn't lacivious enough, so that's out.

I guess I'll go with Alda.

And, yes, I'm married to Cameron.

As for myself, I've been told I am very much like Dorothy Parker.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 27, 2004 12:07 PM


Dorothy Parker is dead right? Hmmm... redheads. Molly Ringworm? Ouch. Hey how'd you hit me through the keyboard?

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 27, 2004 12:45 PM

Alas, you are not clever.

As James said, this is not based on looks, rather, on personality. Besides, I don't have liver lips.

Yes, Dorothy Parker is dead, but her sharp wit lives on.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 27, 2004 1:31 PM

Hmmmmm. Reiser and Lewis are both pretty good fits, come to thing of it. I have a few Reiser-isms in my vocabulary.

I can see Mike Farrell for B.O.B., too. Particularly the not getting blamed for his own mischief. He was the master of that through high school and college. Only he could be caught in a hotel room building a beer can pyramid, and not get in trouble for underage drinking. The guy in the shower got chewed out instead.

Posted by: briwei at September 27, 2004 1:39 PM

Funny, I was going to choose Jennifer Jason Leigh for Patty. She played Parker in "Mrs. Parker and the Viscious Circle."

Maggie, I'd choose Linda Hamilton if it were an action film. But that's not really sitcom-ish. For someone who isn't a comedian but wouldn't be out of place in a comedy, I'll choose Gwynneth Paltrow.

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 1:42 PM

Janeane Garofalo for Julie?

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 1:47 PM

I could go with Helen Hunt for Maggie, of course, but I wanted to try a little harder.

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 1:50 PM

I can live with that.

Posted by: Julie at September 27, 2004 1:52 PM

I just looked up Jennifer Jason Leigh in IMDB and realized she played Stacy Hamilton, Judge Reinhold's sister, in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Thankfully, she's got better hair now.

I've not seen any of the other movies she's been in, but I have read "A Thousand Acres," and that's not a happy story. But, hey, it was written by Jane Smiley, so I wouldn't expect it to be. (I've read nearly everything she's written--she's an excellent writer. I recommend "The Greenlanders.")

Posted by: Patti M. at September 27, 2004 2:21 PM

Hey,it's not like the guy in the shower hadn't helped to drink all that beer. It also helps if the person who finds said pyramid is half cocked himself.

Always pretend to be passed out on the bed when caught with a case of empties built into a pyramid.

Yup, that's my motto!

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 27, 2004 2:37 PM

Patti: I wasn't considering the hair in my decision. And I was thinking more of the Mrs. Parker role.

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 2:52 PM

I admit this game is very hard for me. It's easy for me to pick matches based on looks... no problem, but on personality? For the most part celebrity personality is an unknown commodity, they're almost always acting, even when they aren't acting. Whenever I find myself comparing friends to celebrities it's usually because of a particular way they express themselves or a minor mannerism.

Whenever I see Richard Kind he strikes me as a big doofus. I'd hate to come across that way.

I like the idea of being compared to Oliver Platt, I'm always impressed with his work.

Posted by: Chuck S. at September 27, 2004 4:10 PM

Actually it's probably more valid to pick based on looks or past performances. These are supposed to be actors after all so they should be able to act like whoever they are supposed to be playing (unless they are Keanu Reeves or Sylvester Stallone). I mean when they cast someone to play a historical figure they normally pick someone who at least resembles that person somewhat (where would Willian Devain (sp?) be if he didn't look like JFK/RFK?)

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 27, 2004 4:25 PM

I must have missed Brian's Oliver Platt suggestion before. Yeah, that would be decent.

Kind has had non-doofus roles. I was thinking more his friendly aspect, rather than doofus. But I think that Cleese would best portray your sometime annoyance with people.

If Steve and Bil are readong, I'm not sure I know them well enough to cast them. And I've never seen them, so no looks at all involved. How about David Ogden Stiers for Steve and the guy who plays Greg Sanders (the DNA guy) on CSI for Bil? Eric Szmanda?

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 4:43 PM

Hey, I never said he didn't drink the beer. Merely that you were right there with it and got off scot free.

I went with Helen Hunt for Maggie thinking about the Mad About You role. She was funny without being funny, which reminded me of Maggie's always amusing "I'm not funny" lament. Gwyneth Paltrow could work as well.

Posted by: briwei at September 27, 2004 4:52 PM

I'd choose a young Carrie Fisher or Shannen Doherty for Maggie. I've always thought Cary Elwes for Chuck. Everyone else I'll have to work on...

Posted by: Mike at September 27, 2004 7:33 PM

Oh, this is supposed to be personality rather than looks? I should try reading the entire thread before commenting...

Posted by: Mike at September 27, 2004 7:36 PM

Mike, you could do it either way. It's just for fun.

I doubt Bart Simpson is available, so I'm going to have to think a bit more for you... An actual human would be better.

For some reason I'm getting a Matthew Broderick vibe. Maggie disagrees. She says David Letterman, and I have to admit that would be interesting. For that matter, Conan O'Brian.

On a related note, I think you would make an interestign talk show host.

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 7:53 PM

My face is crooked and I'm not funny. Yes, you people have me down to a T. :-) Actually, I'm very happy to be laughed *at*. That's fine.

I think Paul Reiser is also a good choice for Brian, but I couldn't say it first, because he had suggested Helen Hunt for me and I felt if I brought it up I would sound either unoriginal or like I was coming on to him...

Of course Bob resembles quite a lot Cameron from Ferris Bueller, but he's nothing like the character! I love the BJ from MASH idea, I think that's perfect. Bob's got that quietly mischievous thing going on.

I like John Cleese for Chuck. I don't see Richard Kind, like you Chuck, I see him as a doofus and you're not. Chuck needs an actor who can pull off an intelligent, verbal wit.

I laugh at the Alan Alda and other gentle folks for James, though. He's got an evil streak that you're all ignoring. There's a little of BJ Hunnicut in him, too.

Patti M. ... you're tough. For you I would look to a secondary character on a sitcom, the plucky sidekick who always speaks her mind. Oh, no! I've got it, but I hope it's not unflattering. The main character on Designing Women, the one who was always telling people off. That's perfect. Patti just speaks her mind and damn the consequences. (That's why I love her.) But maybe there's a better actress to do it. I don't know who Dorothy Parker is, and I don't see Jennifer Jason Leigh at all, because I've only seen her in pathetic roles, like Single White Female and Fast Times.

Julie, there's a comedienne whose delivery is a lot like yours, but I don't know her name. I can see Terri Garr, too.

And Mike, I did say David Letterman, although I like Bart Simpson a lot! I think he's perfect!

This is hard for me, too, because I don't watch TV a lot and my memory stinks! Oh, plus, I'm not funny and my face is crooked. I think I want to be Linda Hamilton. I could just come in at the end of the sitcom, very buff, and blow everyone away because they're funny and I'm not. Terminate this!

Posted by: Maggie at September 27, 2004 8:25 PM

I think that's funny.

Posted by: James at September 27, 2004 9:15 PM

That's OK Maggie you can let me be unoriginal. Hey I steal ALL my best stuff. Now that you brought up designing women I can see Annie Potts for Patti.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at September 28, 2004 8:25 AM

Someone told me I remind her of someone from Mad TV, but she didn't say who. Probably Alex Borstein.

Posted by: Julie at September 28, 2004 8:37 AM

I'll take Annie Potts or Dixie Carter (love Dixie Carter).

Posted by: Patti M. at September 28, 2004 8:55 AM

But not Delta Burke, eh? :)

As to the John Cleese idea, Cleese seems more manic than Chuck to me. I agree on the wit, though.

Posted by: briwei at September 28, 2004 4:36 PM

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