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David Herman: The Mr. Skin Interview

Wed, May 16, 2007 @ 12:00am by Mr. Skin (Comment!)

David Herman: The MrSkin.com Interview
Tony Millionaire is a cartoonist of godlike talent. With a quill in hand, he can render the most beautiful and grotesque pen-and-ink images, usually within the same panel of his syndicated cartoon strip Maakies, which details the self-destructive high-seas derring-do of alcoholic avian Drinky Crow.

At last, Maakies is coming to a small screen near you on Sunday May 13, 2007 via Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The Drinky Crow Show, produced by Malcolm in the Middle scribe Eric Kaplan, is proof that Millionaire's talents are not restricted to the drawing board.

With the gravitational strength of a black hole, Millionaire has reigned in some of the industry's greatest voice talents, including funnyman David Herman, a regular on King of the Hill and most recognizable as cube nerd Michael Bolton in the hilarious cult hit Office Space (1999).

Herman took some time to speak with Mr. Skin about the kingpin of comics, as well as how crazy things got on the set of Mad TV, his filthy obsession with testicles, and why he's been laughing at Harvey Keitel for years.


How'd you meet Tony Millionaire; are you a raging alcoholic?

I'll have you know, Tony Millionaire loves me for my mind, not for my raging body, able to drink any living Eskimo under the table. We met under a table somewhere up north.

Have you ever gotten drunk with a tipsy crow or other inebriated animal?

Well, Central Park Petting Zoo obviously, but who hasn't been there/done that, am I right?

What characters do you play on The Drinky Crow Show?

Uncle Gabby, the Captain, and a couple of other incendiary Asian stereotypes.

Where do you find motivation to flesh out the suicidal scribbles of Millionaire's work?

Say what you will, but I had an immediate adhesion to Maakies. Whether you get Tony or not, you've got to admit his stuff stacks up with the best that have ever been. He could have been in the Sunday morning paper with Winsor McCay or on the flip side of an E.H. Shepard illustration. I'm honored to have anything to do with the Maakies history.

You've also done voice work on King of the Hill. Are you more a Peggy or Luanne man?

I've fucked both cartoons, and both left me feeling regret and self-loathing, as well as a lot of cleaning up to do.

King of the Hill creator Mike Judge cast you as Michael Bolton in Office Space. What was it about that character that's made him an icon to so many people?

I think it was David Herman's brilliant portrayal. There are very few actors that can sculpt such a subtle, seemingly effortless performance and speak about themselves in the third person.

Are you a fan of Michael Bolton's music or hairstyle?

I believe both Michael Boltons have suffered enough.

You continue to work with Judge, most recently in Idiocracy, where you play the Secretary of State. Do you take dictation?

I would, but don't tell anybody that. I'd walk on hot coals for the guy with a flag up my ass. I've had the enormous privilege of being part of the Mike Judge comedy gold team since King of the Hill started up. Mike is smart, funny, his observations are dead on, his artwork rocks, he's a musical wizard, and a smashing human being. He works with me because I refuse to kiss his ass.

Most of your costars on Mad TV haven't gotten naked onscreen, but Debra Wilson (Picture: 1) did so in Skin Deep. Did you see it, and did you like what you saw?

Do you think I need a Blockbuster card to see Debra Wilson naked?! Those first two seasons of Mad TV everybody was fucking everybody every day--especially the guys. Artie Lange and I couldn't get through a sketch without at least finger fucking. Think about that next time you're home sick watching Comedy Central in the middle of the day.

Why aren't you happy with your tenure on that sketch-comedy show?

I had some good times on Mad and look back fondly. I just couldn't keep my boner up. I'm just a man.

Do you recall the first nude scene you saw in a mainstream movie, what was it, where was it, what happened to you--did it change your life?

My mom took me to see Harry and Tonto when I was seven years old. Some lady [Melanie Mayron (Picture: 1)] took her shirt off for a split second, and I remember trying not to flinch.

After that I spent the '70s telling the guy at the corner bodega that the National Lampoon magazine was for my dad. For those not in the know, National Lampoon was a brilliant satirical magazine that also had . . . uh . . . titties.

Is there a particular favorite nude scene that you have cherished over the years?

Remember in The Piano when Harvey Keitel steps out in the buff? At the movie theater where I saw it an old man started snoring during that scene. That shit is still making me laugh fifteen years later.

Which actresses would you first look up on Mr. Skin and why?

Well, first I'd check to see if my varicose balls were anywhere. Then I'd look up if you had any costumers of celebs, or hairdressers, or make-up ladies. No offense or nothing. Not to piss on your hot topic. That's just what floats my boat.

Before you go, please, educate us: what is always funny?

The kid who pulls his testicle from out of his gym shorts for the yearbook photo. Oh, and The Drinky Crow Show on Cartoon Network, Futurama returning this year to Comedy Central, and T.J. Chipyunk at DavidFreddy.com.

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