You’re a standup comedian, voice-over actor, and an actor. Is there anything you don’t do?
I don’t sing! Except “Santoria” and “Wrong Way” by Sublime at Karaoke!
You are and were a voice actor on many hit cartoons, like Family Guy, Spongebob, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Pokemon, as well as the huge animated films Monsters, Inc., A Bug’s Life, and Finding Nemo. What was it like working on projects that have had such
I was at first Rocko- and still perhaps my favorite character that I have done up to this point- I just did a new pilot with Joe Murray- the creator of Rocko- called Camp Lazlo- for Cartoon Network-I played Lazlo- we shall see… It’s pretty incredible to be affiliated with such big projects-surreal at times- my next one is called, ‘Happy Feet” a WB feature about penguins in Antarctica – I play a Cuban sounding penguin named Nestor- it co-stars Elijah Wood and Robin Williams- in about 2005 it’ll be released.
How do you prepare for your voice acting roles? Do you do any research?
For voicing all the Mike Wazowski talking merchandise I watched the Billy Crystal film, “Forget Paris” 3 times in one weekend! Lots of rewinding and repeating until I thought that I had the voice down. Normally there is little or no research- you literally make shit up!
What I find interesting is that you, a Hispanic, have voiced characters that some people have found very offensive and anti-Hispanic, like Family Guy’s Mr. Weed, and of course, the Taco Bell Chihuahua. What are your thoughts on the Taco Bell controversy?
If someone’s self worth hinges on a fictitious character…I can’t help that! Most Latino’s liked the Taco Bell dog – You will never be able to please everyone.
Have you heard anything about a Family Guy movie at all? If so, will you be involved with it?
Didn’t hear anything about a Family Guy movie- I don’t think that I would be involved because my character died..there’s always flash backs!
I’d also like do voice-over work since I tend to do a lot of impressions, what do you recommend I do to get started?
Make a professional “sounding” tape about 1:30 long and send it to prospective agents with a cover letter- start looking for interesting characters in old movies and try to impersonate them- even if the impression stinks you will still come up with an original character voice- You might think of the Chihuahua as a bad Peter Laurie meets Ren!
How was your transition from voice acting to live acting?
Easy- because both came from my standup comedy background- I am taping a Comedy Central half hour special September 24-28 in New York! Tell your friends!!
Were you excited to be joining the cast of Reno 911 because people will actually see you, and not just your voice?
I love being on Reno and the freedom to cut loose- the creators- Tom, Ben and Kerri Rock!!! I have always wanted to cut loose like this and especially show folks that I have some on-camera chops!!
Were you involved in the punk & ska scene during its heyday?
I got into Skankin Pickle in 1992- a bit late but then I went back and got Sublime and Voodoo Glow Skulls- saw the Hippos- Suicide Machines etc. and of course all the Two Tone stuff- I love irreverent music- I have seen Fishbone three times now and Angelo is still one of the best front men I have ever seen!!
Can you remember your first concert you went to? If so, what bands did you see and how was it?
I think it was Van Halen in 1978- then Queen and the Judas Priest- I was totally drug and alcohol free during my post high school, Heavy Metal phase- I loved the first two Iron Maiden albums!!!
How short are Thomas Lennon’s shorts on Reno 911?
I feel like a Urologist in his presence! 1969 Nancy Sinatra short!!
Has there been any backlash from police since you’re portraying them “correctly?”
I don’t think so- Most of the real cops at the Carson station dig the show!!
Is there anyone you based Deputy Garcia on?
An amalgam of all the uptight, insecure bastards in the world!
What’s harder to do: Writing a funny joke or performing one?
Performing one- because it’s dependent on an audience as well!
What was the worst incident you had with the police?
Speed trap on highway 99- stopped giving to the Police Children’s Athletic fund after that!!
Do you have a website or anything to plug?
WATCH RENO 911 AND WATCH MY STAND-UP SPECIAL WHEN IT AIRS! Fairly Odd Parents on Nickelodeon (Mr. Crocker) Mucha Lucha kids WB- (Rikochet) and a cool, California Cheese commercial coming soon with me as a Braveheart type sheep! Keep Skankin! Thanks, Carlos!
Check out Reno 911, Wedsnesdays at 10:30pm on Comedy Central. Also check out Ben Garant’s interview here.