Discussions of racial representation and onscreen depiction of the police both hit home for Carlos Alazraqui. Born to Argentinian parents, Carlos has spent the most time onscreen as Deputy James Garcia on Reno 911!, which aired from 2003 to 2009 on Comedy Central, spawned a movie in 2007 and has returned to mobile phones courtesy of Quibi in 2020. You may recognize his voice from a multitude of animated toons over the past three decades, starting with Rocko’s Modern Life on Nickelodeon and including Family Guy, The Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Camp Lazio and many many more. He won the San Francisco Comedy Competition in 1993, defeating fellow finalists Marc Maron and Patton Oswalt, and gained even more notoriety in the 1990s for voicing the chihuahua in Taco Bell’s radio and TV commercials. We talk about all of that, plus how he continues working during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how he navigates debates about race and culture. So let’s get to it!
Jamie Kennedy still may be best known for playing Randy Meeks in the big-screen Scream franchise, but Kennedy has enjoyed a wild and varied acting career since he broke out of background work in the late 1980s. His credits include Romeo + Juliet, Bowfinger, Enemy of the State, As Good As It Gets, Three Kings, and his own vehicle, Malibu’s Most Wanted. On the small screen, he recurred on both the drama Ghost Whisperer and the animated toon, The Cleveland Show, but created and starred in his own sketch/reality show for the WB, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Kennedy celebrated turning 50 in May by releasing his newest stand-up special, “Stoopid Smart,” via Tubi. You also can see him this summer on Pluto TV hosting the latest season of Comedy Dynamics’ stand-up showcase series, Coming To The Stage. I spoke with Kennedy in June, so some circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests may have changed since then, but the facts of Kennedy’s career remain the same. So let’s get to it!