If you have ever laughed at the line "Sorry, Mr. President, but there's a tour going through there," or wondered whatever happened to the guy on Wings that replaced Lowell, then you've been interested in actor Brian Haley. In addition to working with the biggest directors in Hollywood, producing short films for Fox, and being featured on an HBO special that still airs to this day, Brian took a chance when he was offered the role of a certain superheroic neighbor on The Weird Al Show. But all was not super for the man underneath the hood....

ATY: Thank you once again for taking the time to talk with us, sir.

BH: Please, call me "Your Honor."

ATY: How were you approached about doing The Weird Al Show?

BH: I was BEGGED by Al to do it. Al had been a fan of my stand-up for quite a while and had asked me to do a few other projects for him in the past, such as UHF and a video for Jeff Foxworthy he directed, but neither worked out.

ATY: Was the idea of doing a kids show something that appealed to you?

BH: Was I interested in doing a kids show? Decidedly not. But I have always been a fan of Al's work and thought the project looked interesting so I thought I would do him a favor. Besides, Al did beg me.

The Hooded Avenger RAW! ATY: Our cracked research team understands that you were involved in helping design The Hooded Avenger costume. Were you a big superhero fan growing up?

BH: The costume is a very touchy subject with me. I did not design the outfit. I have always loved superheroes and my only condition with Al on doing the show, aside from crappy money, which I had to insist on, was that I have creative control over my wardrobe. Al assured me that would not be a problem. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck in some stupid sissy-looking pickle suit on a kids show. But if the guy looked real gnarly and cool, then it could be really fun and worth my while. I should have walked off the show my first meeting with wardrobe. They did precisely what I feared. And in typical Hollywood fashion were indignant that I had my own ideas. The amazing thing is, and this is truly amazing, I have a friend who is borderline genius when it comes to special make-up and costume/fx design, and as luck would have it he is a huge Weird Al fan (all those geeks in fx are WAY fans; go figure). So he designed this costume/body suit for me that is absolutely incredible. I mean this character looked like the hugest most superhero-like superhero ever. And as if that were not enough, my friend is willing to do the costume practically gratis, supplies only. Like a few hundred bucks tops. I mean this is a gift from God. But amazingly, wardrobe and the producers said no.

I was furious. I don't blame Al, I think he was too busy with the show and writing to get involved, but if you saw what I presented them, and what they chose over that, you would just scratch your head. To add insult to injury the suit they had me in was configured in such a way that it pushed my cheeks together (the mask was way too tight) and the belt was way too small. The costume actually wound up making me look fat! I'm not exactly ripped but I do have a 48-inch chest and a 36-inch waist so I can look huge if properly dressed. In the outfit they put me in I looked more like the Hooded Binge'r. Another side note, wardrobe decided to make the suit out of neoprene, wet suit material. It was so hot, I had to stand next to a fan with the hood down and only put it on immediately before each take. If I wore it for too long, say ten minutes or longer, aside from causing heat exhaustion, it would get so pitted out it would look like I was actually scuba diving in it.

ATY: Sorry. Didn't mean to strike a nerve.

BH: Don't let it happen again. Remember, I was the Hooded Avenger for a reason.

ATY: With the enduring problems that the costume presented, plus the overall bad luck you were having in this situation, how long would you have seen yourself doing a role like that?

BH: As long as it was funny I would be happy. And also as long as they were willing to work with me. As a stand-up it's hard for me to not be allowed to contribute to my character. The most unfortunate thing for the show was its insane time schedule. We knocked out two shows in one day most of the time. There was just not the time to do things as good as they could have been. I think it really hurt the comedy. The scripts were hilarious and not nearly as well done as they could have been if they had a bigger budget, or more time.

Who, disguised as Brian Haley, mild-mannered comedian and actor... ATY: Is it any easier to contribute your ideas to a performance when you're in a film?

BH: To be very honest I have yet to contribute my ideas when working with big name directors. I am always so intimidated and eager to please them that I generally just try my best to give them what they are asking for. I am confident this is a mistake, and I am determined to overcome it. Whenever I improvise or work footloose and fancy-free, I come up with my best stuff, man.

ATY: How soon did you know that The Weird Al Show had been cancelled? Do you recall any talk of preparing for a second season?

BH: No talk of a second season. We did our 13 or so episodes and went on our way. In Hollywood you always expect the worst and hope for the best. It generally pans out that way. When the show starts airing you just follow the ratings and the "buzz" and you can kind of figure it out on your own. Another thing in Hollywood: No news is bad news. No one ever calls to tell you you didn't get the part or you didn't get picked up for series. Cowards.

ATY: In addition to The Weird Al Show, you've appeared on a number of shows over the years, but was there ever talk of developing a series around you?

BH: I had two shows developed for me at Fox. The first one was a show called The Hipsters about two geeks that think they are hip. It was written by two guys, Tom Gammill and Max Pross, who went on to be the head writers for Seinfeld. I pitched a friend of mine to play my brother and Fox passed on him. The friend? A little known stand-up by the name of DREW CAREY! The other project was me in a Peter Sellers-type detective roll, it also did not get picked up. Such is the world of sitcom pilots.

ATY: What would be your dream idea for your own series?

BH: I would love to be able to do a short film show. A half hour of nothing but short films. Comedies of course.

ATY: You've been making short films for a while now. Is this what your production company Sky Blue House is all about?

BH: That and the eventual take-over of show business.

ATY: What do you have in store for the future, outside of your planned conquering of Hollywood?

BH: A return to stand-up. It's been a few years since I've been on stage and I am eager to get back up. I am going to totally reinvent myself. It will be completely different from anything anyone has ever done before. I might even grow a mustache. It's gonna be out there, man.

ATY: Are you still open to the idea of returning to a weekly television series, or would you rather concentrate on film work now?

BH: I would love an opportunity to do the Hooded Avenger again so I could redeem him with a cool costume. Also, I would play him funnier.

ATY: And finally, is there anything you'd like to say to the show's fans out there?

BH: I would like to say something to all the those out there who, like me, feel ignored. The average Joe, the faceless, the little people. Whenever you are down, whenever times are bad, whenever sickness looms like a giant fist or angry bullies that live nearby who listen to hip hop too loud and enjoy mocking peoples' misfortunes try to embarrass you at school and what few friends you have are nowhere to be found because they are pathetic cowards whose only virtue in life is being able to parrot verbatim lines from movies, and as you lay in bed every night trying to fall deep into a land of fantasy and a better world but all you can think about are the stupid things you said and did that day and finally you say out loud "Ahhh, I didn't. Why...Gahhh!", but the voices in your head don't lie, you know that and now what are you but someone who talks to yourself for no apparent reason and, as if overbearing parents, mean people and a dozen phobias weren't bad enough, there's the number seven, yes the number seven. It haunts you wherever you go. It will not go away. Your unexplained fear of it is only complicated by the fact that the more you try not to think of it, the more you are reminded of it. And daily reminders bombard you, songs, phone numbers, lottery advertisements. And good luck telling someone, they will all laugh at you and use it against you like it's a big joke. Then the reoccurring nightmares start up. They used to only happen when you had a fever, but now it's any given night. The party, the girl, the balcony, her tender lips, a huge jock in a seven costume, the public beating, the wet pants, parents laughing, Satin! You wake up short of breath in a cold sweat worrying about the future. You find yourself more and more believing in conspiracies. Maybe the street guy with the mylar wrapped around his body under his clothing IS onto something? To clear you mind you play Free Cell on the computer for hours upon hours, trying to get your average winning percentage up above 90 percent and through it all you can't help but say to yourself, "Dear God, isn't there a place on this earth where I can be at rest and have a little peace?" And you are not sure but you think you heard God laugh... You try not to think about it and decide to get into stand-up comedy which, aside from a date in Jacksonville, Florida, where a redneck hated your act so much he wanted to kill you, literally, everything is starting to look up in your life. The next thing you know you are on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and your career is taking off. Things are looking grand. A pilot at Fox never gets off the ground, but there are other offers and you are thinking, "This is it, I'm going to make it!", then you find yourself on a kids show playing a superhero and the costume they have you in makes you look fat and stupid but you are too nice a guy to put your foot down and fight for what's fair because you are afraid people will say bad things about you and you will never work again, so you put your head down and walk to your dressing room and on the way there you bump into your old stand-up pal Drew Carey, who is doing The Tonight Show across the hall, and you talk to him about all you are up to but then you realize you are in a silly purple superhero suit and all you did is make yourself look desperate, then the show gets cancelled and your friends and family, who are all idiots, try giving you ideas about what you can do to get work and you walk that fine line between respect and assault with a deadly weapon. To all you people... I know what you're going through. Don't give up, there's always the next pilot season.

For more on Brian, be sure to check out
his entry on the Internet Movie Database,
including extensive biographical info!

Want even more Brian?
Here are a few of his films available on home video!

(click the format links if you'd like to buy them from Amazon)

The Man Who Wasn't There
The latest film from the Coen Brothers!

Pearl Harbor
Because a tragedy isn't a real tragedy until a movie is made of it!

Mars Attacks!
Tim Burton's star-studded '50s sci-fi spoof!

Baby's Day Out
With the bald guy from The Matrix and the tough guy from those David Mamet films!

The only 1989 film to gross more than UHF...and be directed by Steven Spielberg...and star John Goodman!

The Weird Al Show ©1997 Dick Clark Productions, Inc.