Jim Piddock is an actor, writer, and producer, who began his career on the theater stage in England and the United States. From there, he moved on the small screen, appearing in such TV shows as The Tracey Ullman Show, Coach, Max Headroom, The Twilight Zone, Murder She Wrote, Mad About You, Angel, ER, Friends, Crossing Jordan, The Drew Carey Show, Lost, Monk, Without A Trace, Dollhouse, Party Down, Law And Order: LA, Castle, Two And A Half Men, Children’s Hospital, Mom, The Royals, and The Grinder. You have also seen him on the big screen in major feature films such as Lethal Weapon 2, Independence Day, Austin Powers 3, Get Him To The Greek, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.
His memoir Caught With My Pants Down and other tales from a life in Hollywood is available March 23, 2022.
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All right welcome to a another episode of comedy roundtable. You know, Adam, our guest tonight is flat out legit. Okay. Oh, I'm supposed to say I'm sorry. This is comedy roundtable. Jamie Jamie and Adam. That's right. There we go. Usually there's a big long extended Haig now with me. Okay, so our guest is an award winning actor, writer and producer. He's been praised as an impeccable chameleon character actor who's barely recognizable from role to role. You have seen him in major blockbuster movies such as Lethal Weapon Independence Day and Best in Show and on the small screen and er friends, The Drew Carey Show, Monk law and order to NF man last and it goes on and on. Oh, awesome. And if his endless list of movie and TV credits wasn't enough, our guest is also an accomplished stage actor with many Broadway shows under his belt, his new book, caught with my pants down and other tales from a life in Hollywood will be released on March 23 2022. Please welcome Jim Pinnock. Hi, Jim. Hi. Well, thank you very much. It's been lovely. Another time about, it's it's very impressive. That's a quite a long list of that intro is no time left for the show. So Jim, let's start with the book. So first of all, imagine you're doing a series of interviews about the book, and how often are you asked whether or not you're wearing pants? Oh, this is yeah. And the answer is no, no, good. Good. Yeah. I mean, it's kind of an obvious answer. It's the new zoom. It's what I call business casual these days. Absolutely. Zoom, casual, zoom, casual, use usually some kind of button up shirt as well as sweat pants at the most download. Yeah, it's it's the desktop commander. That's it. So tell us about the book. It's brilliant. Thank you very much. It's a fun read. I think they've certainly had a lot of wonderful celebrity endorsements. I think it's a it was always intended to be a romp through an irreverent romp through my four decades in show business, but really as much about the observed as the observer, because nobody really cares about the Jim paddock story. I don't even care about the Jim paddock story, as such, but I think some of the stories of fun. So have you kept a notebook all through the years as something happened? You thought, okay, someday I'm gonna write a book. And that needs to be chapter seven. No, not really. No, I've written down things, amusing stuff. But it all came back. You know, the more. That's the thing about when you I do tell it in a linear way, basically, through through my life and career, and then you just go Yeah, and then that was and then I remember that. And so the actual Watts and where is unimportant, it's, it's the story behind it. And the people. And generally, I'm quite nice to people, I'm honest to a fault. And I can be because I'm in my mid 60s, if I was in my mid 20s, I wouldn't be I would be saying I can't say this because I have no career. But in fact, I would have had nothing to say in my mid 20s. So the point is really that I, I'm generally quite nice to about people. There's a few people that confused me and I say that and I don't leave it like they're terrible people or whatever. They just behaved in this way. And now there's three people are absolutely eviscerate and I enjoyed eviscerating them, I gutted them scorched earth territory, and two of them are alive and very well known and one is dead, so they can't sue me. And with those, those three people did they know based on your relationship, if they picked up your book that they were probably going to get eviscerated. Well, one of them is dead. Yeah, one of them is dead. So they would have trouble picking up the book they might do. They're not gonna be surprised. They might not be surprised. I think one of them will be extremely surprised. Okay. And the other would not. Oh, so someone is so unskillful aware. They're gonna actually be surprised that someone Yeah, well, it was sort of a fleeting kind of encounter. But it was so appalling that I made that work. And it's not entirely surprising when you find out who it is. And the other one is just someone truly horrendous I wrote it's a whole chapter basically, the premise is here are 10 a list actors that I've worked with nine I really loved and one was a four asterisk exploitive? Are you looking forward to the reaction from the the two living people that you eviscerated? I don't care. I mean, I've no idea whether that ever read it or whether they'll be told about it. Okay, and so the books coming out on March 23, any other projects that you're working on? I got a film that's supposed to start shooting in England in the next two, three months. It's something I wrote with Jeremy Irons is going to star in and I am supposed to play a cameo in it, and I'm also producing it. It's essentially a drama, nothing funny about it at all. It's about a racehorse, very famous racehorse and it's kind of an English Seabiscuit story. Excellent. So we have three categories for you this evening to choose from. Yeah, and they are when Animals Attack lethal weapons. And in the beginning there was so for our first segment, which of those three would you like to choose? And I have to answer questions about you do severe penalties for incorrect answers. When animals attack I think sounds like the most silly. Alright, so a practice question to just get you oriented and ready. Would you like us to go clockwise or counterclockwise? Well, you're in, you're all in line. He figured this out. This is the very first time of all of the episodes we've done. No one has noted that we are in align. Yeah, yeah. So if you want me to go from left to right, yeah, if not like to left. I don't give a fuck. I think that's counterclockwise. Yeah, I think it was maybe. So yeah, we'll start in the middle with all right, when animals attack so of the handlers, you know, animal handlers of lions, tigers, snakes, alligators, what is the most idiotic handler? Like which animals should we just not handle? And it's just idiotic that people are doing this. Well, I wouldn't handle that's ridiculous to handle ants. I mean, why would you handle an ant? You don't need a wrangler grants. The ant handling industry is way over done. Yes. Yeah. I'm speaking from experience. I did a commercial once with a bunch of penguins. And I had to kind of do the scene with them all walking around me. And I would say it's not that they don't need them. But I would not recommend that the job to any living person because those bastards smell disgusting. They are cute as hell. You want to pick them up and cuddle them and do all sorts of things with them. But they smell appalling. That's why they don't let you close to them at the zoo. That's why they wear the tuxedos so that you just have that you gloss over it, right? Oh, they're classy. They must not smell right. On penguin odor isn't a subject that comes up at dinner parties were often I mean, I'll be honest, yeah, I mean, the parties I go to anyway, I'm keeping it as like a personal conversational grenade. When it's going terribly poorly, I'm just gonna say I bet you didn't know how awful penguins smell. Well, it's quite a good pickup line. Really, you know, you just go into a bar and you say, you see someone you fancy and you say, did you know that penguins smell like and then you can use the comparison or whatever? Yes. I don't want to give away any secrets from the book. But is one of the penguins one of the two that you eviscerate No, no the penguins to work with. And I never saw them again. Okay. Alright, so what seemingly innocent creature frightens you to the point that if you were attacked by merely one you would quickly wave the white flag? I think it's is it koala bears? Is it koalas? No, I think was a quite passive. There is see other cute kind of panda. Panda. Panda, apparently is a vicious little fucker. Oh, I heard the story about someone at the zoo. They got a private tour the zoo. And the zookeeper came up and said a donor no secret about animals. Yeah, right. So well. You know, you think the tiger might be something that we'd be scared of as zookeepers. But now Now the Tigers All right, compared to pandas. They're horrible little fuckers. And this is apparently coming from the horse's mouth, not the horse's mouth. That would be really strange. Actually, zookeeper that would be a really odd Zoo. You gotta wonder if maybe the zookeeper was just jealous, right? He's like, I've been running this zoo. This stupid panda gets all the attention. They get all the press. I'm just gonna bad no pandas. Now. I think it was I think it was slim. Yeah. Is it also possible that there was just a real ass of a panda at that makers? Oh, yeah. I can't imagine I think no, no pandas or pandas have a notorious sleek, cantankerous reputation. So right. You're backing me up on? I didn't know it's, it is true. Okay. My turn. Okay. So when animals attack is the I'm going to go a little bit in the opposite direction. Is there an animal for which you are a whisperer? I actually animals are attracted to me. And I don't know why they always come straight for me. And not not always. They're not always welcome. About four years ago, we had these two hummingbirds right by our front door that made a nest while we were away, and we came back. And there were these two tiny, I mean, hummingbirds are small. Anyway, these babies were sort of being raised there by their mom, and basic passed by them every day, you know, look at them and see how they're growing in one day, and the mother was really upset because one of them had fallen out. And so I didn't know what to do. And I kind of I did the Google thing and was that because I heard you can't pick up birds because once you've done that, their mother rejects them if they've had human touch, and I looked it up and said that's not true. Hummingbirds so I picked the hummingbird up put it back in its nest and mother went Furious was passing me and just get coming after me. Yeah. Anyway, I would talk to them every day these two birds and then they finally left the nest and one of them I caught I'd named them after famous British comedians more common wise, and one of them was more than one was wise and the One that I think I picked up was called unwelcome. And so they got used to my voice. And after they they left the nest. I just tried, I called out the name moron. And I swear to God, this bird came from tree a long way away, come straight down to where it used to be in the nest and started buzzing around me. Come on, and then it settled. No, I'd settled on a little vine and chatter to it and chatter back and then it would head off. And I thought this is too weird. And every time I went outside, I would call and it would come. Oh my god. Wow. That's amazing. That is amazing. Would the sound then of your voice, I guess would be your call to that bird. Yeah, right. I had to be the melody of your voice, whatever that is. Yeah, that's fast. That's like a mother, you know, but it makes sense that as the as a youth that he heard this sound a lot, right as the baby bird heard that sound a lot growing up, because you're always calling him by it. That yes, yeah. Then say okay, that's something to return to. Alright, that's gonna wrap it up for the first segment of comedy round table with our guest, Jim Pedic. We'll be back momentarily. So I have heard that people who have gone to Antarctica and work directly with penguins do complain about the horrendous smell, because it's bad enough when you're shooting a commercial with a few penguins around you. But apparently, when you're in a place like Antarctica, and there are hundreds if not, 1000s of penguins around it is almost impossible to bear the smell. Okay, so that's where you're wrong. And here's why. Boom, drop in knowledge. Nothing smells in the cold. Nothing smells in the cold. There is no odor in space. It's so cold. Nothing smells in space. And the same thing is true in Antarctica. And by the way, what a more obnoxious, humble brag than to be like So listen, when I was in Antarctica, right? I was amazing. pangolins rukh you don't think it's your astronaut helmet and space that's preventing you from smelling though you probably smell that horrible breeze dried everything bagel that you had before you went out on a spacewalk of course, things snow in the cold. When was the last time you smelled a bad odor in the cold. So if you walk out on any cold day, you can smell somebody fire go. That's a good odor. Oh, you can smell things you just can't smell. That's I'm saying bad things don't smell in the kind of things don't like the cold they say. Okay, so listen, if you could smell in the cold, wouldn't they find dead bodies? This is an interesting point. That's probably why they can't find dead bodies, right? Because they don't smell and they don't smell. So this is why penguins are always in cold environments. Because they know they smell so bad. They have to just get there ourselves in a way where they're where they could have their dinner parties in peace. This evolution baby. Yeah, the penguins had to go where it was called the predator the smell of predators. As soon as they figure out how that to either fly or stop swimming with sharks are they'll take over the planet. And this is why penguins are ultimately concerned about climate change. Oh, yeah. It won't be because of they lost their habitat. It's because people will know the gig is up. Could you imagine penguin morning breath? Oh, think while worst morning breath can't be great. Oh, that's also bad. Right. But they're also down there. Because these days, well, this breath. I can't even brush this to Jayanti. How much dried Herring is on these tusks. You think it's animals migrate to colder areas? The animals are like yeah, but yeah, keep going. Keep going. You're gonna go all the way to the tip. All right, welcome back to comedy roundtable with our guest, Jim paddock. Jim, we've got two categories left lethal weapons. And in the beginning there was oh, we have to do all three. Yes. I thought I got a choice. Well, there is an order. Yeah. Oh, God. I thought I'd get three new ones. Yeah, no, I was so excited by that. But now I've lost the will to live now. Let's go with lethal weapons. Even my first ever movie was lethal weapon to if you were attempting to kill someone and you had to get away with it. What's the right way to do that? Do you want a method of killing? So if you would, well, if you got a very very pointy kind of mold and filled it with water. Okay, and so you made this ice essentially an ice moon brilliant, pointy thing that was sharp enough to stab someone with then you'd stab them with that and then it would melt so there'll be no evidence that is brilliant. It's just a little pool of water there are that Chris themselves when they die and there's no possibility of ever finding a murder weapon. I don't think you can get fingerprints off of water. No, that's brilliant. No, I mean your DNA could be in the water but you know let's let's worry about that when we get to it and we let the that my defending lawyer. I wonder whether or not more icicle murders or maybe there are and we're just not catching? Well, now there's gonna be a whole spate of them. Yeah. You'll be inundated. You're a supporter of Crystal Palace. Is that Is that right? I am. fanatic. Yes. Okay, so Chelsea loaned Conor Gallagher to Crystal Palace and he has proven to be quite the lethal weapon. Another corner of the McGregor Variety announced his intention to purchase Chelsea which was put up for sale. How do you feel about Conor McGregor potentially being an owner in the Premier League? I hadn't heard that no cut, just forgive my ignorance is Conor McGregor a boxer? Yeah, he is a MMA Yeah, he's a UFC fighter, or UFC fighter. Same sort of thing. Just idiots, idiots smashing each other around. Okay. I don't I don't care. I'd much rather that than a than a Russian oligarch, or, you know, someone who's made money from oil, blood money. I mean, uh, yeah, I much prefer that. It's presumably it's a consortium of people. So a lot of money. Chelsea's very, very, very expensive club to buy. Alright, so you have had an extraordinary collection of actors that you've worked with over the course of your career? Yes. And there is the phrase kill them with kindness when in a dispute with somebody, among your many acting partners over the years, with whom did you have to deploy such a tactic? kill them with kindness, because they were being so difficult, right, just in a circumstance where you had conflict of some kind. And that was maybe your strategy to try to resolve whatever the conflict was, I that wouldn't be my strategy. By the way. One person in the book that I talked about who was beyond difficult, it wasn't killing with kindness. It was killing them by running away and hiding from them. I'm a coward born count. So God, I'm trying to think who who has been really difficult. And I've been really nice to I mean, people like Fred Willard was so lovely, that you just you never had a moment where it wasn't a delight to be with him. I would say, and this is in the book a little bit. I think Craig T. Nelson. I did a couple of episodes early in my career on a show called coach. And I don't know if people know who he is. Yeah. I don't know a lot about him. And he seems like a very good actor. And I did two episodes. And he was just very strange. You sort of felt he was quite nice to me. But he was always at loggerheads with the producers and director, writer. And ever, it felt like everyone was walking on eggshells. So I was always very nice because unkind because I thought this could get ugly if I wasn't right. And the second episode I did was weird, because he and his co star was Jerry Van Dyck, Dick Randox. Brother, right. And, and I had all my scenes with them. And they didn't need and I done the show already. So the writers and producers were really friendly, love me at the supporting cast couldn't be nicer. And these two guys, I would, I spent the entire week with them rehearsing up till taping down Friday. And neither of them said a single word to me and the entire week. And that's really hard to do. Is it possible to do almost? Well, we were in the green room for hours, we were rehearsing for hours. So they talked to me in the scene, obviously, but they didn't talk to me once. And I thought this is really odd. When you're a few days into that work with no communication, do you then just try to see how far you can stretch it out. Didn't have to make any effort at all. I just got to the end of the weekend went oh my god, they have neither one said a single word was amazing. It was quite, that's quite an achievement. It's like the other day I went for a walk. And the guy had never seen before comes up and he's walking beside me in the hills here in Hollywood. He is big guy about my age, baseball cap and whatever. And shorts and T shirt like me. And I gave him a big smile said hey, how are you and how high and he just looked straight at me. And then looked away. Oh, and continued walking. And I thought that's really hard to do. That's just the human reaction to almost anybody and try it sometime. It's kind of fun going walking down the street, or New York, it might be different. And you sort of smile at people and nod and they'll almost always smile back. Almost always. Even if you say hello to a stranger go high. And they kind of think oh, he must know me and they go Hi, whatever. Right but to actually just look someone straight in the eye. I laughed because that sort of stuff makes me laugh. It's so bizarre. It is so bizarre that you that you that you'd make because that is the more conscious it's almost the unconscious reaction is to nod your head or give a smile or something. Right. I mean, look at a baby's you smiled at a baby and nine times out of 10. When they get to a certain age, they'll smile back. Yeah, he took the effort of acknowledging your greeting, but not acknowledging it in any kind of normal way. I don't want to say something to somebody, I don't make direct eye contact with them. Right? I just kind of say Oh, it didn't hear or just keep walking and or you know even even a past you go to hell, but you know to stop and let's look at you, let's say exactly if you didn't hear these wearing earphones it's like Yeah, maybe. Yeah. Especially sociopathic to me. Yeah. Yeah. Alright with that we will wrap up segment to have comedy roundtable we will be back with Jim Pittock in just a moment Alright, so here we are in the midst of let Adam How did you celebrate Mardi Gras this year? I thought Mardi Gras came after Lent. And so completely missed it. So are you telling me like fat Tuesdays already happened? So someone sold you a condo, they rented you a condo and a great? Great discount right after Lent? What am I gonna do with? So were you really excited when you saw that it was easy to get a dining reservation in New Orleans? I thought I was I thought it was crushing buying tickets at the movie theater. Oh my god. Perfect. So let's go back to the guest. We are back with comedy roundtable. Alright, so now you have the choice to choose between the following categories. In the beginning there was well there's no choice. I've chosen to deed DVR correct. There is no choice. And in fact, there's no choice with who's going to start with the questioning. It's going to be me. And my question for you is have you ever looked at a food or a fruit and said who was the first person to eat this? And what were they thinking? Yeah, pineapple. I mean, not an obvious choice. That's like going walking past a cactus and saying I'm going to put that in my mouth. You know, it's it's No, I'm talking about Lethal Weapon. You use it as a weapon more than a food substance. Exactly. Can you imagine a surprise though, for the guy who tried that first pineapple? Yeah, absolutely. God the certain food. So you look at and you go, right. Why would anyone eat that? Yeah, yeah, oysters, I think would be in it. wasted. Exactly what I mean, seriously, I can't stand the smell of truffles. I have a very strong sense of smell. And in a restaurant where there is truffle, this and truffle, that. It's fucking disgusting. Why would you eat a piece of mold under the ground? Right? That's essentially what it is. It's a fungus under the ground. Now, you'll say, Well, Jim, you eat mushrooms. And that's true. And I have no answer to that. I want to see a short sketch of a penguin delivering truffles as the waiter in a restaurant to Jim, we would be all over that. And vinegar. Vinegar is the other one. Why would you eat vinegar? It smells like something as rotted is fasting. Then again, my hypocrisy comes through because I like cheese, which also can smell like something's rotting. So none of this makes any sense. I'm just telling you my predilection. So you've had a long uncelebrated career, but you actually got your start on the theater stage in plays, such as the George Scott directed play present laughter which I believe featured the Broadway debut of Nathan Lane. Yep, who is the funniest stage actor with which you have had the chance to work? Well, I can tell you the funniest person I've ever worked with. And it was on stage. So it is does qualify. And he's the funniest person in real life. And that's Billy Conway. Because that's an easy one. Billy Connolly is the funniest man I've ever met in my life. And I've met a lot of very funny people. He is it dinner party, he starts a story and you go, please keep this going for the next two hours and nobody else ever real Shut the hell up. Because he is intrinsically funny. He could just tell you about changing a light bulb and he'd make it funny. He could do anything. And and he's a delight of the show I was in was cool. What about Dick? And how about this for cast? It was Russell Brand, belly Connolly. Tim Curry, Eric Idle Eddie is our Jane leaves myself, Tracy Ullman, and Sophie Winkleman. And actually, in the first version we did was Emily Mortimer. Those are all very, very talented, very, very funny people. And Billy stole the damn show with his performance. So as an actor, he can also be really funny but but he is, is without question, the funniest person I've ever come across. And I haven't literally come across him. He's not that fun. Alright, in the beginning, right. That's the framing of this question. What was the first thing that you remember where you fell? I have a need to be creative. When I knew that I was so rubbish at football. I couldn't be a professional footballer. That was a moment where I think I was probably 14 or 15. And I went by there's a reality check here. I'm good enough to be captain of my school and it's a small school. And I sort of suddenly saw the world is bigger than than I thought it was. So that was the first moment. The second was, I was bored at school. So I did a school play. And I remember standing in the wings. I was 15 my first day entrance in any play. I remember feeling simultaneously, absolutely terrified and high as a kite on adrenaline. And I remember thinking, I'm going to do this for the rest of my life. I think that's an incredibly gifted life where you have two careers that you basically, you know, have explored one being professional footballer that didn't work out. I'm going to try act acting is it? Actually, it turns out your second swing was the home run. Yeah. And then my dad's insistent that I go to university to have a plan B, and I did English university probably gave me my plan B of being a writer. So, so thanks to him for that. So So let me ask then the opposite end of that, not in the beginning. But in the end, in the end, what is the last thing that you want to be doing? Is it Do you want to be producing? Is it Do you want to be writing? Is it Do you want to be acting? What's the what's the one that you if everything goes? Well, the one that you'll hold on to the last is which? Well, that's again, an easy one people say, Would you prefer acting or writing and if someone had held a gun to my head, I would say, acting for the simple reason that was my first love. It's infinitely easier is I show up now for acting. I mean, stageworks Very different. That was hard work. And that was an enormous amount of energy. But But But putting TV and film it's, it's, it's a vacation for me, because writing is really quite difficult. It's and that's work. And so but again, I got bored acting, just acting. That's why I went to writing. So yeah, without a question. I would if someone said you got to give it all up except one of them. It would be everything else. Go on. I just want to act. Oh, Jim, thank you for joining us on comedy roundtable. Where would people find you if they're looking for you online? They would find me at w w w gym, calm. The book is called caught with my pants down and other tales from a life in Hollywood. So that's where you'd find me. And then you'll find me probably whenever you turn your TV on and see reruns or something or even something new coming up? Well, it's been a great pleasure. And this has been a real treat, because I've certainly enjoyed watching on screen for many, many years, and I admire what you do. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. All right. Thanks, Jim. Thank you. For Jamie, Jamie and Adam. This has been another episode of the comedy round table. You know where to find us.