Thursday, July 07, 2011
Richard Kline grew up New York City, attended Queens College and has a Masters in Theatre from Northwestern University. He is known to millions of TV watchers as 'Larry' on the classic sitcom Three's Company. He recently toured the country as The Wizard of Oz in the National Company of Wicked. Previous to that he appeared on Broadway in David Mamet's November directed by Joe Mantello. He is a veteran of stage. After serving as a lieutenant in Vietnam, Richard made his professional debut at the prestigious Lincoln Center Repertory Company in 1971. His many television credits include Gilmore Girls, Judging Amy, That '70s Show, NYPD Blue, Dream On, L.A. Law, Mary Tyler Moore, and Maude.
As a director, Richard won the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for his direction of Noel Coward's Present Laughter. He has also directed Bruce Davison, Burt Reynolds and Billy Connolly in their television series. Currently Richard, his wife Beverley and their two cats, live in West Orange, NJ. His daughter Colby is an actress/singer living in Los Angeles.
"Seven Questions with Richard Kline"
SitcomsOnline: It is an honor interviewing you! Three's Company is my favorite TV series of all-time, so this is extra special to me! TV audiences have been watching you on TV since the '70s and I think just about everyone who watches TV, film or theater have seen you in something. But it is Three's Company of course that has been etched into everyone's brain when they think of Richard Kline. What was it about the character of Larry Dallas that people just love and how did the character become a regular on the show in late season two after that memorable guest appearance in season one (on the episode "No Children, No Pets")?
Richard Kline: In cast introductions at our live tapings, Larry was introduced as the "used car salesman with a heart of gold." There's an oxymoron if there ever was one except that it was true. Larry was never overtly mean or criminally conniving, he just had a fixation on women and money which pretty much explains the driving force behind most heterosexual males in the '70s and '80s...OK in the history of the world. I think there was some glee in how Larry got Jack in or out of trouble, but bottom line I think you knew he would do anything for Jack, the girls and Mr. Furley if they asked.
SitcomsOnline: Your career in television is very impressive. Besides Three's Company, you were a series regular on sitcoms like It's a Living, Inside Schwartz, His & Hers, and you have also made many guest appearances on many TV sitcoms and dramas over the years like The Ropers, Three's a Crowd, Maude, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Silver Spoons, One Day at a Time, Love Boat, Family Matters, Step by Step, Hunter, Matlock, Columbo, That '70s Show, Sabrina and many many more. I have seen many of these and you are always spot on! What were your favorite ones and some memorable experiences from these guest appearances?
Richard Kline: I had great in-house training watching Bea Arthur and the rest of the Maude cast, which I did three times. My most memorable guest role was in the show St. Elsewhere...highly dramatic with the background being I was a Vietnam vet, which of course, I was in real life.
SitcomsOnline: What people may not know about you is that you also direct sitcoms. You've directed sitcoms like Harry and the Hendersons, Evening Shade and more (I also remember you were supposed to direct the pilot of John Ritter's 1992-95 series Hearts Afire when it was called Capitol Hill). What is it about directing that is appealing to you? It seems many sitcom actors like to direct, as we saw with Scott Baio, Jim Belushi, Larry Joe Campbell, among others. You also teach in your acting workshop, so I think it is great that you are sharing your skills and wisdom with aspiring actors!
Richard Kline: Directing is appealing because you are in control and responsible for more than yourself (as an actor). Your creativity expands beyond that and with professional actors to direct you collaborate with them on finding the ultimate piece of business or line readings that bring the comedy home. I love working with non-pros as well to see the progress they make class after class (in my acting workshop).
SitcomsOnline: I have to mention game shows as well. You were a fixture on game shows in the '80s doing just about every game show like Password, $100,000 Pyramid, and Hollywood Squares. What drew you to these and is there one game show you always wanted to do? You are very smart so I can see why you wanted to showcase your knowledge and skills!
Richard Kline: I was a contestant on the then $10,000 Pyramid in 1974 when it filmed in New York. It was always my wish to appear on it once I became a "celebrity" and I did the show seven or eight times. I would REALLY like to do Jeopardy! but I'm afraid I would take all their money!
SitcomsOnline: It is unlikely a Three's Company reunion would ever take place on TV now since John Ritter is no longer with us and of course Suzanne still not speaking with Joyce. But would you do a retrospective with Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes and Jenilee Harrison reuniting and talking about the series and John Ritter as we near the 35th anniversary of the series next spring? Or perhaps make a cameo in a Three's Company feature film which is supposedly in the works starring James Franco, after his "concept art" short film at Sundance this year (which you screened)? You could certainly still play Larry, I think! But who would be your second choice?
Richard Kline: I would work with James Franco anytime. I think without John, the Ropers, Don Knotts, and a no show Suzanne, any kind of reunion would be ill-advised.
SitcomsOnline: What do you think of the current sitcoms and what are your favorites? Do they compare to the sitcoms like Three's Company and others from that era? It seems more of the comedies these days are going to single-camera, instead of the traditional studio audience multi-camera sitcoms. As a sitcom teacher and veteran of comedy, what do you think?
Richard Kline: Like most, if not all of the dramatic shows in recent years, single camera shows just look better--the digital technology, the lighting and the expertise of the directors. Four camera, video-taped shows of the '70s and '80s had a certain "look" that now can only be described as "nostalgic." My favorite current sitcoms are Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, early episodes of 30 Rock, and How I Met Your Mother.
SitcomsOnline: What is next for Richard Kline? We love your cameos in the Adam Sandler films and can't wait for the next one in Jack & Jill this fall! I know you were in a Fox drama pilot this past development season, you also do a lot theater (like Wicked, City of Angels and November), and teach in your sitcom acting workshop, but any chance of a return to sitcoms as a regular or perhaps doing Dancing with the Stars? Larry Dallas had moves, so I'm sure you would be great at it! You could put on the Larry Dallas fro and yell "Jack-o" while doing a cha-cha-cha!
Richard Kline: *Interview drops pretense and gets carried away (LOL).* Inquiries are in to Dancing with the Stars. I am doing a musical this fall (October) directed by David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) and starring Tyne Daly!
Our thanks to Richard Kline. We are very grateful he gave some of his time just for us! We wish him continued success in his top-notch career. For more information on Richard Kline, continue to stay with us for info and don't forget to view his official website. And if you're interested in getting into the acting business, you will want to take Richard Kline's Acting Workshop. You'll learn a lot from a veteran of comedy! Anyway, stay tuned right here on the blog for continued news and updates for Richard and everything Three's Company!
We will soon have a special Seven Questions interview with Richard's Three's Company co-star Joyce DeWitt (Janet)! I will be seeing Joyce's off-Broadway play on Saturday and we will chat then. And don't forget to enter our contest to win two free tickets to see this play! One of you lucky readers out there will get to meet Joyce DeWitt (Janet from Three's Company) very soon! Joyce is now starring in the off-Broadway play Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage and one lucky fan will win two tickets to go and see the play and meet Joyce after the show! So if you're in the NY-NJ-CT area and can easily get to New York City, please enter our contest on Facebook and let us know why you want to come and see the play and tell us one thing you love about Joyce DeWitt! Entries end Friday, July 22 at 11:59pm ET! So enter today!
Moving on to some news, NBC has announced its Fall 2011 premiere dates, as they were the only ones who haven't yet. The premiere begin Tuesday, September 13 with new episodes of Parenthood at 10:00pm -- following the final performance episode of America's Got Talent. On Wednesday, September 14, the new comedies Up All Night and Free Agents will debut following the season finale of America's Got Talent at a special time in the 10:00pm hour. Both series will then premiere in their regular time periods with their second original episodes on Wednesday, September 21 in the 8:00pm hour. The rest of the premieres are mostly during premiere week (Sept. 19-25), with The Sing-Off launching its new season on Monday, Sept. 19 from 8-10pm leading into new drama The Playboy Club at 10:00pm. We mentioned Parenthood launches its new season on Sept. 13, but Tuesday reality series The Biggest Loser will launch a week later on Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 8-10pm. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the two new comedies open the night on its normal night and time leading into the season premieres of Harry's Law at 9pm and Law & Order: SVU at 10pm.
Thursday, Sept. 23 has the comedy block returning with season premieres of Community, Parks & Recreation and The Office leading into new comedy Whitney at 9:30pm and new drama Prime Suspect at 10pm. All of the Friday series will not launch until Friday, October 21 with the season premiere of Chuck leading into new series Grimm at 9pm. Dateline will air at 10pm, but it will be two-hours to start the season from 9-11pm, with something undetermined airing at 8pm. More to come at a later date, I'm sure. Saturdays will feature encore of dramas starting Sept. 24 with encores of Harry's Law, Prime Suspect and Law & Order: SVU. And Sundays in the fall of course will have Sunday Night NFL Football beginning Sunday, Sept. 11.
We will have our day-by-day schedule soon, but for now view the press release.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, January 17
The Middle - "Pitch Imperfect" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Axl begins to panic when he realizes that he only has four months of college left before he graduates, and he hasn’t sent out any job resumes – something he should have started when he was a junior. Meanwhile, Brad agrees to lead Sue’s no-cut a cappella group as they enter a music competition, and Brick desperately asks for Frankie and Mike’s advice when girlfriend Cindy tells him that he reads too much, and if he doesn’t stop, she’ll break up with him.
American Housewife - "Surprise" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Oliver tells his parents that he’s so embarrassed by their modest house that he’d rather not have a birthday party at all. Katie decides to teach him a lesson by ambushing him with a surprise party at home with all his wealthy friends.
Fresh Off the Boat - "The Best of Orlando" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Louis is named “Small Businessman of the Year,” Jessica is overflowing with pride and invites everyone they know to join them at the awards ceremony. But when Louis forgets to thank Jessica during his acceptance speech, he suffers the repercussions at home. Meanwhile, Eddie, Emery and Grandma start their own clothing line and quickly discover the challenges of running their own small business.
The Real O'Neals - "The Real Acceptance" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Kenny and Brett officially become a couple, Kenny starts to think of plan on how he should break the news to his parents. Meanwhile, Jimmy surprises everyone when he scores a high SAT score, forcing Eileen to hold up her end of a deal that she had previously made and takes Jimmy car shopping.
New Girl - "Cece's Boys" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Jess tries to find a new vice principal, she discovers that she has a real problem when it comes to making decisions. Meanwhile, Cece enlists Jess and Reagan to help her recruit new models, and the guys are in for a surprise when they enjoy a day at the spa.
The Mick - "The Fire" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mickey tries to quit smoking. Meanwhile, Ben meets a new friend.
Teachers - "First Day Back" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
As the teachers return from summer break, Ms. Watson tries an ultra premium online dating service and Ms. Snap learns that she’s been given the worst group of kids in school. Mrs. Adler is assigned to a mobile classroom.
Tuesday, January 17
- Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Catch Katy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Billy Eichner (Difficult People) - Billy is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Tracee visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Patrick Warburton (Crowded/Rules of Engagement/Less Than Perfect) - Patrick stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York.
- Anders Holm (Workaholics) - Anders is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Rory Scovel (Ground Floor) - Rory appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie drops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym visits Cleveland on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.