Fünke 'Freak Show'

Arrested Development, sadly, is now almost certainly off the radar, but fans of David Cross's Tobias Fünke—as well as his other projects like Mr. Show, his politically-charged stand-up performances and his ongoing feud with Larry the Cable Guy—can get a big slice of the comedian's unique outlook on the state of the world today with his new 'toon Freak Show, which premieres October 4 (10:30 p.m. EDT) on Comedy Central.

The animated comedy is about a group of not-really-super superheroes who are called upon to carry out missions for the President when the real superheroes are busy…or cop an attitude. It features characters like Log Cabin Republican (who can transform into Burly Bear), World's Tallest Nebraskan (who can shrink up to six inches), Tuck and Benny (Siamese twins who have the power to separate), Primi (a premature baby who can projectile vomit on target) and—wait for it—The Bearded Clam (yes, you read that correctly), whose special power is spewing blinding Bitch Juice.

And Cross's old pal Larry the Cable Guy? He figures into the fun, too, as a character named Danny the Plumber Guy. Subtle, no?

What made you decide to do a superhero cartoon?
I had been trying to think of a show I could do out of New York, and then I decided I wanted to do an animated show, and, just trying to think of something I'd really want to do, all the pieces sort of fell together.

Which one of the Freak Show squad members is your favorite? Is there one you think is funnier than the others?
I like Primi. I don't want to give too much away, but as the episodes go on, Primi evolves, and has a more active role.

Do you expect a response to the little nod to Larry the Cable Guy?
Do I expect one? No. If there is one, that's great; if not, that's great, too. I don't care. It's just funny to me. And it's not necessarily hurtful stuff. But Danny the Plumber Guy is featured much more prominently in episode three.

What's he doing in that episode?
Clam is performing alongside Toby Tritt Greenwood and Danny the Plumber Guy at this county fair in Oklahoma, and Toby and Clam fall in love and have an affair.

Will the team continue to work for the President?
Yes. There's another episode where the Freak Squad has to go to New York to videotape an apartment for the President's cat. It's an exclusive, luxury loft building in New York, just for cats, and they have a big argument and decide to go their separate ways.

The rumors about your AD character, Tobias Fünke, popping up on an episode of Scrubs this season: True?
I have no idea. I got an e-mail from Zach (Braff), saying, "Hey, would you be interested in doing this?" And I said, "Sure, but you've gotta talk to Mitch" (AD creator Hurwitz), and he said, "All right," and that's the last I've heard about it.

What are you hearing about the Arrested Development movie that's been rumored since even before the show was officially canceled?
I have not heard a thing. I've talked to Mitch…and I still talk to Will (Arnett) and Jason (Bateman), and nobody's heard anything.

Do you have a sense about whether or not it will really happen?
I doubt it. If you're going to jump on the momentum of something, I would imagine you would have done it. I would imagine that, by the end of this conversation, it should happen or it will have been forgotten.

Who are you playing in I'm Not There, the Bob Dylan movie?
Allen Ginsberg.

What's the tone of the movie? It's not really a straight biography, right?
Well, it's a Todd Haynes film. There's serious undertones to all of it, but it's not going to be linear, and visually it'll be quite interesting. The entire segment I'm doing is in black and white, so it's gonna be very creative.

At this point, with so many memorable roles and characters, which one do people most talk to you about? What are fans shouting at you as you walk down the street?
It totally depends on the neighborhood. If I'm in a black or Latino neighborhood, or Dominican or Puerto Rican, it's always Scary Movie 2. And if I'm at some sorta frat bar thing, then it's Just Shoot Me!, and then all the cool kids know me from Mr. Show or AD. But it really does vary, especially in New York.

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