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An Emmy or a bobblehead? ‘Brockmire’s’ Hank Azaria doesn’t have to choose

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The “Brockmire” star and “Simpsons” voice actor’s first gig in the business was in an Italian TV commercial. He wasn’t an immediate success.

Hank Azaria has logged three decades voicing beloved characters like Moe, Apu and Chief Wiggum on “The Simpsons.” He did Monty Python’s “Spamalot” on Broadway and had a breakout role in Mike Nichols’ 1996 adaptation of the French comedy “La Cage aux Folles.”

But his favorite character of his career? That would be Jim Brockmire, the disgraced fallen baseball announcer trying to make his way back to the big leagues on the first-year IFC comedy “Brockmire.”

“It’s the only time I’ve ever developed [a project] for myself that’s gone anywhere near well,” Azaria said of the character, who began his existence years ago as a Funny or Die video short.

Azaria, a huge baseball fan (let’s go Mets!), talked about how he found Brockmire’s voice and the obnoxious plaid jacket (thrift store on La Brea, Jet Rag) in a video interview at The Times.

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We asked the six-time Emmy winner about another trophy he recently picked up — a Brockmire bobblehead figure and how it compared to all the love from the Television Academy.

“I would say the Brockmire bobblehead is better than any one Emmy but the other Emmys can gang up on that, so maybe it’s three Emmys to one,” Azaria joked. “Now if ‘Brockmire’ won an Emmy …”

That should be well within the realm of possibility, given the success of the show, which IFC picked up for a second season. Azaria talked about how he was surprised at the way Brockmire’s relationship with Amanda Peet’s team owner turned into a “complicated adult love affair that had real stakes to it,” one of many reasons he won’t let his 7-year-old son watch the series until he turns 34.

But that hasn’t stopped the youngster from asking his dad to talk like “Baseball Guy” whenever they have a catch. Another fun father-and-son fact: Azaria’s “Simpsons” characters make their way into bedtime stories, though his son isn’t aware of that yet because he has never watched the show.

“I’ll let him see ‘The Simpsons’ in two or three years and he’s going to go,Hey! Wiggum is the Cowardly Lion.’ And I’ll be like, ‘He was Wiggum before he was the Cowardly Lion, I assure you.’”

You can watch the full interview here:

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glenn.whipp@latimes.com

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Twitter: @glennwhipp


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