If there’s a funny show on TV, it’s a pretty good bet that Richard Kind has appeared on it.
The veteran actor has logged memorable guest appearances on dozens of TV comedies over the years, along with regular stints on Mad About You and Spin City, among others. So it’s no surprise that Kind pops up on this Tuesday’s Night Court (NBC, 8/7c) as unscrupulous Broadway producer Sy, who lands in court after getting caught selling fake theater memorabilia. So did Kind base this character on any Broadway producers he may have worked with?
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“I know plenty of them,” Kind tells TVLine, but “I’ve been lucky to work with the best.” He says the closest thing to Sy he’s encountered is actually a fictional role he’s played before: Max Bialystock in The Producers. Sy isn’t “as crass as Max,” Kind notes, but he is “hungry and desperate” in the same way. Plus, this role gave him the opportunity to work with Night Court star John Larroquette, whose work Kind has always admired. While they both appeared on TNT’s The Librarians, they didn’t share any scenes, but “I had a costume fitting, and I wanted to come in and see all the people I wouldn’t be working with,” Kind recalls. “I sat around for a couple minutes and met them all, and that’s when I met John.” Now that they’ve reunited on Night Court, Larroquette “says he remembers me, but he doesn’t remember me,” Kind laughs. “He was very kind about it.”
In the episode, Larroquette’s character Dan Fielding has a long-held grudge against Sy for a failed production Dan invested in years ago, and in one scene, they spar while Sy chows down on a corned beef sandwich. Is eating during a scene a challenge for an actor, though? “Whenever food is involved, it is never a challenge,” Kind contends. In fact, it can be an advantage, he shares: “If you don’t have anything to do with your hands, sometimes they’re just flailing. Using them to eat is a wonderful thing.” Kind wouldn’t mind reprising his role as Sy in a future episode, either: “You are talking to a character actor who begs for work… I would love it. Situation comedy hours are better than bankers’ hours.”
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