Warren the Ape: We Go One-On-One With the Puppet
What happened to Sweetknuckle Junction?
Warren: I know this is a difficult thing for people to get their heads around, but Sweetknuckle was a fictional show. I performed on a show called Greg the Bunny which was about a show called Sweetknuckle Junction. That was our show within a show, sort of the way The Larry Sanders Show was fictional, or Jerry's sitcom on Seinfeld. It was our attempt to take a shot at Sesame Street. You know, myself and Greg, we were all playing TV actors on a fake show, we just happened to use our real names, just like Larry David would now, and if your readers are still following that I congratulate them. But look, I'll tell you this, I miss the choo-choo train on set. Because that was a great place to nap between takes, and that was the easiest place to bring extras who wanted to do a little extra sumpin' to try to get a line, so uh... Good times. Silverman and I spent some time in that caboose, as well.
What do you think about the success Seth Green and Sarah Silverman have seen since the show ended?
Warren: Look, I don't begrudge them any success. Clearly they're talented, and, let's face it, the industry is human-run, so it's easier for them to move onto new projects than it was for puppets like me or Greg the Bunny or Eugene Levy. You know, the better they do, the more I can borrow, so it's all good. And they've agreed to appear on my new show... Well, not so much "agreed to appear" as "were home when I showed up with the cameras."
Do you still keep in touch with your puppet co-stars?
Warren: Count Blah and I have been friends for decades, we did a lot of old films together, during the epic "puppet exploitation" fad in the '70s. We came up in the same puppet circles, and despite a taste for morphine he's always been a pretty solid guy. It's weird, he never takes the outfit off, and he always wears those fangs, but we've all got our stuff... Um, Greg and I talk, there's a little tension, I've never felt he was deserving of the success we got, and I blamed him for a lot of what I felt was wrong with our shows over the years, but he's got a lot of money, soooo... You wanna keep those kind of people kinda close in your life. You never know when you'll need a couch to crash on.
You recently got pulled over for a DUI. Did you encounter any fallout in the press?
Warren: Yeah, a lot of outlets picked up on the fact that I might have made a few off-color comments about the human race, but, you know, context is always important, and the context was that I was so drunk that you could have bottled my urine as hard lemonade. Look, no offense, but I think you know that human-puppet tensions are always right under the surface, it doesn't take much to awaken that sleeping bear. Even the word "puppet" is offensive, it implies we're controlled by you, by humans, and that's insulting. There are some puppets who give over to that idea, and they believe existentially that there's someone who controls everything that they do; I don't subscribe to that, and I don't want to. So, it was a difficult night for me. I had just broken up with my mistress.