Monkeying Around with Warren the Ape
Warren the Ape is pissed. Back in 2002, he got some screen time with fellow "Fabricated American" Greg the Bunny on Greg's self-titled show, Greg the Bunny. That show launched Greg's career, but left Warren in the lurch, and his party-hearty lifestyle turned into a serious substance abuse problem. Now he's attempting to climb back on the wagon—with the help of Dr. Drew—on his new rehab reality show Warren the Ape. I chatted with Warren about getting clean, crushin' on celebs, and some other stuff.
TV.com: Tell me about your new reality show.
Warren the Ape: It's a "celebrity follow" reality show... It's a comeback trail show. Attempting to put my life and my career back together. And that’s where Dr. Drew comes in. I've had some issues with addiction, drinking, gambling, whoring, pretty much everything you can do. I had a fall from grace a few years ago; I had a sitcom on the Fox Network with Greg the Bunny and Seth Green and they canceled it, and I fell on hard times. This is my attempt to just get back in the spotlight and also clean up my act at the same time. And being in therapy with Dr. Drew is part of that. It's a recovery show, sort of like Tom Sizemore except I intend to recover.
What was it like to work with Dr. Drew?
He's a professional. He takes this whole recovery thing kind of seriously. When I first met him I thought, oh, he's a TV doctor, like on Love Boat. It's just going to be some TV guy who does radio shows. But it turns out he's actually got a PhD. I mean, he's pretty smart. So I was surprised. He's also cut like you would not believe. The guy works out. I assume he's got to stay fit so that he can wrestle Dennis Rodman to the ground at four in the morning. I'm not even kidding. He's sculpted.
Is there anything else about Dr. Drew that we might not know?
He pumps major iron and he's a bit of a nerd. I think he could quote probably any Simpsons episode for you, and South Park, Family Guy, and Robot Chicken. He’s a geek. I think at the end of the day he probably goes home and plays Warcraft like anybody else who watches those shows.
Do you think that he pays more attention to his human patients?
There's a lot of favoritism towards human beings in both our society and in this industry. It's hard for a Fabricated American... I wouldn't say, though, that Drew treats me any different because of that. He seems to have given me as much attention as he gives his other train wrecks like Lindsay Lohan. Perhaps I’m a bit more of a challenge for him [laughs]. And it's harder with puppets because we soak up the alcohol. Literally, like sponges.
Is there anything you'd like to accomplish by the end of the series?
I absolutely would like to see Fabricated Americans get a stronger foothold in the industry. I would like to see someone other than a Muppet in a major motion picture. I would like to see someone other than Elmo teaching our nation's youth and, frankly, I would like to take over the industry. I'd like to form a management company and production company that makes films by and for Fabricated Americans. Not this usual Sesame Street, Muppet Show bullshit. I'm talking about Death of a Salesman. I'm talking about The Hurt Locker. I'm talking some frickin' drama that challenges and inspires rather than just helps you talk to ten in Spanish.
Do you have anybody in mind for these roles or do you want to play them all?
Well, I'm flattered by the suggestion of it. I think I'm well suited to all of the above. But, I can't do it all, as much as I wish I could. I'd love to bring back Gordon Shumway—most people know him as Alf. I think he's due for a comeback. And I'd love to hold auditions and discover that great unknown out there. You know, that puppet who's a teller in a bank somewhere, just waiting for the next person in line to give him that big break. And I want to be that person. Definably not Greg the Bunny, because fuck him, he had his chance and he blew it.
I take it Greg the Bunny won’t be appearing on your show?
He's wormed his way into a couple of episodes because the producers think we have a—how did they put it?—combative chemistry that they think will appeal to our demographic. Blah, blah, blah. All that matters to me is that finally I'm the star of the show, and maybe for once one of these things won't get cancelled. But yes, Greg the Bunny's back, Count Blah, Seth Green, Sarah Silverman, Eugene Levy, Corey Feldman, a lot of the folks I’ve worked with before are back.
Are there any other reality shows you'd like to be on after this one? Like The Apprentice or Dancing with the Stars?
I would love to be on Dancing with the Stars, I think that would be wonderful. I think that I'm very light on my feet. People don’t know that a lot of puppets are actually very good dancers. I would like to be on The Hills, just because it'd be nice to get laid. I'd like to be on—well, I wasn’t sure about Jersey Shore but, I mean, we're already all on [Herpes medication and Celebrity Rehab staple drug] Valtrex so what the hell. I think I've got a pretty shot with Nicole, but then again so does everybody. That's probably about it for me. I don't think I want to be anybody’s apprentice. I've had enough of being the second banana.
Do you have any favorite scripted TV shows?
You know, I tend to watch my old TV shows on VHS when I'm in the mood to watch something on the tube, rather than all the crap that's on. But I do like shows about real or desperate housewives, because I like MILFs, and I like my sex bitter and angry, so that appeals to me. I am a divorcee myself, so I kind of get off on that. And who doesn't like a good Golden Girls rerun?
Do you have a celebrity crush?
You know, I met Jennifer Aniston the other night at my red carpet premiere and I have to say, I think we had a moment. I think there was a little something going on there where she played it like disgust, but you could read between the lines. Saying "Get out of my face!" and calling the bouncer was her way of saying, "Hey, I think I'm a little bit into you and it scares me." So, I think that might work out. Oh, and Snooki. Sometimes you've just got to go with the sure thing and just call it a night.
Which celebrity do you identify with the most?
Well, Orson Welles was always an inspiration to me. I admire his tenacity, his vision, his appetite. And William Shatner has maintained his dignity in every commercial he's ever done. He's another guy who, like a phoenix, rises from the ashes of every production to do another. And, certainly, I wouldn’t mind having Kermit the Frog's mansion.
Are you going to go to Comic-Con this year?
I hope to! Josh Sussman, my assistant—he's on that TV show Glee—is a huge nerd and loves dressing up like Thunder Cats or whatever he does in his spare time. I thought it'd be good to follow him there because there are a lot of ladies who are really into the whole geek-chic thing. I figure I may as well jump on that bandwagon. I like latex, and there seems to be a lot of that down there. The question is, is MTV going to give us a panel? I appeared at a Greg the Bunny panel back in 2006 and that went really well. And I think people were much more interested in me than Greg. So I'd love the chance to get back down there and let them all know that I was right and he was wrong, and he was canceled and I have a new show.
What is something that people might not know about you?
Well, tuning into the show is probably the best way to find out about that. But I guess, deep down the thing that probably tortures me the most is that I have so much love to give and no one to give it to.
It seems like you should do a Rock of Love-type show in the future!
That’s a good pitch. Since you’re recording this, I will probably be willing to give you some sort of executive producer credit. As long as you’re a non-creative runner and you agree to sign over all ancillary rights. But I gotta tell you, that's a good idea. We may need to follow up on this. It's high-brow and it's fun and it's about romance and I can totally get laid every night. And I'm already on the Valtrex so it's perfect.
Warren the Ape premieres tonight (Monday, June 14) at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom
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