Puget Sound residents’ love for coffee is a reputation known worldwide. But they have nothing on Dave Foley.
“I drink about 50 cups a day when I am on set,” said the iconic comedian and actor, who will play Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland July 7-9. “They keep two thermoses around just for me so I don’t have to keep taking breaks to go get one.”
But the idea of an amped up actor is in stark contrast to Foley’s calm delivery of comedy dialogue as the news director on the late 1990’s TV show “Newsradio.” The five-season NBC show ended just after the death of actor and friend Phil Hartman.
“That was an amazing cast,” said Foley. “The director, James Burrows, could go to any one of us for a laugh. But it was pretty frustrating for him as a director because we would have too much fun and it would be difficult to get us to work.”
Foley said the show struggled to stay on the air the entire time as many at NBC were not fans.
“They hated us and tried to kill it with the scheduling changes,” said Foley.
The one thing in Foley’s past that may never die is the iconic status of the show “Kids in the Hall.” The sketch-comedy group began in 1984 as a comedy troupe in a Toronto bar, eventually turning into a TV series that ran from 1988-95 and produced a movie in 1996.
“It happened so gradually there was really no time to be shocked,” said Foley, who got his start with the group. “The fact that people talk about us in the same breath as ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Monty Python’ really is amazing to me.”
One of Foley’s other big moves helped to put a movie studio on the map – Pixar. He did voice-over work for the lead charter in the studio’s second full-length movie “A Bug’s Life.”
“I have immense pride in that,” said Foley. “Pixar is such an amazing company and they are dedicated to doing such great work. I am an animation nerd, so it was fun.”
It would not be the last time Foley would get involved with an animated show. He also voiced the main character “Wayne,” one of Santa’s elves, in the christmas special “Prep and Landing,” which has become a staple for ABC during the holidays.
“The first year we were on we kicked Rudolph’s ass,” joked Foley. “I am really fortunate that these opportunities keep cropping up.”
He will also be a part of a sequel to the show this holiday season.
The comedian’s TV sitcom career will also continue this fall on CBS with his new show “How To Be a Gentleman.”
Foley has done cameos and guest starred on many TV series, including “How I Met Your Mother,” “The King of Queens” and “Two and a Half Men.”
“My favorties were ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ and ‘Will and Grace,'” said Foley.
He was also the co-host of “Celebrity Poker Showdown.”
“When they asked me I said, ‘as long as you don’t mind that I don’t know anything about poker or care, I am your man,'” said Foley, who had played in one celebrity poker tournament prior to the TV show and was the final celebrity to be eliminated.
His role was to ask the questions of a novice with a touch of comedy thrown in. His coffee addiction came in handy during taping.
“During the first season the tapings were two hours, but then the players began getting coaches,” said Foley. “During the second season the tapings were five hours and we were doing two a day.”
Foley’s background is diverse from his ultra kid-focused animated work to his more adult work with celebrity poker. But none of it compares to his stand-up.
“It is filthy. I find it offensive,” said Foley. “If you are just a fan of ‘A Bugs’ Life’ don’t come. I can’t even do this stuff on TV. It is me just being me, but it keeps in the tradition of ‘Kids in the Hall.'”
Foley, who has played Seattle venues when touring with the “Kids in the Hall” cast, has never played Kirkland. He said he is excited to play Laughs because he has heard great things from comedian friends. But he is not as excited for the Seattle coffee.
“When you drink as much coffee as I do, you can’t be a snob about it,” joked Foley.