Chances are if you turn on Kevin and Bean in the morning on KROQ 106.7 FM, you've heard the hilarity of Ralph Garman's trademark segment The Showbiz Beat or swerved in your car after busting up to one of his vocal impressions. But with a resume that not only includes radio, but movies, voice-overs, and stage acting, Garman's humor is definitely all-terrain. But when you add someone like Kevin Smith to sit by his side, well hot damn! This Friday night, Ralph and Kevin will be bringing their popular podcast Hollywood Babble-On straight to the OC for a taping at the Irvine Improv. If you want to see for yourself what make this podcast stand apart from all of the rest, you better get your tickets now because it's a fact that these live tapings sell out fast and are always, according to the advertising, “bigger than Liam Neeson's cock.”
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Right off the bat I need to ask, since you were in Sharktopus, how jealous are you of the shine that Sharknado has gotten?
Ralph Garman: I'll tell you, I was a little bit jealous! [Laughs.] We did it first and we didn't get nearly the coverage that Sharknado did. But then again, it had a really good hook. I mean Sharknado, a tornado full of sharks? It's hilarious. I do have a little pride that we set the standard for goofy named shark movies on TV though.
I'd definitely take credit for paving the way for it! Prideful or not. I know your schedule is insane but will you be squeezing in anymore movie roles?
Well I actually just finished shooting Seth MacFarlane's new movie. I've been doing voices on Family Guy for over a decade so he put me in the movie Ted and that went so well, he brought me back for his new movie. It's a western comedy called, A Million Ways To Die in the West. I got back a couple of months ago from wrapping up my part. That'll come out in the summer of 2014. I just know it's going to be hilarious.
He rules, I'm sure it'll be amazing! We're all big fans of KROQ over here and The Showbiz Beat is superb. It's kind of like a cooler and funnier version of TMZ. Are you a fan of TMZ?
I am a fan. I've known Harvey [Levin] a long time and he's been on the Kevin and Bean Show for a long time. They're very aggressive, I mean, that is one thing I can say about them. But more importantly in terms of their journalism, they really strive to be accurate with their stories.
Hey you're pretty accurate too!
I try. but my segment on the radio is just a chance to make fun of pop culture really. I don't really consider myself a journalist though and they seem to break these stories and invariably, they've got the sources. Unlike a lot of Hollywood gossip sites, they really seem to get it on the mark.
Very true. I hate to be generic BUT…I love your impressions. I mean, Hasselhoff and Michael Jackson are pure radio gold. When did you start doing them?
[Laughs.] Thanks! You know what's funny is that I've been doing impressions since I was young as sort of a party trick. It's hard to take any credit for it because it's something that I've always done and it comes easy to me. I literally started doing them as a kid making my friends laugh at the lunch table with cartoon characters or of our teachers. The key for me is, I'm not a great impressionist but I think that I have a knack for finding the funny in a character so I lean heavily on that. So even if the impression isn't spot on, the characterization tends to be funny. People will forgive you a lot if you're funny. It really is something you are born with though. It's like being double jointed or something.
Well I'm not double jointed and I can't do any impressions so I'm impressed. I know that Kevin Smith is also a “friend of the show.” Is that how you ended up doing a podcast with him?
We've been friends for a long time and he's been a regular guest on the Kevin and Bean Show and every time he came on, we always hit it off so well. I'd have him sit in when I'd do The Showbiz Beat because we have great chemistry and he'd always have a funny take on news stories. I always get a kick out of improving with him. He had a very popular podcast already called SModcast and came in one time to announce that he was opening up this little storefront theatre called the SModcastle. The plan was that he was going to do his podcast out of there and other people would do them as well. After he announced it I was like, it's about time that you and I work together on something. We had no idea if it'd be a success or not but we knew it was something that we wanted to do. That was three years ago and we've been going strong, the listenership is growing, and we have fans all over the world. It's just been such a fun thing to do.
Oh yeah, it's sooo popular! Every time I see you guys announce a show it sells out so fast!
Well Kevin's got a huge fan base and locally here in Orange County and L.A., people know what I do but it's been amazing for me to have access to his fans. It's opened me up to audiences all over the world that I would've never had a chance to get my stuff out there to. It's just been a blast!
I bet people always hit you up to be a guest. Have you thought of having one on? Maybe in Irvine?
We've had a lot of people ask but we just feel like it's still best served with just the two of us. We find that the dynamic of the show works better, we have so many reoccurring segments, and the week is always so full of news we find it's easily an hour-and-a-half with just us doing what we do. We just figure if we added a third person up there it would get unwieldy. The good thing about the show is that since we've started, it's just grown and changed so much. Who knows though? By the time we get into our fourth year we might start adding people and stuff.
Catch Ralph Garman along with Kevin Smith for Hollywood Babble-On at the Irvine Improv August 16th, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618, (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. Also be sure to check out Hollywood Babble-On on SModcast.com, follow the network on Twitter @SModcastNetwork and Ralph @RalphGarman.