ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: LYDIA asks, “Which nickname that Shawn has given you is your favorite?”
DULÉ HILL: My favorite is from season 1, and that’s Gus Sillypants Jackson. That’s always stayed with me because it’s kinda close to Stoney Jackson, from The Insiders. Sillypants and Stoney. I feel like we could be related in some way.
The show is famous for its pop culture references. KAYLEIGH asks, “Anything you want referenced that hasn’t been yet?”
[Laughs] If anything, it would probably be Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. He had this line, “What’s all this ‘we’ s—?” I would love to be able to say that, but obviously that’s gonna happen. Really and truly, most of the pop culture stuff that happens on the show, I have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s the writers and James Roday and Steve Franks. I’m not really into the ’80s like that. Michael Jackson, the 49ers and the Lakers — that’s what I know about the ’80s.
MRSCHANDLERBONG asks, “What is the circumference of your head? I know Judd Nelson tried to ask that in ‘Death is in the Air.’ We never got a specific answer though.”
[Laughs] That is a good question. I know it’s big. If I had tape measure right now, I would actually measure it. But I know I have a big, big head. Hats, a lot of times, do not fit me. What is the average head size? Maybe like 16 inches. From the center of my forehead around to other side might be a foot, give or take four inches. [Laughs] Between 12 and 16 inches.
ROME asks, “Who would YOU like to have as a guest star on Psych?”
I would still like to see Martin Sheen come on the show. I’ve been trying to get Martin to come for a few seasons. We just haven’t found the right story to make it work. I just love Martin and would love to have come do the show before it’s over. After Martin, Bill Cosby. Bill Cosby would be dope. He’s just a legend, and he’s great. To have a chance to work with him would be fabulous.
You and James did a PopWatch Duel for us two years ago, in which you each named the five pop culture mysteries you’d like solved. One of yours was how Martin Sheen never won an Emmy for The West Wing.
That was pretty crazy. That still boggles my mind. But that’s how it goes sometimes, I guess. I don’t think he’s still crying over it. [Laughs]
DAVID PUDDY asks, “The show has made a few jokes at your previous roles, i.e. in Cosby Show and The Guardian, but do they dare mock The West Wing?
We haven’t knocked The West Wing yet. Maybe one of these days we’ll find something to. Everything you’ve done in the past is up for grabs. That’s the thing that’s good: We knock other people for some of the things they’ve done, and we knock ourselves, too. We’re all into making fun of everybody. So West Wing can definitely get a shot.
JACKSON96 asks, “Who flubs the most lines? Who has the hardest time keeping a straight face when James Roday ad-libs?”
Who flubs the most lines? That’s easy. I would probably say me. Sometimes I will just say some absolute nonsense, and I’ll try to go through the line and hope that nobody really recognizes it and just keeps going on with the scene. But, of course, somebody always does. “What the heck did you just say?” Or you’ll see Roday’s shoulders going up and down ’cause he’s trying to hold in his laugh. Timothy Omundson is by far the one who breaks up the most. He’s the easiest person to break up. It’s kind of pathetic at this point. It’s not even fun anymore trying to get him to crack. You just look at him the wrong way or blow on his ear, and he’ll start laughing.
How do you keep it together?
A lot of times when things are really funny to me, in the back of mind or deep down, I’m thinking, “This is so funny for you. If you break right now, there’s no way the audience will see this thing right here.” My mind just says, “Hold it together.” I try to stay in it as long as I can, as hard as I can. Part of the fun is trying to stay in it, trying to get through it. Sometimes I break up.
This is one of my favorite questions: JESSIE K asks “Do you have any plans to do any more theatre or wrestling or wrestling theatre?”
Now wrestling theater sounds like it would be interesting. [Laughs] If I could find a place for wrestling theater, why not? I’m game.
So you and James were supposed to co-host WWE Monday Night Raw last January, then James got appendicitis and you had to host it alone. Walk me through your reaction.
I was having sushi that night at my little sushi spot in L.A. that I like to go to. He calls me like, “Dude, I’m in the hospital. I’m having an appendectomy.” He’s always making jokes, so I was like, “Stop playing, man. Get out of here.” He goes, “No, seriously. I’m in the hospital right now about to go into surgery in, like, 20 minutes.” I was like, “Yo, you were the one who wanted to do this wrestling thing. You were the one that was psyched, and now I’m gonna be doing it by myself.” [Laughs] We laughed about it a little bit, and then after that it was like, “Look, just go get yourself healthy, and I’ll go knock it out.” At first I was like, “I’m gonna be there by myself now?” But the show must go on, and we were so thankful that John Cena came up to be a part of our show. We definitely wanted to go play around with them over there. We can’t just back out at the last minute and leave people hanging. I wanted to hang out with the wrestler anyway, so why not? I’m glad I did it, too, because I had a lot of fun. Would I do another one? Hopefully, maybe at some point James Roday will go back and host on his own, which I think he would kill at. If he does that, maybe I’ll show up real quickly during his thing. In terms of theater, I would love to go back to do theater. If I could find something for me to do that fits in with the Psych off-season, I’m game. I would like to do theater where I get to act and dance.
JAKE asks, “Do you conquer your fear of dead bodies in season 5?”
Gus’ issues with dead bodies is like someone dealin’ with alcoholism or drugs. You never really conquer it, you’ve been sober or clean this long. Sometimes you might have relapses. So I think sometimes he’ll be cool being around a dead body, other times he won’t. It all depends on what he had for breakfast that morning.
STEPHANIE WILLIAMS asks, “Do you think you might get to do an international episode? I would like to see an episode filmed in London.”
Man, I would love it. Maybe we can start another petition. [In part 1 of the interview, he suggested we start a petition to get Roday to play his mandolin on the show.] We did Canada, but we work in Canada. You probably won’t see us do any international episode because we are a basic cable show, and we don’t have that much money goin’ around to be travelin’ all over the place. We’ve tried to do a couple of scenes in California, and that never worked out.
This question is mine: What is on your DVR?
So You Think You Can Dance. I have some episodes of Parenthood that I still have to finish watching. Episodes of Modern Family that I still have to finish watching. Episodes of United States of Tara that I still have to finish watching. Episodes of Parks and Recreation that I still have to finish watching. Those are on my DVR up here [in Vancouver, where Psych films]. In L.A., I have Psych, which I normally end up watching in the off-season, a lot of times right before I go back to work. I have again all those same shows. Oh, and Gasland, an HBO documentary on natural gas and how people’s water is being contaminated because of the drilling they’re doing, and some people’s water you can put a flame to and it will light.
Which new shows are you already prepared to add to your DVR this fall?
Undercovers, with Boris Kodjoe. The Event, I’m putting that on there. The new Will Arnett show [Running Wilde]. I always like to watch any show that any of my West Wing family has coming out, so I’ll check out that new show Allison Janney is doing with Matthew Perry [Mr. Sunshine]. I’m a TV guy, so my list is gonna be pretty big. I’m gonna add Facing Kate, the Sarah Shahi show on USA, when that comes out.
Do you have a rule for how many episodes you’ll give a new show before you delete it from your DVR?
Pretty much every show that comes on, I’ll try to watch at least one episode of it. For me, there are three different levels. I watch the first episode, and if I love it, I’m lockin’ it in for the rest of the season. If I’m not too sure about it, I will maybe tune in the next week. It it’s just terrible, then I’m done. There are some times when I start watching the pilot or I watch the whole pilot and I’m like, “No. I’m never watching this again. I just wasted an hour of my life that I’m not getting back. When I find out who put this show on the air, I’m gonna slap them.” [Laughs]
Give me one example of a show you’d like to slap someone for. It can be an old one.
Oh, man. Uh, Cop Rock? [Laughs]
Did you really watch it? I’ve always heard about Cop Rock, and I wish I watched that when it was on.
When the jury got up as a choir and started singing, “He’s guilty,” I was like, “Okay, no.” And the funny thing is, I was like a teenager or something back then, if I remember correctly, and I had auditioned for that or at least went in to read for the casting director because I came from musical theater. I obviously didn’t get it. So when I saw it, I was so glad I didn’t get it. [Laughs] I was like, What is this?
But you could have had Cop Rock on your IMDB page!
I could have Cop Rock on my IMDB page, and that could have been where it started and ended for Dulé Hill. [Laughs] Look, sometimes things hit, sometimes they miss. Either that was a miss or it was too early for its time. Let’s say that: Maybe Cop Rock was before its time.
Very diplomatic. Nice save.