Chris Elliott answers our questions -- The ''Dilbert'' dog voice talks about rashes, paperboys, and ''Get a Life''

By Joe Flint
February 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

He’s proved his thespian skills as a paperboy (Fox’s Get a Life), a cabin boy (um…Cabin Boy), and a rash-prone stalker (There’s Something About Mary), so taking on Dogbert the talking pooch in UPN’s new cartoon series Dilbert ought to be a walk in the park for 38-year-old funnyman-child Chris Elliott. EW decided to ask the kook behind the canine a few animated questions.

EW Have people been showing you their rashes and hives?
Chris Elliott Believe it or not, they have. But they were doing that long before I did Something About Mary. It’s just something I attract.

EW You were in James Cameron’s The Abyss. Were you upset when DiCaprio got the Titanic part?
CE No, I wasn’t, because I gave James Cameron the idea for Titanic. When I did The Abyss, I said to him, ”What would be good would be to do a comedy on the high seas.” He went and did Titanic, I did Cabin Boy.

EW Did paperboys salute your performance on Get a Life?
CE They tried to sue me, actually, for giving ’em a bad name.

EW Why didn’t Get a Life have a longer life?
CE In the second season, we did 10 shows that were almost identical in plot: me eating something and getting hallucinations. The show is much more popular now than it was when it was on the air. It’s gotten better in people’s minds.

EW Since you play Dogbert in Dilbert, I have to ask: Who’s your favorite Burt? Bacharach, Convy, or Reynolds?
CE I’ve been watching a lot of Tattletales lately, so I’d have to say [Bert] Convy.

EW Dogs can’t talk, so what kind of preparation did you do for Dogbert?
CE What I do for any role…drink a pint of beer.

EW Have you ever allowed a dog to hump your leg?
CE Uh, I wouldn’t exactly call them dogs.

EW What’s worse — starring on a Fox show, or a UPN show?
CE It’s not even me starring on UPN, it’s just my voice. So I guess this is worse.