Richard Kline: Wild About Larry
He’s put away the leisure suits and his hair’s gone gray, but it’s still easy to recognize Richard Kline, best known as sleazy neighbor Larry Dallas on Three’s Company. The former sitcom womanizer, now 50, is back on the boob tube playing Breckin Meyer’s daft dad on NBC’s new post-Friends sitcom Inside Schwartz. ”I see him at work and say, ‘Hey, I saw you last night on Three’s Company. It was a great episode where there was a misunderstanding!”’ jokes Meyer. Here, we subject Kline to even more good-natured ribbing. Work with us, Lar!
You inspired a generation of horndogs. What do you have to say for yourself?
Get a life! So many guys come up to me and say, ”You’re my hero, man!” And I go, ”Oh, I’m your hero because you come on to women, you borrow money, and you get your friends in trouble?” Hello?
Did your contract require you to expose at least 10 chest hairs per episode?
Larry was known as a three-button guy, meaning you had to open three buttons on your shirt. And you had to blow-dry the chest hair before every performance. I had a normal hairdresser and then a guy that came in and blow-dried my chest hair. I’m just making that up, but you can put that in.
The 25th anniversary of Three’s Company is next spring. What would Larry be up to now?
He’d be married to Rosie O’Donnell, and basically he’d be carrying her bags. He’d be totally under the thumb of a domineering wife.
Were you as swingin’ as Larry in your heyday?
Playing Larry was like fulfilling some bizarre male fantasy of going up to any girl…which I could never do in high school because I was always the short guy. I didn’t grow until my sophomore year in college. I was not very successful with girls.
What advice do you, Larry Legend, give the young cast of Inside Schwartz?
Don’t buy your house yet.
What runs through your mind when you watch Three’s Company reruns on Nick at Nite?
I miss my hair! You know me as a young guy, 10 pounds lighter, 5 more pounds of hair, and now you’ll see me as an old guy. It will freak you out.