Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Jimmy Van Patten

This post is part of a series of 'Behind the Scenes" articles on the various cast members from a TV series on Animal Planet called 'Who Let the Dogs Out'. Today I'm highlighting my good friend Mr Jimmy Van Patten. Jimmy is an accomplished actor, writer, producer and director-- and son of Hollywood TV legend Dick Van Patten. In his role as "The Boss" in Animal Planet's 'Who Let the Dogs Out', he dispatches the Natural Balance Pet Foods canine sports team on a mission to travel the country in search of the most talented dog in America. His talented group of dogs, led by Tillman, the World's Fastest Skateboarding Bulldog lead the way hosting casting calls and meeting all kinds of cool dogs at Petco stores and in US cities nationwide. Animal Planet viewers are in for a treat as they get to know a different side of Jimmy Van Patten, who in recent years has become known for his roles in the wildly popular 'Saw' horror film series. 
I invited Jimmy on my radio show to chat with him about his career, and in particular 'Who Let the Dogs Out'. As usual, Jimmy was a great guest, funny, engaging and full of great stories. The interview provides insights to the man who has demonstrated his broad range of talent across many different formats in entrainment. Independent film buffs may be familiar with his recent appearance in the acclaimed Indy thriller film "A Thousand Cuts". Broadway fans will be delighted to hear him discuss his upcoming Broadway show "The Flunky, the Musical". Either way, Jimmy is a fascinating person who has a passion for animals and pets of all sizes. 
For pet lovers, it was great to hear Jimmy talk about the cool dogs he has been meeting as they travel the country in search of the most talented dog in America. Jimmy speaks with genuine admiration for the natural talent in dogs; clearly he enjoys his role as The Boss and being a judge on Who Let the Dogs Out. For example, 'Kangaroo dog" who was featured in episode 1 was a 3-year-old Australian Kelpie named 'Rox' Jimmy smiles when he speaks about Rox. He combines his admiration and affection for the hundreds of dogs he has witnessed in casting calls nationwide. Tillman, he says continues to impress him every time he takes to his skateboard. "He does it because he loves to ride" Jimmy explained. "He will keep on going until he is exhausted, he isn't doing it for a treat reward or just to please his trainer/dad. It is a true love of the sport for Tillman". Jimmy has spent enough time with Tillman and Friends to know what he is talking about! 

I asked Jimmy what it is like working with his dad, TV legend Dick Van Patten on Who Let the Dogs Out. They both seem to truly enjoy being on this project. 'We worked together on the Sunshine Boys, a few years ago, traveling the country" Jimmy said. "We saw our fair share of theatres but loved working together...and still do". In Who Let the Dogs Out, Dick Van Patten seems to be the voice of reason to Jimmy's whims and directions to Ron, Lexi, Karen and Steve. He comes up with the craziest ideas on where to send the crew, without regard for travel distances or much else. His dad weighs in from time to time and gives Jimmy a good ribbing. They enjoy each others' company and have good chemistry and timing, so it makes perfect sense that both Van Pattens serve as "The Boss" on this amusing and entertaining new reality show. Who Let the Dogs Out can be seen Saturday mornings on Animal Planet. Check your local listings for times.
If you have some free time, tune into The Palm Springs Savant & Co show on BlogTalkRadio to hear my interview with Jimmy, you'll enjoy getting to know him.

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