With his role as Spencer, the wacky brother on iCarly, coming to an end during the show’s sixth and final season and a new starring role in Nick at Nite’s Wendell & Vinnie set to begin next year, it’s an interesting time to catch up with actor Jerry Trainor. (iCarly returns tonight with a much touted episode guest-starring Jimmy Fallon.) ”It’s bittersweet that iCarly’s ending. It was such a tight family. And I watched the kids grow up. I knew Miranda [Cosgrove] since Drake and Josh days. So, you know, when we shot the final episode it was hard to get through some of those scenes…. Lots of waterworks. All from me. I’m a big baby. Everybody else was like ‘Keep it together, old man.’”
He promises lots of cameos in this final season, including ones from Tina Fey, Emma Stone, and the Pawn Stars folk (those last ones in an episode directed by the Groundlings-trained Trainor). And while he won’t spill about the finale (only that it’s “very much a farewell and it is awesome”), he did tell us some other things we want to know. Such as…
EW: Do you scream in real-life as much as you do on iCarly?
] Yes. I do. It’s more for emphasis. But I try to keep it targeted. Like I’ll just be sitting here talking to you and go ‘NICE NECKLACE!’ Then you know… that’s a nice necklace.
Um, thank you. Were you always a yeller? I thought it might have been something engrained in you from your years on iCarly.
It’s definitely become second nature. But I was always what you’d call an amplified person.
That’s a lovely way to put it.
Yep, yep. It’s my instrument.
And how do you tune that instrument?
Coffee, I guess. Baby back ribs. Lots of fried foods go into keeping this instrument running. It’s more like an oiling process. Lots of greasy, fried foods.
What DVR mishap has ever made you want to cry?
Breaking Bad. The premiere of this past season’s Breaking Bad, I was so excited and I started watching it and it starts to get all artifacty and the sound dropped out. I was like freaking out. Freaking! Out! And then luckily it was on demand that week and I just ordered it. But then you have to download it. But I did that. Stepped back from the ledge. Waited a day.
What’s the next show you’re going to marathon watch?
I’m late to the party on Homeland. But I like doing the catch-up, waiting a couple of seasons and watching them. I did that with Breaking Bad. I did that with Dexter. And I think the first two seasons of True Blood. It’s fun. I think I’ll do that with Homeland.
You were the big brother on iCarly and on your new show you become guardian of your dead brother’s son. Who are your favorite TV brothers?
The Game of Thrones Stark brothers.
Good answer. Loving your TV choices here.
I like TV. And feel like it’s entered a golden age with people making really good choices. I feel like TV’s kind of taking over movies a little bit. Just a lil’ bit.
So we’re saying this is a medium you really want to stay in.
I love TV, specifically sitcoms, when it comes to acting. And the new show, Wendell & Vinnie – live studio audience. That’s my jam. It is what I’ve always wanted to do. Ever since I saw Family Ties and Cheers, live studio audience. That’s what I’ve wanted to do. We shot the pilot in front of a live studio audience. It is that electric. So fun. Spontaneous stuff happens. You get that immediate feedback and you can riff on it. It’s great.
What’s your favorite iCarly episode?
I think less of the episode than the process of making it. And my favorite was the “iGet Pranky,” when Spencer was addicted to pranking and they were trying to get him to stop. The rehearsal for that was so fun. It was very high-energy and I was running from person to person pranking them.
What is the most embarrassing thing on your playlist?
I don’t know that it’s really embarrassing but have you ever heard of a band called Tokyo Police Club? They’re a great Canadian, indie rock band. They’re awesome. They recently did an album of covers and one of the covers they did was “Since You Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. And it’s a really good version.
So you rock out with it?
Oh, I rock out with it. It’s “Since You Been Gone.” But done by an indie band. It gives it some street cred.
What is your most prized pop culture possession?
This was a gift from an ex-girlfriend – one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given: A velvet Clint Eastwood. Framed. It came from Mexico from a renowned Mexican velvet painter. And it’s awesome. It’s the Man with No Name Clint. It’s not talking-to-the-empty-chair Clint. It’s classic Clint. He’s got the hat, the cigar, the poncho. It is the coolest thing. I’d really wanted one because my sister’s ex-boyfriend had a velvet Charles Bronson and I thought that was the coolest. and then I ended up getting one even cooler.
Check out clips from tonight’s episode: