You know you're a geek when you're asked to speak on ''Weird Al'' Yankovic's upcoming A&E Biography profile. But, then again, you know you're a cool-ass geek when you've scored an Emmy nomination, as Seth Green has done for Robot Chicken, the stop-motion sketch show he co-created for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The 33-year-old funny guy phoned us last week to tease the show's third season (airing Sundays at 11:30 p.m.), defend Robin Williams' movie career, and explain why he's so out of breath.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Thanks for taking the time to call, busy man.
SETH GREEN: [Laughs] You know what, things are crazy right now.
I heard you taped an interview earlier this morning about ''Weird Al''?
Yes, I got invited to speak on Al's A&E Biography profile.
I know, right?
What did you say?
Al's awesome. He's an icon. I love him. He gave weirdos like me a place in this world and acceptably amongst all my too-normal-for-school friends. [Green appeared in Yankovic's ''White & Nerdy'' video.]
It's interesting that you say that, because one of my editors was just saying that she considers you the prototype for the sexy geek. Would you like to take the title or does it below to Al?
Um, you know, I'll take any title that they throw my way, if it's a valuable title or if there's comedic value in it. But Al's somebody that I've admired my entire life. I think I've always just been kinda geeky and got to play some mildly appealing roles. How people interpret my degrees of sexiness is out of my hands.
What are you recognized for most at this point?
It totally depends. I have the more subversive kids who know Party Monster. I've noticed that girls between like 20 and 30 seem to know Can't Hardly Wait. I got the goth kids who know Buffy. I got this wide spectrum of people who range from like 8 to 13 who seem to know Scooby-Doo. Then I get the international people who seem to know Austin Powers and The Italian Job. But more than anything in the last year, when people approach me, they're talking about Robot Chicken, which is great, just 'cause we work so hard on this show. It's a such a small thing, the fact that anybody knows it is always kind of a surprise for me. I'm getting everything from like 9-year-old kids to the 40-year-old TSA agent talking to me about the show, so that's really cool.
Is there a role that you should have gotten but didn't get? Do you have a worst audition story?
I auditioned for David O. Russell, and it was one of the most miserable experiences I've ever had. That said, I've talked with a lot of people who've worked with him and had a blast, and I love his movies.
What was the movie?
It was for Three Kings, and he wanted to cast Spike Jonze, who was a buddy of his, and the studio had told him that he had to audition known actors in the role and we had a miserable time. I'm very pliable, and I'll go with it. I try to catch where people are and meet them there. But he wasn't very interested in that, and he made it very clear. I don't want to get into it. It was really just a s----y experience. [Laughs] That said, if he ever wanted me to do a movie with him, I bet we'd have a blast.
Let's talk about happier times: Congratulations on the Emmy nomination for Robot Chicken. You were in New York while the rest of the RC staff was in L.A.? How did you celebrate?
I was on speakerphone from New York. They gathered everybody around and people could speak into the phone and talk to me. It was very Charlie's Angels. There was a whole lot of woo-hooin'. It's really thrilling to be validated in this capacity. I mean, we make a 15-minute show that's incredibly silly, even though all of our scenic designers, puppet builders. animators, everybody that works on the show take their work very seriously. So somebody saying that we'd even be in contention for a very respectable award is really nice.
What can we expect to see on Robot Chicken this season?
I'm right in the throes of it, so it's such a blur right now. We've had a great bunch of cool celebrities coming on the show this season. We had Nathan Fillion on, and Adrianne Palicki, and Eden Espinosa, who's in the L.A. version of Wicked. And then I had Mario Lopez in yesterday. I love our show so much cause we just get to bring in all these cool people ranging in skill set, notoriety, and respectability. And everybody comes in and just has fun. I really dig it.
Who's been the best so far this season?
Man, it really is kinda blurry. [Asks his RC co-creator Matthew Senreich, who goes to get a list] I'm telling ya, this show is such a marathon. I warn everybody in the beginning of the season, like, ''Alright, it's January. We're gonna go till December, so brace yourselves. That's how it's gonna go down.'' [Matt returns with a list] Oh, that's right Billy Dee Williams came in and played Lando for us, which was mindblowing. Joel McHale came in and really kicked ass. Hayden Panettiere came in. Donald Faison always crushes it. Breckin Meyer came in, who wrote on this season as well.
Any soon-to-be classic sketches you can tease now?
We've got George Bush as a superhero this season. [Laughs] Two words: Captain Texas. That's about all you need.
Are you gonna be hitting Britney, Paris, and Lindsay some more?
I'm actually really excited about this, but it will be one of the last episodes to air: We're doing a dissection of rehab in general. It seemed like so many people from Michael Richards to Mel Gibson were in rehab this year in one form or another, and rehab itself has taken on kind of a mythical air. All those kids are in it. Lindsay, Paris, Britney, Mel Gibson.
NEXT PAGE: The first words out of his mouth when I got on set were, ''Robot Chicken is awesome.'' And I had to take a minute to digest that. And then I just loaded him up with swag.''