Hank Azaria

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-hour-and-forty-five-minute Archive interview, Hank Azaria talks about his early life and his decision to pursue a career in acting, which led to his first job in an Italian gum commercial. He describes going on several auditions in both New York and Los Angeles, which led to him being cast as "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons. He recounts his many years on The Simpsons, working with Sam Simon and James L. Brooks, and voicing such characters as "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon," "Jeff Albertson a.k.a. The Comic Book Guy," "Snake," "Lou the Cop," "Professor Frink," and others. Azaria discusses the cultural impact of The Simpsons and the legacy of the show. He outlines working with Jack Lemmon in the made-for-television movie Tuesdays with Morrie, and details the experience of working with Lemmon and what he learned from him. He talks about other projects, including the documentary series Fatherhood, his guest-starring role on Friends, and playing "Craig Huffstodt" in the Showtime series Huff. He concludes by discussing career highlights and regrets, and talking about how he'd like to be remembered. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on April 6, 2015 in New York, NY.

"'The Simpsons' was brilliant writing, it was hilarious, and from the get-go unbelievably well-received. You knew you were part of something amazing right from the beginning."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Hank Azaria on playing "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Mitch Albom" in Tuesdays with Morrie, co-starring Jack Lemmon 
Hank Azaria on guest-starring on Friends
Hank Azaria on advice to an aspiring actor
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched growing up; on moving to New York to pursue acting
On his first professional acting job in an Italian gum commercial; on moving to Los Angeles and getting an agent; on going on various auditions
On being cast as "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons; on what attracted him to The Simpsons and the state of FOX when it was launched; on working with James L. Brooks on The Simpsons
On playing "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons; on playing "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon" on The Simpsons; on playing "Jeff Albertson a.k.a. The Comic Book Guy", "Snake", "Lou the Cop", "Kirk Van Houten", and "Professor Frink" on the show
On playing "Dr. Nick Riviera" and "Disco Stu" on The Simpsons and improving lines on the show; on characters he wishes he could have done on The Simpsons and his favorite character; on the production on an episode of The Simpsons; on the cultural impact of the show
On censorship issues on The Simpsons; on winning Emmy Awards for his work on The Simpsons  

Chapter 2

On the guest stars of The Simpsons; on keeping The Simpsons fresh for himself; on the cast's contract negotiations; on the legacy of The Simpsons
On guest-starring on Friends; on starring as "Craig Huffstodt" on the series Huff; on playing "Mitch Albom" in Tuesdays with Morrie, co-starring Jack Lemmon 
On producing and directing the documentary series Fatherhood;  on his mentors; on advice to an aspiring actor
On his proudest career achievement and his career regrets; on dream roles or projects; on how he'd like to be remembered 
Shows

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Hank Azaria on winning Emmy awards for his work in The Simpsons

Friends

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Hank Azaria on guest-starring on Friends

Huff

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Hank Azaria on starring as "Craig Huffstodt" on the series Huff

Simpsons, The

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Hank Azaria on being cast as "Moe Szyslak" and other characters on The Simpsons and working with Sam Simon on developing the voices
Hank Azaria on what attracted him to The Simpsons and the state of FOX when it was launched
Hank Azaria on working with James L. Brooks on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Jeff Albertson a.k.a. The Comic Book Guy," "Snake," and "Lou the Cop" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Kirk Van Houten" and "Professor Frink," who was based on Jerry Lewis, on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Dr. Nick Riviera" and "Disco Stu" on The Simpsons and improving lines on the show
Hank Azaria on characters he wishes he could have done on The Simpsons and his favorite character
Hank Azaria on the production on an episode of The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on censorship issues on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on winning Emmy awards for his work in The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Frank Grimes" on The Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy" and other favorite episodes of his
Hank Azaria on the cultural impact of The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on the guest stars of The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on keeping The Simpsons fresh for himself; on the cast's contract negotiations 
Hank Azaria on the legacy of The Simpsons
Topics

Advice

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Hank Azaria on advice to an aspiring actor

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Hank Azaria on censorship issues on The Simpsons

Characters & Catchphrases

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Hank Azaria on being cast as "Moe Szyslak" and other characters on The Simpsons  and working with Sam Simon on developing the voices
Hank Azaria on playing "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Jeff Albertson a.k.a. The Comic Book Guy," "Snake," and "Lou the Cop" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Kirk Van Houten" and "Professor Frink," who was based on Jerry Lewis, on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Dr. Nick Riviera" and "Disco Stu" on The Simpsons  and improving lines on the show

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Hank Azaria on his mentors

Emmy Awards

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Hank Azaria on winning Emmy awards for his work in The Simpsons

Pivotal Career Moments

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Hank Azaria on his mentors

Pop Culture

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Hank Azaria on being cast as "Moe Szyslak" and other characters on The Simpsons  and working with Sam Simon on developing the voices
Hank Azaria on playing "Moe Szyslak" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Apu Nahasapeemapetilon" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Jeff Albertson a.k.a. The Comic Book Guy," "Snake," and "Lou the Cop" on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Kirk Van Houten" and "Professor Frink," who was based on Jerry Lewis, on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing "Dr. Nick Riviera" and "Disco Stu" on The Simpsons  and improving lines on the show

Television Industry

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Hank Azaria on censorship issues on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on advice to an aspiring actor
Professions

Actor

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Hank Azaria on advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

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Hank Azaria on advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Animation

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Hank Azaria on playing various characters on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing various characters on The Simpsons (Part 2)

Comedy Series

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Hank Azaria on playing various characters on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing various characters on The Simpsons  (Part 2)

Commercials

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Hank Azaria on his first professional acting job in an Italian gum commercial

News and Documentary

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Hank Azaria on producing and directing the documentary series Fatherhood

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Hank Azaria on playing "Mitch Albom" in Tuesdays with Morrie  co-starring Jack Lemmon 
People

James L. Brooks

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Hank Azaria on working with James L. Brooks on The Simpsons

Jack Lemmon

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Hank Azaria on playing "Mitch Albom" in Tuesdays with Morrie  co-starring Jack Lemmon 

Sam Simon

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Hank Azaria on being cast as "Moe Szyslak" and other characters on The Simpsons  and working with Sam Simon on developing the voices

All Interviews

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