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James Patrick Stuart Reveals the Role He Calls: “The Most Fun I Ever Had”


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Soap fans know James Patrick Stuart best for his roles as Valentin Cassadine on GENERAL HOSPITAL or Will Cortland on ALL MY CHILDREN. Many viewers might also recognize him from primetime appearances in shows like FRASIER or SEINFELD as well as his starring role in Disney Channel’s THE VILLAINS OF VALLEY VIEW. However, there’s one role that many people didn’t see the actor in, and it just so happens to be one of his favorites!

“If you never saw ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE, you ain’t alone,” he said on Facebook. “It was universally critically acclaimed and nominated for multiple Emmy awards during its short run. Few more than a dozen episodes were ever aired before it disappeared. It remains to this day the most fun I have ever had. I flat-out loved every minute of working for [creator] Victor Fresco and [director] Andy Ackerman. Andy Richter is easily the funniest man I have ever known. Lightning in a bottle.”

ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE aired on FOX from 2002-03 and starred comedian Andy Richter as an aspiring writer working in Chicago for a company that creates technical manuals in order to pay the bills. Stuart played the role of Keith, Andy’s friend and co-worker, who was best known as the handsome guy in the office.

“James Patrick Stuart came from soap operas, and like Irene [Molloy], he didn’t have to be as funny as he was,” Richter recalled to Cracked. “His part was predicated on him being the handsome guy, but that character evolved because James was really funny.”

“That’s nice of Andy to say, but I’d give the credit to Victor Fresco for never wanting to go for the obvious joke,” Stuart replied. “There’s an archetype of the snobby, good-looking dude who had everything growing up and he gets off on making Andy’s character feel bad about himself, but Victor didn’t want to do that. Keith has a really good heart, so this rivalry is happening in Andy’s mind. It was such a fresh take on it.”

One of the comedic gimmicks used in the show involved scenes that were suddenly revealed to be happening only in Andy’s imagination. After a first season of seven episodes, ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE was renewed for a second season, but only eight of the 13 episodes aired on FOX. Still, Stuart has fond memories of the sitcom.

“There are hundreds of lines… that still pop into my head,” he confessed. “Then I’ll text them to Paget [Brewster] or Jonathan [Slavin]. I work on GH now and I tend to forget those lines in an hour, but I still remember so many jokes from ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE.”

Unfortunately, if you want to check out Stuart’s performances for yourself, you’ll have to track down the complete series DVD set that was released in 2009 because ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE is not currently streaming anywhere.

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