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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    MADtv’s Bobby Lee kicks it ‘Old Skool’

    Bobby Lee is best known for his roles on MADtv, including playing journalist Connie Chung. His next big step is in the comedy Kickin It Old Skool, where he break dances alongside comedian Jamie Kennedy.
    Bobby Lee is best known for his roles on ‘MADtv,’ including playing journalist Connie Chung. His next big step is in the comedy ‘Kickin’ It Old Skool,’ where he break dances alongside comedian Jamie Kennedy.

    So what if Andy Samberg has all the girls drooling over him because of “”Saturday Night Live”” and his super witty video shorts? Sketch actor Bobby Lee isn’t concerned about the fact that his show, “”MADtv,”” is continually going head to head with SNL every week.

    “”SNL has always been an institution because they’ve been around since the early ’70s, and we’re just an alternative to that show,”” Lee said. “”We’re edgier, and we’re a little more ethnic.””

    Lee has built up his own following on “”MADtv”” by portraying people such as Kim Jong-il and Connie Chung, as well as made-up characters like Hideki and Blind Kung Fu Master.

    “”I’m personally more drawn to the character building. I don’t really like to do impressions because a) I’m not good at it, and b) that’s not my training. I’d rather just create something original,”” Lee said.

    Even though Lee comes from a standup background, he stepped away from the improvising he does there and on “”MADtv”” as a star of “”Kickin’ It Old Skool,”” a movie with Jamie Kennedy about breakdancing, out April 27.

    Wait, you might think. Lee and Kennedy dancing? Is that really a good idea?

    “”He actually gave me the script at my house and he goes, ‘You want to be in this?’ “” Lee said of Kennedy. “”And I’m like, ‘I don’t dance, dude.’ And he’s like, ‘Neither do I, but we’ll train.’ “”

    Lee and Kennedy went to dance classes taught by Shabadoo of “”Breakdance”” and “”Breakdance 2.”” The classes didn’t really do much to improve their dancing skills.

    “”Any time you see us dancing good, it’s not us,”” Lee said, laughing.

    Lee described the classes as having a tough learning curve. The instructor put on some music and told them to dance just to see where they were at skill-wise; Lee pretty much had none.

    “”Literally, my dancing was like William Hung,”” he said. “”I was very uncoordinated, and (Shabadoo) literally stopped the music and said, ‘You’re the worst dancer I’ve ever seen in my life.’ “”

    “”Kickin’ It Old Skool”” also takes aim at the 1980s, “”loving it in a funny sort of way,”” as Lee puts it. The film starts off in the ’80s with Kennedy and Lee as young kids who have a breakdance group, before it jumps ahead 20 years with Kennedy finally waking up from a coma and wanting to start the group up again.

    “”A lot of people find the ’80s a delicious time of our lives. I mean, we had the original music, the colors, pop rocks, Debbie Gibson – it’s just a very rich time of pop culture,”” Lee said.

    Lee said when you’re living through a period, you never realize how ridiculous it is until much later. For all the ’80s haters, he predicts that people will be mocking the 2000s in 10 to 15 years.

    “”It’s only through time it becomes memorable and odd because you’ve changed. Right now iPods, Macs – they were new and exciting,”” he said. “”But 20 years from now, we’re going to look back at the iPod and go, ‘Look at that piece of shit. Look how big it was. Look how heavy it was.’ “”

    It’s clear from Lee’s light-hearted attitude that he’s not worried about “”Kickin’ It”” having to face down comedic heavy-hitter “”Blades of Glory”” at the box office.

    “”I really think that people are going to like the movie. I think it plays well, it’s nostalgic and it’s an alternative to, obviously, the big comedies coming out,”” Lee said.

    And as for who was the funniest on the set?

    “”Jamie,”” Lee said. “”I think he’s really funny.””

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