Despite having starred in two hit comedies, Brent Butt is still uncomfortable calling himself an actor.
“I look at myself as an entertainer who does some acting,” says Butt, who is back for season two of Hiccups, which he created and stars in with wife Nancy Robertson.
“And I’ve gotten much better as an actor. But I act within a certain emotional range. If I had to hold a dying child in my arms and scream to the gods — I’m not sure I could pull that off.”
In Hiccups, Brent plays easygoing life coach Stan Dirko — who is given the unenviable task of keeping the loud, volatile children’s writer Millie Upton (Robertson) out of trouble.
“She’s very likable because she’s like a wide-eyed child,” explains Butt. “But in that sense, she also has fits like a child. It’d be too tiring if she was just a jerk. She’s more a jerk full of wonder.”
In May 30’s season opener, Millie and Stan take a trip to Hollywood to finalize a movie deal. But it all ends as expected when Millie finds herself in an “incident” outside Grauman’s legendary Chinese Theatre.
“We wanted to start the season with a bang. And it turned out to be a fun episode. Maybe too much fun. We ended up shooting way too much in Hollywood.”
Butt says he learned a lot during the first season of Hiccups.
“You’ve got to remember we had already written half the episodes before we even hired the cast,” he says. “You learn lots just by doing it. You learn the rhythm of the show and the voice of the characters and you start to write to that. Comedy is all about rhythm. Well, mostly …”
Sounds like Butt has put a lot of thought into the nature of being funny. Has he ever considered lecturing on comedy?
“I’ve been asked but generally decline. Comedy kind of refuses to be analyzed. It stops existing once you get scientific about it.”
The second season of Hiccups premieres May 30 at 8 p.m. (ET) on CTV.