An interview with Toby Huss

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Toby Huss has portrayed many characters since he began his career in 1987. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Cotton Hill and Kohng Koy Kahn Souphanousinphone on King of the Hill and Felix “Stumpy” Dreifuss on the HBO series Carnivàle. He has appeared on countless films and television shows such as Down Periscope, Jerry Maguire, Beavis and Butthead Do America, Seinfeld, Vegas Vacation, The Mod Squad, Nikki, Reno 911!, 30 Rock, Cowboys & Aliens, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Enough Said to name a few. His parodies of Frank Sinatra in the films Vegas Vacation and Down Periscope led to his forming the character Rudy Casoni. Toby also did several promo spots from MTV during the early 90’s wherein he covered tracks by Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre., Cypress Hill, and Pearl Jam among others. He is also a bit of an artist in his own right.

What was it like growing up in Marshalltown, Iowa? Can you tell us a little about the place? 

It’s a place where meat is steamed.

Did you experience any culture shock when you first moved to Los Angeles? What do you like most about living there?

Los Angeles usually fries or grills their meats. Or there’s a nice Mexican flat steak marinade they do. Still, jarringly NOT steamed.

What did you do before you became an actor? In the back of your mind was acting something you always wanted to do?

I worked for a Jamaican construction crew in NYC.

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You have also done quite a lot voice over work. Do you enjoy that as much as acting? How do the two differ most? Do you find you are less self conscious when providing voices?

Voice over work is for pussies.

What was it like to provide the voices for Cotton Hill and Kahn Souphanousinphone on King of the Hill? Was it strange to be portraying two very different characters?

Cotton could kick Kahn’s ass.

What was it like to with Daniel Knauf and the cast of Carnivàle? What are some of your fondest memories from your time there?

Dan Knauf is a big, cuddly, American porch of a fellow. He’s sitable when he’s shaded.

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What do you love most about acting?

All the free candy!

How did Rudy Casoni come into being? Can you tell us a little about him? Have you always been a Sinatra fan?

I liked Sinatra more when I’d get drunk and smoke around women I’d hit.

You are a bit of an artist and photographer as well. Do you find there is a certain freedom that comes from the act of creation, regardless of what form it comes in?

I make a lot of things that no one needs to see. And some that a lot of people see. Some things I make are only seen by certain people. It’s all a racket, this finding love.

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What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

I have a paper route and a tortoise.

Are there any little known things about yourself that your fans might be surprised to know?

That I’m reluctant to delude myself into a collective form of intimacy with them. That, and my turn-offs are: sloth, envy, greed and girls who “think” they’re “all that.”

You have covered a wide array of characters over the course of your career, are there any that you love more than others? Which you would say was closest to your own self?

I’ve always liked my portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in American Shitfister.

What are you personal feelings on the state of the entertainment industry today? How would you most like to see it change in the future?

I hope entertainment will one day come in pill form. Or fudge form. I’d like to eat a chocolate Kristen Wiig film next week.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Stoke on it.

What projects are you currently working on?

Just trying to get my shoes on over the horrible swelling like everyone else.

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