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AfterElton’s Top 50 Favorite TV Characters

The results are in! We asked readers to name their favorite TV characters of all time and thousands responded. This year, for the first time, we weren’t just asking about favorite gay TV characters. Folks could vote for characters of either gender – and all persuasions. Of course, this being AfterElton we expected gay characters to figure prominently on this list – and they do – but it is interesting to see what female and straight TV roles also resonated with the AfterElton readership.

Before we get to the actual rankings, here are a few statistics.

First, the top fifty came from a broad range of TV shows. Thirty programs were represented, and the two that made the best showing (Glee and Modern Family) placed only four characters each in the rankings.

Second, female characters nabbed 15 of the top 50 spots, or 30%.

Third, obviously a poll like this favors characters from current shows – but our readers did a very good job of reaching back and giving recognition to enduring characters of the past. In fact, exactly half (25) are from shows that are no longer in production.

Finally, while gay characters were well represented here with 20 or 40% of the Top 50, characters of color made a disappointing showing. Only four ranked: two African American men and two Latina women.

Without further ado, here are the results!

Glee Results Below:

38. Burt Hummel, Glee (Mike O’Malley)

[On Air: 2009-Present] Burt Hummel is the supportive dad everyone wishes they had. A blue-collar champion and tireless defender of his son, Burt stands up for Kurt even though he may not always completely understand him. After all, Kurt was all he had after his wife died and before new wife Carol Hudson came along.

Some of the series’ most emotional moments revolve around Burt and Kurt Hummel’s relationship, from Kurt singing “Blackbird” while keeping vigil at his father’s bedside after Burt suffered a heart attack to Burt admonishing Finn (Cory Monteith) to stand up for his stepbrother at school. No matter what, Burt is always in Kurt’s corner. And because of that, we’re always in Burt’s.

10. Santana Lopez, Glee (Naya Rivera)

[On Air: 2009-present] Actress Naya Rivera and the Glee writers have taken the typical bitchy cheerleader character — which could have been nothing more than a cliché in less talented hands — and turned Santana into a character who seems refreshingly real, with shades of humor, sadness and vulnerability.

Sarcastic? Hells yeah! She has some of the best one-liners of any character currently on the airways. But she’s also been known to break down in tears while singing a song to her true love and fellow Cheerio, Britney S. Pierce (played by Heather Morris, Rivera’s real-life best friend). It doesn’t hurt that she’s got that amazing voice either. But Santana’s real importance lies in being a multi-dimensional character who is not defined by her sexuality, but rather her complexity.

2. Kurt Hummel, Glee (Chris Colfer)

[On Air: 2009 – Present] Kurt strikes a chord with many gay viewers because he reminds us of our own high school experience: the social outcast, loner or misfit.

A groundbreaking TV character on a one-of-a-kind series, Kurt has been slowly evolving out of the victim role (being thrown in a dumpster in the pilot, multiple Slushies to the face) into a more mature, stronger mentor. Witness his recent forgiveness and friendship with former bully, Dave Karofsky (Max Adler) for proof.

While many of Kurt’s storylines in the first two seasons of Glee revolved around his sexual orientation (and they sometimes still do) his character has become more well-rounded and is currently looking hopefully toward the future — life after high school. Kurt is a hopeful sign of the future for many of today’s gay teens: It may be a long, rough journey, but it will get better.

1. Blaine Anderson, Glee (Darren Criss)

[On Air: 2009 – Present] We fell in love with him from his first appearance on the show, where he shimmied and crooned the sweetest confection of a Glee number ever, serenading Kurt Hummel with Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” That smile, those moves, that voice, and a navy blazer with red piping. We were instantly hooked.

The song was perfect for him because Blaine really is a teenage dream. Young girls and boys alike crush on him. Like the perfect Tiger Beat cover boy, he’s both cute and yet completely non-threatening at the same time. Another part of his appeal? Blaine seems completely unaware of precisely how hot he is. (A personality trait he seems to inherited from actor Darren Criss.)

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Mike O’Malley To Co-Star In His Fox Comedy Pilot ‘Prodigy Bully’

Mike O’Malley, writer/co-executive producer of Fox’s half-hour comedy pilot Prodigy Bully, is taking on another role on the project, this time in front of the camera. The actor, who originally was attached only as a writer-producer, has closed a deal to co-star in the project executive produced by John Wells. Based on the Prodigy Bully one-minute movies by Hank Perlman, the Warner Bros./John Wells Prods. comedy centers on a young boy genius who uses his brains and brawn to get whatever he wants. O’Malley will play the boy’s father. With the casting, O’Malley could potentially be on 2 Fox series next season — he is also recurring on the network’s dramedy Glee, which is expected to be renewed. The move is reminiscent of that on the NBC comedy 1600 Penn, where co-creator Josh Gad also was only attached as a co-writer/executive producer but ultimately agreed to co-star, sealing the project’s pilot pickup. Prodigy Bully and 1600 Penn join 3 other comedy pilots this season, which star their writers/co-writers: Roseanne’s Downwardly Mobile at NBC, Sarah Silverman’s untitled NBC project and Mindy Kaling’s medical comedy at Fox. This extends a trend that started last season when a whopping 4 series headlined by actors who wrote them made it on the schedule: NBC’s Whitney and BFFs, CBS’ How To Be A Gentleman and ABC’s Man Up!

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Fox Picks Up John Wells-Mike O’Malley Comedy Pilot

Fox has ordered a pilot for a new comedy from John Wells and Mike O’Malley.

Based on Hank Perlman’s one-minute movies of the same name, Prodigy Bully revolves around a young boy genius who uses his brain and brawn to get whatever he wants. Wells will executive-produce with Paris Barclay and Andrew Stearn. Glee‘s O’Malley, who works on Shameless with Wells, is attached as a co-executive producer. Prodigy Bully was previously developed at NBC.

Fox previously picked up pilots for comedies Ben Fox Is My Manny, Little Brother, Rob McElhenney‘s Living Loaded and Bill Lawrence‘s Like Father, along with drama pilots Guilty and an untitled project from The Vampire DiariesKevin Williamson.

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Mike O’Malley Visits Sister Kerry at On a Clear Day You Can See Forever…

…And continues to be the most awesome person in the world.

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Glee’s Mike O’Malley on His Fictional Run for Office, Fixing Cars, and Political Mix Tapes

After spending Glee’s first two seasons melting the hearts of viewers who only knew him as a host of Nickelodeon’s Guts and star of Yes, Dear, it seemed like Mike O’Malley was destined to take a more backseat role this season — until last night’s episode, when he announced he’d be running as a write-in congressional candidate against Sue Sylvester. In real life, O’Malley prefers coaching his three kids’ sports teams (he was on the way home from son Seamus’s soccer game as we spoke) to political grandstanding, and fills in his time between Glee tapings as a consulting producer and writer for Shameless. He still gamely chatted with Vulture about Burt’s upcoming season, and even offered us a political mix tape.

Burt is running for congress on an arts education platform. That’s a nice dream!
[Laughs.] It is a nice dream. I think what good television does well is that it shows characters evolving. You wouldn’t have thought this guy would be accepting of his son two years ago, and here we are now, because he’s chosen to be open-minded. He still has that same staunch fervent desire to protect his kid and stand up for him. I think the older you get as a parent, the fewer the opportunities to do that because you’re not as involved in your kid’s life. I have three kids, and I’m a coach for a lot of their sports, so I’m around them a lot, but I see friends of mine with older kids and they don’t really interact so much, other than giving them a place to live. This is an opportunity for Burt to participate in Kurt’s life in a very specific way.

And on a very big stage. Are you a very political person in real life?
You know, I was a solid B student my whole life, so I can’t get into too many arguments and win them. But I find it easy to defend what it is I think is right. Politics isn’t something that really interested me; I, of course, care about what’s going on in the world, but so much of political discourse now is not necessarily about doing what’s right.

Last we spoke, you were hoping you’d get to sing on the show and mentioned wanting to do a National song. Are you any closer to that goal?
I’m constantly suggesting to Ryan and Brad and Ian that I should sing, at the very least either when Kurt wins or loses the school election, the idea that maybe there’d be a karaoke bar celebration, or a dream sequence when he’d sing. I wouldn’t want it to be totally preposterous, but I like to think that deep in Burt’s genes is where Kurt’s talent came from. It’s just that I haven’t scratched the surface of my singing talent yet.

Perhaps you, too, have a crazy falsetto that’s just waiting to be discovered …
Jeez, can you imagine? If Bono can do it, then I can do it.

There was much ado earlier this year when Chris Colfer voiced his surprise at hearing that his character would be graduating after this season. Do you know what his graduation means for your character?
Well, I don’t know. I don’t know what the future is, who’s graduating or what. Other than the wedding episode last year, I kinda come in, do small scenes with one or two people, and then I go, so I’m not really around for all the other stuff. I’m No. 19 on the call sheet, so there’s a whole other experience going on there and I’m just popping in like a guest. I am just so out of the loop of what’s going on. I’m happy to continue to work on any episode of Glee and if Burt wins the seat, then I’ll just be a local politician, and if Kurt goes to L.A. or New York or London to pursue an acting career, I’m happy to go there and support him there.

You can start international car dealerships. Which reminds me, I’ve always wondered, are you actually good at fixing cars?
I am excellent. Do I look good? As my father said once, there was an intersection at one point where cars were no longer about engines and became more about computers, and I think cars are harder to fix nowadays because of that. I can change a tire, but I couldn’t change a fuse on the computer panel on my car.

The recent political discourse would be much more amusing if it involved singing. What would you like to hear each candidate sing?
I think Barack Obama would do “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” because I think that’s how he truthfully feels about leading. Oh God, I can’t think of anything but the songs my daughter sings nowadays. Let me call you back in fifteen minutes.

[O’Malley calls back fifteen minutes later.]

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Mike O’Malley Added To ‘R.I.P.D.’ Cast

Mike O’Malley, who is a series regular on Glee and a writer on Showtime’s Shameless, has just been cast in Universal’s supernatural comedy R.I.P.D., which stars Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in a movie based on the Peter Lenkov comic that centers on a police force made up of undead cops. The Robert Schwentke-directed film has been slated for a June 28, 2013 release. O’Malley, who begins shooting his scenes next week, will play Elliot, a kind of ghost. He is repped by CAA and Principato Young.

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For Your Consideration: Mike O’Malley Talks GLEE and SHAMELESS

If actor Neil Patrick Harris is serious about holding onto his “hardest working man in show business” moniker, he might want to watch out for Mike O’Malley. For when O’Malley isn’t making audiences reach for the kleenex box in his Emmy Nominated turn as Kurt’s understanding father Burt Hummel on the hit fox show GLEE, he’s part of the hilariously twisted writer’s room responsible for the hit Showtime’s series SHAMELESS and starring in his potential Fox midseason comedy FAMILY ALBUM. But just how does he do it? Well, we recently had the pleasure of chatting with the actor to find out just that.

When you were first handed the script for GLEE, did you ever imagine that it would turn into the worldwide phenomenon that it has?
Mike O’Malley: Well I didn’t audition for it, they just called me up and asked me to do it which was kind of a cool thing. I knew about the show, I had an awareness of it because my sister Kerry — who is a Broadway actress and starred in the showtime series BROTHERHOOD — tested for the part of Terri. But also I knew Ryan [Murphy] and Brad [Falchuk] because I had shot PRETTY/HANDSOME which is a pilot they had done for FX a year earlier. Anyways we don’t have to talk about a show nobody has seen, but Ryan has always been a very brave writer and sure enough being involved with that, I had a great experience with him and so he called me up to read this part [Burt Hummel]. I did, and at first I thought I could see where this is going, and then of course it went some place I didn’t see where it was going.

Did it make it easier saying yes to a role knowing what a positive impact it would have?
I’m just such a fan as Ryan as a guy, as a creative person my only question was where should I show up. I can’t say if the character was saying the exact opposite I would have said no to him which is interesting. I believe in the overall idea of what Ryan Murphy does and wants to do in his writing so if he were to all me up and ask me to play a character that the audience thought was despicable, I understand enough in terms of storytelling that sometimes you need those characters so you can tell your story. If Burt Hummel was a completely intolerant guy would I have said no, I wouldn’t do this, I can’t say I would have said no. But I’m happy it’s the other way around.

Having recently heard you on the Adam Carolla’s podcast, one really got the sense that you’re incredibly protective of the character and Burt’s relationship with Kurt.
Here’s what I think. You cannot deny that people are ridiculed and hurt by other people’s intolerance and it’s time for us to stop acting like that’s okay. We’re just past the point. As much as people want to say “Ahhh, come’on I’m just saying this word and making a joke,” or “Ahhh, come’on life’s tough,” or, ” I got picked on when I was a kid,” very few people have wanted to kill themselves. Imagine if every American teenaged boy wanted to kill themselves for wanting to have sex with girls? People don’t understand unless they have friends, or people in their lives and families or seek out literature or characters are of a different persuasion then them. So what’s great about GLEE where here is this character like Kurt is going through all this stuff and they’ve dramatized his experience of it. It’s not a grown man whose coming out, it’s someone who is coming to terms with who he is in an environment that yes is sometimes intolerant but it’s also very tolerant.

For a group of inexperienced twenty-somethings, the cast of GLEE have handled themselves remarkably well over the course of the past three years. Looking back to when you were twenty, how do you think you would have handled the fame and public scrutiny that comes hand-in-hand with starring in a hit television show?
I like to think that because I have great parents I would have handled myself the correct way. I think that they’re all just very nice people and extremely hard working. I went to see their live show, 18,000 fans screaming, and they put on this incredible show. And I know how hard they work during the year, they just seem to be handling it with real grace and consideration. They’re keeping each other in check too, they’re a real team and I think that when you’re a team like that there are leaders from within the team and there is self policing going on. By the way, I’m speculating, but I’m there a decent amount and all I see is people working hard and getting along. All this drama, I swear to God I’ve never seen any of it, all I see is people working hard, laughing with one another.

Before we move onto your other favorite project of mine, we’ve have to ask one more GLEE related question: Are you ever going to get to sing on the show?
Let’s make a move for it! I’ll sing anything Ryan wants me to. I can carry a tune. I could fake a good country song depending on what it was. If Artie can have a fantasy sequence where he dances, I can certainly have a fantasy sequence where I sing.

One thing that audiences may-or-may-not know about you is that aside from starring on GLEE, you’re a writer on the hit Showtime series SHAMELESS. Can you elaborate a little more on your involvement with the show?
I’m a writer/producer, so I got credited with one episode but I’m in the writer’s room with John Wells and the other writers everyday we meet. So I’m breaking all the stories, giving notes on all the stories, we’re all doing that together.

Do you think sweating it out in the writer’s room makes you a better actor?
Without a doubt yes. If you have great bosses like John Wells and Ryan Murphy, you understand how much thought goes into the scenes they’ve written. So you understand what it is you’re playing and that what it is you have to get across in the scene becomes immensely important because you know where it fits in terms of storytelling. If people are bored they’re not going to keep watching. As an actor on GLEE it taught me to be really specific about what it is I’m trying to convey or what my obstacles are in the scenes so that it’s incredibly apparent to whoever is watching what’s going on with the character.

One of the most interesting aspects about SHAMELESS is the polarizing nature of Gallagher patriarch Frank. What are the debates like inside the writer’s room in terms of how far you should be taking the character?
There was a lot of discussion in the writer’s room as to how far we wanted Bill Macy’s character to go with [Lip’s girlfriend] Karen and how could we do that scene and still make people understand that it was a human being and not just a two dimensional villain that was participating in the relationship. It’s been interesting. John [Wells] is very specific about wanting to make certain that the complexity of who Frank is. There’s a monstrosity and narcism to alcoholism that you see the Gallagher children go through. And I think that messiness of it and the fact that you do hate him is what makes it an interesting show to write. It’s not just about what ridiculous thing can we do this week, it’s more about how people overcome and struggle with succumb to the monstrous of everyday human behaviours that we impose upon one another.

Is it wrong that one of the appeals of the show is how much better SHAMELESS makes me feel about my own life?
The great part about writing for it is that you’re able to feel these things, so if what it does in a good way and make you turn off the show and say maybe I should vote for — now I’m brining politics into this and I don’t want to this is my perspective — what does this show when I look at the circumstances of this family what does it make me think about? Does it make me think about the fact that schools should be better and that alcoholism is a real disease? Does it make you think about anything other than thank God I’m not in this family? It’s giving you a glimpse into a world that you don’t really see on television very much and that it’s not just here are these poor people, it’s like holy sh*t man look at what these people are up against.

If your name was to be read on Emmy night, what would you prefer to win for: Acting or writing?
What do I prefer, people are constantly asking me this. I think the act of writing a script is an immensely, all encompassing creative endeavor. I like the challenge of coming up with a story, getting notes on why a story doesn’t work, trying to work with your colleagues on finding out what the best solution is, going off on your own trying to write dialogue that you think accurately would tell that story best and that knowing, really well, what your contribution has been to creating that finished product. Knowing what jokes you came up with in your backyard, driving down the street, or whatever an observation you might have about life or human interaction that you always wanted to articulate. Just the idea that these characters are speaking through you, the challenge of that, the craft of that, the emotional work that it takes to do that really well when you get it right is immensely gratifying.

Where as the acting part of it, the hard work that you’ve done is mostly work that you’ve done in your 20′s. Learning how to act so that when you get to set you let everything fall away and just be as truthful as you can in the scene. So often times when you’re acting it just feels more like playing, just kind of more like I’m going to show up, we got to shoot two scenes today and at the end of the day yo know you work has done and you can move on to the next thing.

As a writer you can finish a script, think it’s amazing, and the next day be told that only 50% of it is acceptable for whatever reason. They either like it or don’t like it. Hey, you think it’s great, that’s why you passed in it, but then you find out only half of it is great. So you got to go back to the drawing board, and that relentless. Going back to the drawing board is a different kind of work. It’s a challenge and frustrating but when you finally succeed you also have the gratification of knowing what you contribute to the episode.

And finally, how do you managed to juggle guesting on GLEE, writing on SHAMELESS and a potential midseason Fox pilot that is FAMILY ALBUM?
I shot the pilot before SHAMELESS started up again, and because it was a 20th Century Fox project for Fox Television they worked out the schedule with Ryan Murphy so that I was available to do that. Now, if we go midseason in August obviously I’d have to get a few days off from SHAMELESS, but we’d be in production then and often times when we’re in the midst of shooting we’re not meeting in the writer’s room as often because we’re off writing our scripts. In terms of GLEE, as part of my deal to do FAMILY ALBUM — because I said to Ryan Murphy that I didn’t want to jump ship and that I love playing this character want to be around and available to play it as long as he wanted me to do it — they [20th Century Fox and Fox Television] worked out a deal to allow me to do six episodes of GLEE, and more, if FAMILY ALBUM doesn’t get picked up.

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‘Glee’: Mike O’Malley on Prom, Pilots and Practical Advice

On Tuesday (May 10), we grabbed “Glee’s” Mike O’Malley (aka Burt Hummel) when he stopped by the KTLA Morning Show. We asked him about the upcoming “Prom Queen” episode, his comedy pilot — “Family Album” — and stood by helplessly when the interview was crashed by “Parenthood’s Dax Shepard.

O’Malley told us he hopes Burt Hummel will eventually get to sing on “Glee.” Citing Artie’s out-of-the-wheelchair dream sequence “Safety Dance,” he didn’t see why a similar scenario couldn’t be concocted for Burt.

He also had blunt advice for would-be prom-goers: “It’s really just a party where everybody’s dressed up. It’s really just a dance … I think that if people look at it that way they won’t be disappointed when it turns out to be just another dance in a fancy costume.”

O’Malley — when not at all pressed — offers that everyone should be nicer.

Noted.

Back on track, we move on to chat about his FOX pilot, “Family Album,” that may or may not be picked up when fall network schedules are announced next week.

“It’s more of a comedy,” says O’Malley, who noted that his “Glee” character ends up in a lot of “heavy” scenes. “No drama.”

Keep your eyes peeled for Shepard — he’s the other guy wearing a hat.

VIDEO HERE!

GLAAD Media Awards

Glee was a big winner at the GLAAD Media Awards on Sunday night taking home Best Comedy Series (tied with Modern Family).  Chris Colfer & Mike O’Malley were there to accept the award.  Another Gleek was honored too – Kristin Chenoweth was honored with the Vanguard Award which is presented to those in members of the entertainment community who have made a difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community.

Before you check out the pictures (which are below), WATCH Kristin’s acceptance speech for the Vanguard Award.  It will make you cry.

and also watch Chris & Mike accept Glee’s award:

Now for the pictures:

Glee’s Mike O’Malley on Playing Kurt’s Dad and the National Song He’d Like to Sing on the Show

Vulture caught up with Mike O’Malley recently and found out about his dream song to sing on Glee as well as what it’s like to play Kurt’s dad.

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In the increasingly crazy world of Glee, Mike O’Malley’s presence is always a great relief. The longtime comedian shows surprisingly understated drama chops as Burt Hummel, Kurt’s blue-collar, auto-repairing dad who learns more about his gay son every day. On his days off, O’Malley keeps busy, working as a writer and producer on Showtime’s Shameless, acting in the Fox pilot Family Album with Rachel Harris and Rob Huebbel (“It’s about America — RIGHT NOW!” O’Malley says emphatically, adding that it won’t interfere with his work on Glee), and coaching his three kids’ sports teams. O’Malley spoke to Vulture on a lunch break about his chemistry with Chris Colfer, the phenomenon of the sex talk, and why he’s still proud of perhaps his most famous role thus far: hosting Nickelodeon’s Guts.

Our commenters are in a constant state of disbelief that you’re the guy from Guts and Yes, Dear.
It’s funny — sometimes people think we as actors have this wide range of choices of the roles we’re doing, and in a lot of ways when you’re a younger actor, or just if you want to make a living in the business, you take your opportunities where they come. I took my job for Nickelodeon very seriously, and back then it wasn’t certainly as big of a network as it is now, culturally, and people my age didn’t know much about it. But I loved my time there, I really put everything I had into doing Guts, and it actually taught me a lot about how to work really hard. And then in terms of Yes, Dear, you know, I’d always wanted to be on a four-camera sitcom. It’s been great to see the show have the longevity it had, to finish up doing six seasons and then for it to be in syndication, and now it’s going to be on Nick at Nite, so things are really coming full circle.

So you still stand by those jobs?
I think sometimes people want me to in a way be embarrassed that I worked on Nick, and I’m not, but I understand that people grew up watching me as a part of that. And it’s really only people under 30 who know about it. I did the commencement speech at UNH in 2006 and one of the biggest jokes was a Guts joke.

Do you feel like Ryan Murphy saw something in you that other directors or show-runners hadn’t?
I think he just creates an atmosphere where you’re really able to shine; that’s the best thing about him that I’ve realized. It’s very relaxed, so when you’re working, you can just stop and listen and keep it real. He doesn’t rush you. A lot of times in television, it’s incredibly rushed and you’re just trying to get the pace. He’s done a great job with my character and with my scenes of really allowing it to breathe. Ryan has a great gift for knowing what the rhythm and the pace of a scene is, and for really getting an actor to keep it real. And Chris Colfer is such a talented actor; he’s really emotionally available in a scene. All you have to do is look at him, and it’s pretty easy to play the scene as written.

Do you and Chris prepare a lot together before shooting?
What works in those scenes is that there’s a quietness to them. Chris and I don’t talk about the scene at all before we do it; we don’t really rehearse it, and that’s been it from the get-go. We’ll say the lines out loud while they’re setting up the cameras, but we’re not off in a corner trying to really work on the scene. He’s a gifted performer who’s thoroughly prepared always. So when we go and do the scene, it’s us talking about it almost for the first time. I think a lot of time when acting is bad on television, it’s when actors are trying to remember their lines.

The recent scene in which you attempt to give Kurt a sex talk, after Blaine sleeps over without permission, was especially great.
Chris was perfect in that scene, you know, “I really do not want to be talking to my father about that!” It’s a very interesting dynamic. I think it’s difficult for parents to think of their children as sexual beings. You knew them when, you know? When they couldn’t eat without spilling food on themselves, or when they had to go to the bathroom in their pants, and then suddenly they’re embarking on a whole aspect of their lives which causes a lot of people a lot of pain, as wonderful as it is. All I know is the perspective of being a parent: You know all the arguments coming to you before they come to you, because you’ve been on the other side. And look — parents don’t want their kids having sex. If they did, they’d teach them technique! I don’t care how open-minded you are. Sex education is really about avoiding STDs and unwanted pregnancies — it’s not, “Hey, if you focus here, kids, girls will pay you a lot more attention!”

Burt could very easily be a walking stereotype — what did you think of the part when you first read it?
When I read the first episode of the show, it was the pilot, and I thought, Oh, this guy’s gonna be this stereotypical intolerant dad. Ryan had called and asked if I wanted to do the part — we’d worked together before on the pilot for Pretty/Handsome — but by the time I got to the end of the episode I thought, This is great. I loved that the character said, “This isn’t gonna be easy or what I wanted, but I love you,” I thought that was so genuine.

So, before the hiatus, Kurt got his first kiss from a guy. We’d imagine Burt will have something to say about this when the show’s back?
Yes. I mean, actually, I don’t know — I’m not saying this to avoid spoiling things, but I’ve only shot one more episode where Blaine was not involved, episode eighteen, and then we have five episodes after that, and I’m not in nineteen. And I don’t think they’ve even written the last four. They know what’s going on, but we kind of find out the night before. It’s like getting a present!

The show’s plot veers all over the place, and you’re not in every episode. Do you ever come in and read a script and think, Whoa, what happened while I was gone?
Yeah, I mean, I have joked somewhat that it seems sometimes like “it must be such a fun, hilarious show to work on!” and every time I’m there, somebody’s crying! It’s like everyone’s working on Glee and I’m working on Sad and Serious. With the exception of the wedding episode, my scenes are usually these quiet, serious, and realistic scenes with Chris and Corey. So it’s really the opposite of what I’m watching on television. All the pomp and showmanship of the dance numbers, it’s like I’m as far removed from that as you could possibly be.

Will we ever hear you sing?
God willing you’ll hear me sing! I think we should hear me sing! If Artie can have a dream sequence where he dances, I can have one where I’m sitting out there thinking of the life that could have been had I sung. And the great thing is that you can also dream you have a great voice! I’d do “Bloodbuzz Ohio” by the National. ‘I was carried to Ohio on a swarm of bees’ — it even deals with Ohio!

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