Actor Hank Azaria dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss his new show, “Brockmire,” which debuted April 5 on IFC. Azaria, 52, plays Jim Brockmire, a baseball play-by-play announcer who has a meltdown on air after discovering his wife’s serial infidelity and tries to rediscover his career and love life in a small town.
“Every once in a while you get a character that, for some reason, gets to say whatever he wants – like Forrest Gump or, going back aways, Peter Sellers,” Azaria said on Gio and Jones. “It’s fun to play a character that just pathologically tells the truth. This guy does it in a drunken stupor, but whatever gets you there.”
Azaria, a longtime baseball fan, employs a stereotypical commentator voice on the show: deep yet charismatic.
“I’ve been aware of that voice since I was a teenager in the ’70s,” he said. “I always wondered why that was the voice. I always was picking up voices that, to me, were distinctive, (that) just sounded funny if you analyzed them. Any voice that sort of sounded strange to me, I latched onto.”
Azaria even uses his broadcast voice during a bedroom encounter with Jules, the team’s owner, who is played by Amanda Peet.
“That actually was my idea,” Azaria said, laughing. “It’s the same premise: If these guys always sound like this, I guess they probably dirty-talk like this, too: ‘For those of you just joining us, we have got a good one going here. He’s taking no chances, just trying to find his rhythm early.’”
Azaria, who is busy promoting the show, threw out the first pitch before the Mets/Phillies game Tuesday at Citi Field. He then joined Mets radio analysts Howie Rose and Josh Lewin in the booth.
“I’m like a kid in a candy store with all this stuff,” Azaria said. “I can’t believe it. I’m happy just going to a Met game. I’m happy just to pay money and sit in left field and go to a Met game. That makes me very happy – let alone throw out the first pitch, sit in the booth with Howie and Josh and all this crazy stuff. And it’s in connection with a show I love. It’s just really, really fun.”
“Brockmire” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.