Since his days lurking under the seats on David Letterman's "Late Night" talk show on NBC, Chris Elliott has become a fairly familiar face on TV. In the post-Letterman days, Elliott landed a recurring role on NBC's "Nick & Hillary" and, more recently, was a recurring character on "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Flanked by his series co-stars Maria Thayer and Brett Gelman, Elliott appeared at a mini-press conference for "Eagleheart" at the New York City Comic-Con. This live-action show, one of many 15-minute entries on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, has been renewed for a second season.
When asked about the 15-minute format favored by Adult Swim, Elliott said he is embracing it.
"I'm enjoying it. It's closest to what I used to do before I tried to extend what I was doing at Letterman back in the 1980s. My pieces back then were 7 to 10 minutes long at the most, so this being a 12-minute show feels like going home in a way. It's kind of old school," Elliott said.
On the show, Elliott plays Marshall Chris Monsanto, a peace officer who tends to cause more than his fair share of collateral damage. With just minutes of air time to fill, "Eagleheart" is noted for its needless bloodshed and raw carnage.
"I'm pushing for more carnage to fill the time, so there will be less hours to shoot," Elliott said, laughing.
Die-hard Chris Elliott fans always look back with fondness to his surreal television series "Get a Life." Running for two seasons in the early 1990s, the show featured Elliott as Chris Peterson, a 30-year-old paperboy who still living at home. Elliott's real-life father, noted comedian Bob Elliott, appeared on the show as Peterson's long-suffering dad.
Thanks to the fondness for "Get a Life," Elliott has a solid fan base. His Adult Swim series is giving him the chance, however, to reach an audience that's not familiar with his previous work.
"The neat thing about this new audience is that they don't know a lot about my history," Elliott said. "They don't go too far back, so I can repeat a lot of jokes that I did in the 1980s."
Elliott said that he always brings a good portion of who he is, his persona, to whatever role he is playing. "I am older now. I am 51 now, so I think I am playing sort of a surly Chris Peterson character from 'Get a Life.' It's sort of like Chris Peterson grew up and became a U.S. Marshall."
- David Letterman
- Adult Swim
- Brett Gelman