Great news, fans of Dwight Howard's voiceover work! The Los Angeles Lakers center is back, one would presume by popular demand (no Clipse and Cam), to lend his vocal gifts to the Disney XD cartoon series "Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil" in a new episode airing this Saturday, Sept. 22, at 11 a.m. Eastern and Pacific.
The show follows the exploits and adventures of a pint-sized, 13-year-old Evel Knievel-type called Kick — although, like Papa Doc, his real name is Clarence — who patterns himself in part after actor Rock Callahan, a giant, muscly action star voiced by Howard. In the episode airing Saturday, Callahan not only inspires Kick, but actually portrays the young daredevil in a movie-within-the-cartoon (which, as Trey Kerby notes at The Basketball Jones, is a little confusing) in which he must defeat a villain known as The Dark One, voiced by "Around the Horn" host Tony Reali, which is obviously completely reasonable and sensible. (Reali is following in the footsteps of his "Pardon the Interruption" colleagues Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, who previously portrayed police officers on "Kick Buttowski.")
Howard first appeared on the show in the premiere episode of its second season, which aired back in April 2011 while Howard was still a member of the Orlando Magic. While not a regular on the show, his Rock Callahan has become a recurring character, a distinction also held by the likes of comedian Maria Bamford, former "SNL" cast member Will Forte, the great Brian Doyle-Murry and, of course, Fergie.
During an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con to promote the cartoon last year, Howard said he helped "shape the Rock character," according to Doug Williams of ESPN.com, investing himself deeply in the creative process by making sure the cartoon Dwight had broad shoulders, too:
"He's a laid-back superhero," said Howard. "He's just so cool. Actually, I got it from 'Shaft,' because that's one of my favorite movies. You can kind of see the resemblance between Rock Callahan and Shaft. They're just so cool."
Maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure I hear or see either Richard Roundtree or Samuel L. Jackson in Rock Callahan ... if anything, with that extend-o-goatee, I'm seeing Kendrick Perkins more than anything else. (It is perhaps worth noting that the show features a female character named Kendall Perkins, who is described as one of Kick's primary rivals and also perhaps a love interest, which is, it seems to me, a very clear allusion to the contentious and familiar relationship that Howard and Perkins developed in their myriad Eastern Conference battles in the latter half of last decade.) Maybe now that Perk has jettisoned his long, pointy chin hair, Howard can grow his own and bring Callahan to life. I'm sure that'd go over big in his new Hollywood home.
Video via espnfrontrow.