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Craig Robinson gives previous guests like Rick Springfield and Richard Marx a run for their money in this episode of Off the Cuff, where the famously funny actor spontaneously serenades us — not once, but twice — while accompanying himself on piano.
“I want to say in the womb,” he tells us about when he first started learning piano from his mother, a music teacher who had Robinson and his two siblings performing at a very young age. “We would be singing harmony and playing. Our house in Chicago was just like a giant rehearsal studio.”
Since those early Von Trapp Family days Robinson has propelled himself into comedy stardom with nine seasons starring on NBC’s The Office and roles in blockbuster comedies like Pineapple Express, This Is the End and Judd Apatow‘s Knocked Up, in which Robinson played the scene-stealing bouncer of a club that Apatow’s real-life wife, Leslie Mann, was fighting to get into.
“I did not know she was his wife at the time,” Robinson swears of Mann. “If I did, I would have been like, “Oh please, come into the club!’ “
“He’s a genius,” he says flat-out of Apatow, adding, “He’s a humble dude. He does stand-up still, and he’s concerned about it. He’s like, ‘Hey, how’s this joke?’ “
He has similarly kind words to say about his pal and frequent co-star James Franco, who directed Robinson in the upcoming film Zeroville.
“Franco is an artist,” he says when asked what it was like to take orders from his friend on set. “Like, the ultimate artist. So he is no joke when it comes to acting, directing. He’s a beast.”
Fans can now see Robinson reprising his role as Nick in Hot Tub Time Machine 2 which, calling back to how it all began, finds him singing once again.
“Nobody knew this sequel was going to take place,” he admits. “We’re all very happy it is.”
Listen to Robinson’s full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff and be sure to subscribe to #THRpodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.
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