On the Scene: Recapturing the Throne?


Hollywood, Calif.

He has gone from being a prince of Overbrook Park to a "King" of network television.

And when Seth Green takes his regular royal slot as one of NBC's "Four Kings," premiering Jan. 5, he will make yet another adjustment to that well-crafted crown of comedy he's been carefully wearing since 1987, when he starred as little Woody Allen in "Radio Days."

These TV days are big-time for the former child star, whose stellar credits have landed him atop teeny-boppers' "Oh, my beating heart" list. Seth as sex symbol for the Clearasil set? The acme of his career with the acne acolytes?

Oh, and so much more. The "son" of Austin Powers will come up tomorrow looking for his ratings powers after premiering as Barry, dubbed one of "The Four Kings of New York," by his buddy Ben's late Bubbie.

But this quiet riot of a quartet – whose Jewish roots protrude like the lox in an overstuffed deli sandwich – are really Four Musketeers without their muskets, facing adulthood unarmed with the emotional equipment needed to dance the dance of Matzah Balls and deal with lifetime memberships in J-Dating.

At 31, Green – whose 2004 comedy "Without a Paddle" was solid-gold ore at the box office – still shows the impish imprimatur branded by such lines from long ago as "I love seventh and eighth grade. Every 45 minutes, you get a new audience."

The one greeting him on the reformulated "must-see" TV night might see a red-haired Green well familiar to them as wise guy/smart-ass. But Green's even smarter in real life these days, adding executive producer/writer/director to his TV credits ("Robot Chicken," Cartoon Network), as well as voice-overs on the popular "Family Guy."

Still, he's no family guy on "Four Kings"; more a dating demon whose idea of a "Calendar Girl" has nothing to do with May-December relationships.

Remaining good buddies with old friends – as he does in "Four Kings" – is old news to Green.

"One of my best friends who I hang out with here [in Los Angeles] is one I've had from childhood," he says, recalling some days in the Park with buds. "We went to school together."

He's Managing Well 
And they're even involved in panel discussions – the panels being those of comic books, "which we create together."

That's some résumé Green's created since his Bar Mitzvah days at Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne – setting the bar as high as he can: "My plan is to do as much as I can."

So far, so good: Green's got good notices in such films as "The Italian Job," "Party Monster" and "Rat Race," and may forever be known – besides his "Powers" part – for his world-weary werewolf in TV's "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."

Where he wolfs down accolades these days is on television, where Green's Barry barters for attention. "He's desperate for approval," says Green of his Jewish TV guy "who wants to be the 'Fix-It' guy, taking care of others before he takes care of himself."

Nobody need look out for Seth, who seems to be managing well on his own. Or in groups – best-buddy films/series seem to do best for him lately.

Indeed the "boys-in-trouble" "Without a Paddle" proved an even-more mainstream hit once it came out on DVD.

And there's always talk that "Greg the Bunny," the funny Fox show in which Green demonstrated his own energizer angst, may be revived or made into a feature film.

Yet if there's one place in which Green comes up short, it's in … short jokes. The mighty titan is the butt of many in the premiere episode.

Stand tall, he says defiantly, claiming that he has no problem pitting his stature in the biz with his height from ground up.

Green may not measure up a giant by a wooden ruler's standards, but as that boyish bearing bears out, he's the ruler of the universe in "Four Kings."


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