Actor Patrick Warburton gained his first big exposure as Elaine’s boyfriend, Puddy, on “Seinfeld,” and his deep-voiced, slow-talking manner has made him an easily recognizable presence ever since. These days, Warburton can be seen and heard regularly, voicing Joe Swanson on Fox’s long-running animated hit “Family Guy” and playing macho man Jeff Bingham on CBS’s “Rules of Engagement,” which just began its sixth season. As of late, he’s also been the spokesman for Honda.
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How did you make your living when you started out?
My first job was as a box boy in a grocery store. Then I went from the first year of college to being on the road with (psychedelic ’60s band) The Electric Prunes. I came back, lived with the bass player and drummer, did session work and got a job as a songwriter for $100 a week. That allowed me to rent half a duplex in East L.A. for $65 a month. The rest of the $100 would run out, so I would collect pop bottles to get refried beans and tortillas.
Did you have any other jobs?
I tried waiting tables in downtown LA for about a month or two, but it was miserable. They told me I’d have to cut my hair, and I was like, ‘see you later.’ And my hair wasn’t that important to me.