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‘Veep’: Matt Walsh on the Proper Age to Introduce Your Kids to the Hysterically Inappropriate HBO Comedy

Also: Walsh notes how Mike McLintock no longer looks incompetent when you stack him up against Sean Spicer.

Matt WalshDeadline Hollywood Emmy Season Kickoff Party, Portraits, Los Angeles, USA - 05 Jun 2017

Matt Walsh


Matt Walsh’s three kids don’t know what he does or says on “Veep.” Yet.

But he doesn’t want to keep the joy of the comedy – and its inadvertently prescient take on modern Washington politics – away from them forever. That’s why he’s planning to screen the show for them when they turn 12 or 13.

“The language is horrendous, but it’s not as damaging as watching a terrible Disney show,” said Walsh, who has played press secretary Mike McLintock for six seasons. “Please don’t be like those snotty kids. Don’t idolize a smart-mouth 12-year-old because then I’m going to start having to deal with it at home!”

Walsh said his son Emmett saw “Veep” billboards around town this spring, and he was happy for his dad. “He’s like, ‘Dad, “Veep” is getting more popular,’ just by seeing more billboards,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘Veep’ Showrunner on the Season 6 Finale, Plans for Season 7, and Who’s Coming Back After That Wild Ending

The kid’s smart. “Veep” has already won two consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series Emmys, and even more wins for series star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But under showrunner Dave Mandel, who took over in Season 5, “Veep” has scaled new heights by moving the show beyond the Oval Office. The show’s characters are now more pathetic, more bitter – and more hysterical. (Walsh said his mom also believes the show “has gotten filthier.”)

That’s true of Mike McLintock, who re-joined the team surrounding former President Selina Meyer (Dreyfus) to help her write her memoirs. McLintock was a bit of a screw-up as Meyer’s press secretary – and yet when stacked up vs. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, he seems rather proficient.

“That has been the question in several interviews,” he said. “I think Mike at that podium is much more competent than that guy is at the podium. Mike is a buffoon and he does make mistakes. He’s a liability and he probably should have been fired, which applies to many of Selina’s staff.”

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (HBO)/Kobal/REX (8877349o) Matt Walsh, Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep" Season 6 TV series - 2017

Matt Walsh and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”


(Of course, at the end of Season 6, spoiler alert: Mike does appear to be on the outs. Mandel explained the finale to IndieWire’s Ben Travers here.)

Walsh noted that back when Mike was the White House press secretary, the “Veep” producers were concerned with making sure it was believable that he would keep his job despite his shortcomings.

“There were conversations in the writers’ room and on our feed when we were filming those scenes, like, ‘That’s pushing it. He wouldn’t be that bad,'” Walsh said. “We labored over those decisions. He can’t be that incompetent at the podium. Now, it’s a whole different world.”

READ MORE: Emmy Predictions 2017: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Beyond “Veep,” Walsh can also be seen next month in “Brigsby Bear,” as the father of a young man (Kyle Mooney) who had been kidnapped and raised in seclusion. The catch: Mooney’s captor forced him to watch one TV show – which didn’t actually exist, and was created and produced only for him.

It’s an absurdist comedy, but gave Walsh the opportunity to play the most dramatic role of his career.

“It was one of those scripts where you say, ‘I haven’t read anything like this in a long while,'” Walsh said. “It’s emotionally serious, but there are plenty of laughs along the way.”

Horatio Sanz, Matt Walsh19th Annual Del Close Marathon photocall, New York, USA - 23 Jun 2017

Horatio Sanz and Matt Walsh at UCB Theatre


After that, Walsh stars as Melissa McCarthy’s “jerk husband” in the 2018 feature comedy “Life of the Party.” But fans of the comedian can find Walsh on many Sundays at the UCB theater in Hollywood, where he continues to host the improv show “Asssscat.”

“I try to pop in two of three times a month,” he said. “It’s easy, and it keeps me fresh. It’s a good laugh.”

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