The new Fall season has just kicked off and character actor Patrick Rafferty is already exercising his comedic timing on two different shows. Patrick will appear on Nickelodeon’s brand new spin-off series “Sam and Cat,” on Saturday, September 28th, and then a few days later you can catch him over on NBC’s proven winner, “Parks and Recreation,” on Wednesday, October 3rd.
This skilled improv actor started in his hometown Chicago at The Second City, but has been building a solid career on-screen since making his way to Hollywood. You might recognize him from his memorable roles on “Community,” “Suburgatory,” “The League,” “Up All Night,” “House, M.D.,” “Huge,” “Greek,” “Carpoolers” and “Supah Ninjas.” And, if you’re a baseball fan, you may recall Patrick as a panicked air traveler opposite Jason Bateman in the hilarious commercial for MLB on TBS.
We recently caught up with Patrick Rafferty to find out more about his work on these two upcoming comedy shows.
What can you tell us about your role in Nickelodeon’s “Sam and Cat”?
PATRICK: While I can’t say much because the episode revolves around a motorcycle mystery, I can say that I am a security guard that gets mixed up in crazy antics. I worked with Ariana Grande and she is very funny and talented. The episode is hilarious…trust me!
You’ll also be appearing on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”; what can you share with us about that?
PATRICK: What an amazing time I had on set. I am a huge fan of “Parks and Recreation” and to be on the show was a great opportunity for me. My character is Paul, who is Ron Swanson’s mailman. Ron needs help sorting out a problem so he turns to his mailman – me — for assistance…and it gets funny.
The amazing Nick Offerman plays Ron Swanson, and it was a great opportunity to work with him.
Since you’ve recently worked on one show geared for kids and one geared for adults, is there anything you have to do as an actor to adjust for the different audiences?
PATRICK: Both shows are hysterically funny with amazing writers and great directors. For “Sam and Cat” I went for the laughs by showcasing my physical comedy talents. On “Parks and Recreation,” the tone of the show is more grounded and natural, so I played the character very real. And there was a little impov on set, as well. I have a background in improv and it was fun to get to be a part of that on “Parks and Recreation.”
Any fun stories from either set that you can share with us? And, be honest, what’s Ron Swanson really like?
PATRICK: For “Sam and Cat,” I was in wardrobe on-set and looked like a real security officer. I had several people ask me for directions to places. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was an actor, so I gave them the directions.
Since we are both from Chicago, Nick Offerman and I talked all about Chicago, theatre and the neighborhood in-between takes on “Parks and Recreation.” When it came up in conversation that I had once played the mayor in a local production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” Nick, Retta and I spontaneously sang parts of a song from that show. It was so much fun!
As for Ron Swanson, he really is that same boss that makes local Pawnee government funny!
You seem to be having a lot of success in the comedy genre, is that what you gravitate toward?
PATRICK: Yes, I seem to do more comedy roles. I am very grateful and I just like making people laugh. I like ‘finding the funny’ in any situation. But, I like to do drama work, too. In fact, I’m shooting a short film in a few weeks and I play this great character that is really intense and fueled by his emotions. I’m really looking forward to having fun with that role!
And finally, how can your fans keep up with your busy career?
PATRICK: You can visit my website at www.patrickrafferty.net
Well, we’re really looking forward to watching! Thanks, Patrick!