Tag Archives: Disney XD

‘Mighty Med’ Kids Have Big Fun With NBA’s Dwight Howard

JAKE SHORT, PARIS BERELC, BRADLEY STEVEN PERRY, DWIGHT HOWARDPlaying opposite 6’11” Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets was really big fun for Disney XD teen star Jake Short.  “He was great.  He’s a big guy doing big motions with his hands and arms and it’s good for comedy.  He’s a funny guy, and he’s really nice,” says Jake, who had the chance to go one on one, comedically speaking, with Howard playing a super hero called The Great Defender on the Nov. 4 episode of his new “Mighty Med” series.

The episode kicks off Disney XD’s month-long “Pranksgiving” programming event, in which NBA players Tyson Chandler, Stephen Curry, Kenneth Faried and DeAndre Jordan will also be seen involved in pranks — a full court press of kid-friendly hijinks.  Jake notes that Howard has “done quite a few gigs here.  He jumps right in with all that Disney energy and all that fun stuff.”  On his medically-themed sitcom, “We prank him and prank a bunch of other people, and it creates mayhem in the hospital.  It was crazy.  We did a bunch of green screen stuff.  It was difficult but it was worth it.”

Rising Star Ben Schwartz Balances ‘Lies,’ ‘Rec,’ and ‘Ninja’

With his costarring role on Showtime’s ribald “House of Lies,” his recurring part as the cult fave wildman Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation,” plus a couple of big ticket film writing assignments, rising multi-talent Ben Schwartz is busy — so busy, he has literally rushed from one set to another to work on two different shows the same day. And now he’s doing 52 episodes as the title voice role in Disney XD’s “Randy Cunningham, 9th Grade Ninja,” debuting today.

“I don’t sleep much. I get very stressed out a lot,” admits Schwartz, whose credits include writing for David Letterman and “Saturday Night Live.” However, “I started from nothing, I had no connection with anybody in the entertainment industry. When I started I was just doing comedy for five or six years for no money, just trying my hardest to get work. So the fact I have opportunities now just blows my mind, it gets me so excited, you know, like, if I didn’t work as hard as I could, the person I was seven years ago would be so upset at me.”

Why a Disney XD animated show? Schwartz says he’s a long-term animation buff himself. With “Randy Cunningham,” he says, “I get to be a ninja! I get to be this big, funny, broad character and make action sounds like I’m slicing through robots and stuff like that. For me, that’s like the perfect fantasy.” Plus, his niece and nephew can watch it — unlike much of his other work. “Randy Cunningham” also attracted voice talent including Tim Curry and Megan Mullally. “It’s really funny, and it gets funnier as we go along,” Schwartz tells us.
MEANWHILE: Schwartz’ screenplay for Paramount’s planned updated version of the 1991 comedy hit “Soapdish,” with Rob Reiner producing, wound up on Franklin Leonard’s annual Black List of best unproduced scripts, voted on by producers. “I did it as a telenovela as opposed to a soap opera. Telenovelas sometimes get better ratings than American shows, so it’s like this big movement, this beautiful thing, so I wrote it that way,” he says. He’s also writing a comedy called “No Hearts Club” for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment. “I’m almost done with the first draft of that.”

He has no idea whether he’ll land in front of the camera in either film, but he’s at the point of going for leads. “Independent films have been very kind to me to make me the lead of films,” notes Schwartz, who is remembered as Nathan Meyerwitz, the author who gave away his family’s secrets, in 2010’s “Peep Show” with Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson and Michael C. Hall. “But in $20 million ones, I’m totally aware that if you put Justin Timberlake or Shia LaBeouf in a movie, it’s going to sell a lot quicker than Ben Schwartz.”
The way he’s going, that could change before long.

Down Time Short Time for Busy Disney Star Adam Hicks

Adam Hicks, Doc Shaw

Just days away from completing production on his first season of the Disney Channel’s “Pair of Kings,” Adam Hicks admits he’s on a “countdown until it’s time to chill.”

The personable, red-haired actor admits coming into the show in its third season to replace Mitchel Musso, “I didn’t know what to expect, but everyone welcomed me with open arms, like a family.  And I didn’t know how the fans were going to respond, but the fans have been digging it.  It’s been great — keeping me busy.”

 He’ll head to his home town, Las Vegas, to catch up with family and friends for awhile.  As he points out, “I turned 18, so I’m living in California by myself now.”  But he won’t be idle long.  He’s working on the music side of his career, and open to more hiatus time opportunities.

“It’s a funny thing in this business.  You get addicted to the next project and the next, and you want to keep working,” notes the actor, whose claims to fame include the big screen “How to Eat Fried Worms” and Disney XD’s “Zeke and Luther.”  Hicks enjoys his “great relationship with Disney” — which keeps him busy not only with the series, but with appearances and outside activities, like today’s  “TRYathlon” in which he and castmate Doc Shaw team up with the NBA’s Kevin Love to compete in a set of endurance challenges.
They’re up against fellow Disney XD stars  Leo Howard and Olivia Holt from “Kickin’ It,” and Billy Unger and Spencer Boldman from ‘Lab Rats.”  Also involved are three young viewers from across the country, who were  selected to be contenders.  And the NFL’s Arian Foster and WNBA player Candace Parker.   The fun event is part of  Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a program that celebrates kids and families discovering simple and fun ways to be healthy and encourages kids to try new things.
Hicks says he learned some lessons he’ll take with him, like learning to pace himself.  Yes, for him that’s new.