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Uncle D, writes...

* How old is Dudley?
* Is he Billy's uncle, or his guardian (or both?)
* What does/did he do for a living? I noticed a poster in Misplaced, he looks like some circus magician.
* Why didn't he have any lines in Misplaced? You had Corey Burton in the cast, after all

Greg responds...

1. Dudley is 65 at the end of Season One.

2. He is Billy's legal guardian. They're not actually related by blood, but Billy calls him "Uncle Dudley". And Dudley certainly is avuncular.

3. He's had many jobs over the years. Now, he's eligible for Social Security. Plus he takes odd jobs, and is something of a scammer.

4. Well, we didn't think he NEEDED any lines, but this is a good question generally, and provides me the opportunity to explain how the system works - at least on our series.

All our actors - Corey included, of course - share a similar contract, with a favored nation clause. That means whatever deal one actor gets, if it's superior to what the other actors have, they ALL get it. That sounds great, but it has the reverse effect. It means the studio is NEVER willing to pay extra for anything or anyone, because if they do - then they have to match it for EVERY actor in the series, and that's just not budget-friendly.

So that means every actor - whether they're famous or a first-timer - gets the exact same deal.

And, per SAG (i.e. the Screen Actor's Guild), here's the deal:

*For a specific amount of money (that, NO, I will not state - so don't ask), we get an actor to play ONE character per episode.
*For no additional money, we can ask that actor to play a SECOND character in the same episode.
*For a SMALL additional fee, we can ask that actor to play a THIRD character in the same episode. (The budget allows for this small additional fee, so you'll often see us use one actor for three voices in a given episode.)
*But if we want a FOURTH character, we have to pay the actor from scratch. A full second payment.

So, it costs us no more or no less to hire ANOTHER actor to play that fourth character as it would to ask an actor already in the cast to play that fourth. And if we hire that other actor, we can get him or her to play a FIFTH character for free, and a SIXTH for that small additional fee. So there's no economic insentive to give one actor more than three roles.

Now, we're not above doing it when it's warranted. For example, if we needed Superboy, Superman, Zatara and Marvin White in one episode, I wouldn't hesitate to pay Nolan North two full payments to get them. BUT - and here's where your original Corey question comes in - if we could get away with Marvin appearing WITHOUT speaking, then that would save us some money, and it's a path we might take.

SO, with Corey, we NEEDED him to play Brain, James Gordon and Wizard. That's three voices. We didn't need Dudley to speak, so we saved some money there.

Response recorded on May 08, 2012