The actor and golf fanatic stars in 'Rules of Engagement', (Thursdays 8:30 p.m., CBS) and will host the inaugural Patrick Warburton 'Golf For Kids' Celebrity Golf Tournament on March 4-6 at Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
How often do you play golf?
Not that often right now. At my best I might’ve been in the low teens for a handicap. I’m probably about a 16 or 17 now. There was a time when I was getting out and shooting a 78 or 79, but my game has progressively gotten worse. I need to go to golf school. I need to work some things out.
What’s the strength of your game?
Holding it together and not crying. I only cry on the inside.
Would you rather win an Emmy or the celebrity pro-am at Pebble Beach, like Bill Murray recently did?
I’d probably rather win the AT&T because if you win that, you won that. The Emmys, all that stuff, it’s all political. But I wouldn’t kick either one out of the trophy cabinet.
As an actor, whose golf game would you most like to emulate?
Who wouldn’t want to play a golfer like Tiger Woods, man?
Is there anything about being an actor that helps you on the golf course?
Well, it doesn’t help me score well. [Pauses] It doesn’t help my game at all. Should it?
I don’t know. I’m asking.
No. Maybe I would be a better golfer if I wasn’t an actor. I can’t see anywhere where being an actor has helped me.
Would you take PEDs if they would help your golf game?
If there was a performance-enhancing drug that could help with the golf, even it the side effects meant that I would never get another erection and go blind, I’d still take the chance. “May cause blindness and impotence.” Where is it? You need to inject that into my ass? Here you go. As long as it’s going to lower my score.
What about PEDs to help with the acting?
I don’t know about that. I wouldn’t want to ruin my career by becoming a better actor.
Tell me about your upcoming charity outing.
It benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and in my opinion it’s the greatest hospital in the world. My wife and I got to see the operation firsthand. It’s a remarkable place. They never turn away a child, for any reason. John O’Hurley [the actor who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld] is going to help host, and I’m really thankful for that. David Spade is going to be doing some comedy. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope that those out in the desert come en masse because it’s going to be a great night.
You have four kids. Would you rather they grow up to become actors or pro golfers?
Pro golfers. I think it’s an awesome career. Would playing it for a living take all the fun out of golf? Possibly. But I don’t know what that would feel like. For me, golf is going out with my buddies, playing in a skins game. It’s great fun, and it’s relaxing for me. I can’t think of a better profession than to play golf on that level. To travel the world, the people you meet. I think it would be a lot healthier than the acting profession. I just think it’s the greatest game in the world.
Who’s the best celebrity golfer you’ve played with?
I have to say that my buddy Oliver Hudson [a co-star on 'Rules of Engagement'] has gotten really good. He’s gone from somewhere around a 16 handicap to a one in the course of two-and-a-half years.
Which of your characters would be the most fun to play golf with: David Puddy from 'Seinfeld', Joe Swanson from 'Family Guy', or Jeff Bingham from 'Rules of Engagement'?
None of them. I’d rather play golf with “The Tick” [the superhero Warburton played in the short-lived Fox TV series of the same name]. I think the Tick would be much more interesting than any of those guys. With Puddy, I’d be wondering constantly if he had a learning disability. With Jeff Bingham, we’re probably too much alike. We’d either become best friends or hate each other. And Joe is just too animated. But the Tick … I bet he would hit a long ball.
Would Puddy be a face-painter on the golf course?
No, I think Puddy knows the difference between golf and going to a hockey game. Puddy as a golfer would probably dress the part, look the part and play the part much better than he was. Hmm, that sounds like somebody else I know.
What character are you most recognized for today?
Because “Rules of Engagement” is out there right now and we’re in our fifth season, Jeff Bingham is gaining momentum. But even though I only did nine or ten episodes of “Seinfeld”, because of its syndication it’s on TV four or five times a day, and people really respond to Puddy. It’s one or the other, for different reasons.
No one mentions your work as 'Meter Man' in that 1995 episode of 'Grace Under Fire'?
[Laughs] No. Nor would you unless you were looking at my IMDB.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the Patrick Warburton 'Golf For Kids' Celebrity Golf Tournament, visit www.stjude.org/warburtongolf.