David Alan Basche is making us laugh as Stuart in TV Land’s original series The Exes, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for the veteran actor. “I love telling stories, telling jokes, making people laugh,” he explains. “I’ve got no plans to stop doing it.”
On The Exes, he’s the anchor of an ensemble cast that includes fellow comedy vets Donald Faison (Scrubs), Wayne Knight (Seinfeld), and Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun). But David started his TV career in the short-lived sitcom Oh Grow Up, created by Alan Ball, who would go on to Six Feet Under and True Blood. He’s guest-starred on series like 30 Rock, Ed, Frasier and The Starter Wife. This is a talented actor who knows comedy – because he’s not just a performer, but a fan.
“I love comedy because I can laugh at myself,” he says. “I don’t take myself too seriously.” Indeed, he’s charming and engaging, quipping that most people don’t know him and not being bothered with that whatsoever.
As a fan, he enjoys comedy in many forms: his favorite shows range from a traditional sitcom (CBS’s 2 Broke Girls) to a non-traditional series (HBO’s Girls) and one that mixes comedy with drama (USA’s Necessary Roughness).
His interest isn’t just about the laughter; David also appreciates the unique challenges of the genre. “Comedy as sort of an art form requires much more specific timing,” he explains. “Jokes require timing and there’s a lot of physical comedy involved. I’m still trying to have it somehow based in reality.”
When it comes to the next role on his considerable resume, he keeps his eyes open for “something I haven’t done before. Something that’s going to challenge me or takes me outside of what I’m used to doing. When I read the script for The Exes, it was comedy but the character was a little bit different.”
Over the show’s two seasons, he’s gotten to work with “some really great guest stars,” including tonight’s episode, which continues a multi-episode arc for Diedrich Bader, best known as Oswald from The Drew Carey Show.
Next week features another big name for people who know their TV comedies. “We shot a great episode with Zach Braff as a guest star,” David says. “Donald [Faison] and Zach go back to Scrubs and are still best friends. I’ve known Zach since back before Scrubs was on the air; he and I have a very funny storyline.”
Another welcome face in season two was Episodes star Kathleen Rose Perkins, whom he also praises for her guest appearance in the season premiere. “Kathleen was great,” he adds. “That was a really fun episode, where the guys get therapy and she was the therapist.”
While he enjoys making huge audiences laugh, Basche is a devoted family man who places equal importance on spending time with his loved ones and working with a variety of charitable organizations. “I love the sitcom schedule,” he tells me. “It takes a week to make an episode but we don’t work on weekends. I’m usually done in time to get home for dinner with my wife and daughter.”
David and his wife Alysia are involved with a number of worthy groups. He is on the board of Actors for Autism and other causes he supports include Our Town Theater Company (a non-profit which uses the arts to help children who stutter), the AFTRA Foundation (the charitable arm of the actors’ union), Cancer Support Community and Healthy Child Healthy World. (You can click on the organization names to find out more and become involved yourself.)
To David, giving something back is far more important than his own personal success. “I’m happy to be the guy on the subway that people stare at and they just can’t quite place it,” he says honestly. “I don’t really like my life intruded upon too much. In a way, it’s kind of nice to not be all that well known.”
He might like to blend in, but David also loves what he gets to do for a living. “I’m really lucky,” he adds, ever self-deprecating. “I’ve done so many things in my life. I’ve worked with some incredible directors, actors and actresses. I try just remembering I could be waiting tables.”
The Exes continues its second season tonight at 10:30 PM ET/PT on TV Land.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Fanbolt with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.