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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daryl Hall: "I think I've been totally miscast as the angel"

Tomorrow night Daryl Hall and John Oates will make their first of what could be many guest appearances on “The Cleveland Show.” The duo will be playing the angel and the devil on Cleveland’s shoulder as he struggles with a personal dilemma.

This week members of the media had a chance to chat with Daryl and the voice of Cleveland himself, Mike Henry (who is also the co-creator of the show), about Sunday’s episode and the show.

But before we get to that, I want to share with you Daryl’s answer to my question about whether it bothered him that people keep talking about Hall and Oates making a comeback when fans like me know they never went anywhere. After Henry offered an amen and Daryl asked me to clarify the question a little bit, here was the response:

"Yes of course. Well, it doesn’t bother me, but you said it yourself. We never went anywhere. This sort of concept of mass popularity in our careers has come and gone more than once, and we take the ups and downs of the masses in stride. That’s not what we’re really all about. We’re musicians. We’ve always been musicians. We always will be musicians, and we just do good work or do the best work we can. If a lot of people like it, that’s good, and I’m glad. I think circumstances have come our way and a lot of old battles that we’ve fought, we’ve long won, and we’re just happy to be intergenerational."

I then asked Henry if he would like to add anything since he said amen when I said they never went anywhere which spurred a pretty interesting exchange that left me so mesmerized I stopped writing. You’re getting this courtesy of the FOX transcript:

Mike: Yes, I mean, as an artist, Daryl and John obviously experienced success relatively early on. Would you say that, Daryl?

Daryl: Yes, well, I mean we were recording together about five years before we really had success as far as commerciality….

Mike: Right, so that’s some chops right there, but then once you hit it, then everyone is expecting something – I mean, I don’t even know what people are expecting, but I think just – and you can speak to this much better than I. You hit the mainstream, and then….

Daryl: Every artist has to hit the mainstream. That’s part of a career.

Mike: Right.

Daryl: We did it a number of times. You know, I don’t care what kind of music you make. You

have to be a pop star at some point, whether you’re Bob Dylan or Daryl Hall. So, I mean, that’s just all part of it. But we’re not really attached to any era. People try and tag us in the ‘80s because we had success in the ‘80s. We had success in the ‘70s. We had success in, you know, more recent times. You know, it’s hard to put us in any kind of place.

Mike: I think you can, too, as an artist, you can only control what you put out.

Daryl: Sure.

Mike: And whether it’s received by a relatively small, enthusiastic group, or the whole country or the world, it’s really, it’s a fickle thing, but I’ve always loved your guys’ music. Individual songs take you back to a certain time, and I wonder if that’s why people are feeling or are expressing what you’re saying, which I actually haven’t really heard.

Henry may have not heard what I was talking about, but I think it was clear that Daryl had. I'm glad he got the chance to set some things straight...

Since I know you’re wondering, Daryl will be playing the angel and John the devil in the episode that Henry calls his “favorite so far.” Daryl joked, “I think I’ve been totally miscast as the angel. It’s a little stretch for me to be an angel.”

When Henry told him that it was because of his “blonde flowing locks,” Daryl responded, “I look angelic. That’s it.” Daryl and John actually recorded their parts separately with Daryl recording his in his studio with Henry directing him over the phone.

“We just wanted them to be themselves,” Henry said. The duo, of course, argues about what Cleveland should do. “We’re good at having an argument,” Daryl said. “That was not a stretch.”

Henry said the scene only lasts about a minute, but from time to time the angel/devil duo will pop up during the season. “It’s been a great experience and I hope we can get to do more of them. John and I are having a lot of fun doing this,” Daryl said.

“They’re real good at it too,” Henry said. “They know how to deliver.”

When someone asked Daryl whether it was hard to separate acting from his musical stage act, Daryl responded, “I’ve been trying to figure out what my act is for a long time…I love doing comedy…John and I are just ourselves.”

So what exactly is the difference between “The Cleveland Show” and “Family Guy”? Henry said, “It’s a little bit sweeter of a show. We won’t do the kind of things that ‘Family Guy’ will do.” Henry explained that Cleveland is not a bumbling character like Peter Griffin, but instead he gets into sticky situations because he is trying to do the right thing.

Of course, someone asked Daryl about the changing face of music. “What I’m doing musically right now is actually easier. The way the world [of music] has gone is very much in tune with the way my brain works…If there’s a challenge I take it in stride. I love challenges.”

And of course someone had to ask Daryl if he would be making any cameos on “J-Stache,” which is the cartoon starring John Oates’ mustache. Daryl responded, “I think I’ll let John’s moustache speak for itself.”

“The Cleveland Show” airs Sunday, November 22nd at 8:30 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit: FOX