Boy band member pokes fun at phenomenon through "corny" cartoon role
Chris Kirkpatrick of 'N Sync has signed on for a recurring vocal guest spot for the Nickelodeon cartoon The Fairly OddParents. "I think it's a funny show," says Kirkpatrick, an avowed cartoon fanatic. "There's so many cartoons that are out now that kind of talk down to kids, and make kids feel like, 'This is a circle. This is my head. This is the body. This is me at school being a kid.' Fairly OddParents is one of the cartoons they watch and just laugh at, because they're not afraid to make those fart jokes and they're not afraid to talk to the kids on their level and say, 'This is funny. Of course you should laugh at this.'"
Kirkpatrick's character for the series is a pop singer named Chip Skylark. In the first episode he taped (titled "Boys in the Band," set to air April 6th), Skylark gets kidnapped by a crazed fan. The show takes jabs at the boy band phenomenon throughout, something that appealed to Kirkpatrick. "The character Chip is just so corny," he says. "It poked so much fun, I couldn't pass it up. It was the perfect opportunity to say we know what the stereotype is and we know what the joke is. The joke will be on everybody else, if five to ten years from now we're still making hit records."
In the episode set for broadcast May 5th, Kirkpatrick's role expanded. "I get into a fight with his alter-ego, whose name is Skip," he says. "I did his voice too, but he only had a couple lines. All my character talks about are his teeth, his tiny white teeth. I'm sure my acting abilities were amazing in this one because it's just mumbling."
Meanwhile, 'N Sync are in the midst of their Celebrity Tour, which features Smash Mouth and Ginuwine alternating as openers. "It's been going really, really well," Kirkpatrick says. "We've had all sorts of great reviews. I haven't seen a bad review yet. Everybody who comes to the show says this is our best tour because it's very interactive. We're all about making everybody feel welcome and like they're part of the show, and you can see up there that we're just clowning each other and having a good time."
With four months off after the tour ends April 28th in Orlando -- and band mate Lance Bass determined to get shot into space -- Kirkpatrick plans to use the time to write music for some outside projects. "I've written some stuff that's not exactly poppy," he says. "It would be more something that a rock band would do, and I might maybe dabble with that a little bit. Like I said, this group comes before anything for me. I love the group, I love the music. I love having a good time with the guys. That's the priority on my list. Everything else is second. I don't know if I'd do a solo record. I think it would be more like just another rock album or something."
(April 4, 2002)