Stand-up comedian and “Queer as Folk” actor, Hal Sparks, describes his role as Donald Davenport on Disney XD’s new series “Lab Rats” as what he was “born to play.”
Davenport is, after all, a billionaire, genius and inventor in the series, which premiered in February.
“He’s super-brilliant, I’m super-brilliant,” Sparks said. “But seriously, while we’re doing the typical work that is required in a TV series like this, it’s a much happier process after doing drama for six years.”
Sparks, one of television’s most visible stand-up comedians, will perform at 10 p.m. tonight in Alumni Hall as part of the Student Programming Association’s April Fool’s Comedy Month.
His performance will be ticket-free, as well as free to anyone with a valid Penn State ID+. Attendees will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sparks, who is perhaps best known for his role as Michael Novotny on Showtime’s “Queer as Folk,” first gained national attention by hosting E! Entertainment Television’s “Talk Soup” from 1999 to 2000.
He will reunite with all of his “Queer as Folk” cast members for the first time ever this summer in Cologne, Germany, something Sparks compared to an “awkward high school reunion.”
He has since voiced Tak in the Nickelodeon animated series “Tak and the Power of Juju” and appeared in numerous VH1 specials like “I Love the 80s.” Sparks has also acted in films like “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Spiderman 2”
He currently appears frequently on “The Stephanie Miller Show,” a nationally syndicated progressive radio talk show, where he hosts “Humpdays with Hal” on Wednesdays.
Sparks recently made headlines for his involvement in Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil getting banned from Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas after making negative comments about its staff on Twitter.
Neil appeared during one of Sparks’ shows in March last year, where he fought with his ex-girlfriend. He was later charged with battery.
Sparks said that, though sales for his shows in Vegas increased after Neil’s ordeal, he wished it had been because of something other than a domestic dispute.
“If Lita Ford rushed into the showroom and crushed Alice Cooper with a bowl of spaghetti, that would be acceptable,” he said.
Sparks is touring with all-new comedy material, exploring themes of futurism.
For instance, with the advent of Google’s Project Glass augmented reality lenses, the comedian thinks the company should debut a “Google manhole” that would prevent people from falling over by alerting them of coming obstacles.
“I make the jokes of tomorrow, today,” Sparks said.
Corey Jackson, SPA’s incoming Late Night chairman for the 2012-2013 school year, said Penn State students should get excited for an energetic set from Sparks.
“He’s got this really sarcastic manner about him,” Jackson (junior-mechanical engineering) said. “It'll just be right in your face.”
Students who are fans of Sparks are ready to see the comedian in-person.
Sadie Smiles said she has nothing but good memories of shows with Sparks like his appearances on “I Love the 80s.”
“I always remember watching it and thinking it was hysterical seeing this nostalgia of eras I was in no way a part of,” Smiles (junior-media studies) said.