Video: Interview with Clint Howard

posted at 2:55 pm on October 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of interviewing veteran character actor Clint Howard, who now headlines a series of short web spots for Heritage for America. Clint is one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood, but only recently has begun to publicly engage in politics. We talk about the impact his activism has had on his career, which will surprise readers, I think, and talks about how he began a journey from being a JFK Democrat to a political conservative. That journey began on 9/11, as it did for many, and has accelerated since:

Frankly, I planned on avoiding questions about his brother and the differences in their politics, mainly because too much has been made of it, but Clint brings it up himself. Ron is active in liberal politics, but they respect each other and remain very close, as Clint discloses. We talk about the nature of politics and debate, and how he plans to just take politics as it comes in the future. Clint also discusses his upcoming cinematic projects and his effort to get an independent children’s film Alabama Moon, into distribution to theaters. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did, and I can tell you that you will be impressed with Clint’s humor and openness.


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Aiiii! Did he offer you a glass of tranya?

S. Weasel on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Balok is a conservative?

DarkCurrent on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I loved the bit part that he had in the Seinfeld episode, where he played the murder suspect.

Aw, Ann Landers SUCKS

I completely forgot that he was Ron Howard’s brother. At least one of them has some sense.

UltimateBob on October 8, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Where’s the peanut-butter samwich and the cowboy hat? Thank God he is totally different from his brother, Ron.

lovingmyUSA on October 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Where’s the peanut-butter samwich and the cowboy hat?

Barney Fife (in drag) to Leon: “Not now, Leon! Can’t you see I’m on a case?!”

Marcus on October 8, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I think Clint got his looks from his mom, and Ron from his dad. Not that this is pertinent, just mentioning it. lol

God love him, for doing what he’s doing in the political arena, despite the fact that it’s a liberal environment where he lives.

capejasmine on October 8, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Aiiii! Did he offer you a glass of tranya?

S. Weasel on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Seriously, you have to be funny and fast to comment on Hot Air.

Bill C on October 8, 2010 at 3:10 PM

“a journey from being a JFK Democrat to a political conservative”

Contrary to the hagiography and revisionist history of the modern Left, that’s not such a long journey in many respects.

jrouse9394 on October 8, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Balok is a conservative?

DarkCurrent on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

That was my first thought, too.

aunursa on October 8, 2010 at 3:13 PM

This is way better than the Andy Griffith ads the pro-ObamaCare® supporters have been running, even on Fox News, since Sheriff Taylor comes across as if he just wandered away from the Mayberry Nursing Home while trying to convince other seniors about how wonderful the president’s program is.

jon1979 on October 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM

As I recall, Clint Howard was the main chlld actor in the television series “Gentle Ben,” and the alien in one of the original Star Trek television series, two part episode from the 1960s, in which a huge aircraft followed and captured the Star Ship Enterprise. The Episode was entitled “The Corbonite Manuever” because Captain Kirk played “Poker” and bluffed, claiming that an undetectable element was included in the hull of the Star Ship which would return the force an attacking ship sent to the Enterprise with more force than was originally exuded, destroying the attacking ship.

The poor alien was all alone, lonely, traveling space in his high-tech space ship, and was happy to meat sentient life forms with the ability to communicate.

William2006 on October 8, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I find it funny how conservatives in hollywood have to hide “in the shadows” and “come out of the closet” and “meet people of -like minds- at parties”. Later they meet in secret. Does this remind you of other groups?

kurtzz3 on October 8, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Balok is a conservative?

DarkCurrent on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

He was a liberal until he saw how the cradle-to-grave nanny state had produced such a fine officer as Bailey. We never did hear what happened to that guy. Most likely Balok shoved him out an airlock after his umpteenth screw-up.

Kafir on October 8, 2010 at 3:20 PM

I loved him in Waterboy!

search4truth on October 8, 2010 at 3:23 PM

the alien in one of the original Star Trek television series, two part episode from the 1960s, in which a huge aircraft followed and captured the Star Ship Enterprise. The Episode was entitled “The Corbonite Manuever” because Captain Kirk played “Poker” and bluffed, claiming that an undetectable element was included in the hull of the Star Ship which would return the force an attacking ship sent to the Enterprise with more force than was originally exuded, destroying the attacking ship.

That was a two-part episode?

aunursa on October 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM

JFK did cut taxes. And when confronted with a nuclear threat, he took action.

Bay of Pigs on the other hand. . .

rbj on October 8, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I can’t even name all the random stuff I’ve seen that guy in!

abobo on October 8, 2010 at 3:32 PM

That was a two-part episode?

aunursa on October 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM

One part. “The Menagerie” with the big-headed illusionists from Talos IV was the two-part episode, as opposed to big-headed Balok (and you can tell how bad ObamaCare® turned out 200 years later from that episode, since they had to ship Captain Pike off to another planet because they couldn’t figure out how to get him out of that oversized wheelchair. I mean, they can even get Stephen Hawking and Roger Ebert talking today with artificial voices, but Pike’s just got that ‘yes’ and ‘no’ beeping thing going for him…)

jon1979 on October 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

That was a two-part episode?

aunursa on October 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM

No, I think William2006 is misremembering. The only two-part episode of original Star Trek was the original pilot episode, “The Cage”, with Capt Christopher Pike. It was recut and made into ST’s only two-part episode, “Menagerie”.

Mary in LA on October 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

He’s a shoe in to play John McCain in his biography whenever they make it.

JayJay123 on October 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Jon1979, you have out-geeked me. :-)

Mary in LA on October 8, 2010 at 3:37 PM

He was a liberal until he saw how the cradle-to-grave nanny state had produced such a fine officer as Bailey. We never did hear what happened to that guy. Most likely Balok shoved him out an airlock after his umpteenth screw-up.

Kafir on October 8, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Funniest thing I’ve seen all day! Bailey was such a weenie.

Captain Kirock on October 8, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Bay of Pigs on the other hand. . .

rbj on October 8, 2010 at 3:26 PM

JFK would say that he inherited that problem from the Republican administration that preceded him. It’s a Camelot thing. Runs in the political family.

VastRightWingConspirator on October 8, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Very nice to see so many conservative entertainment personalities come out of the closet. And with Right Network making a big push, I truly have hope that the extreme liberal mindset of Hollywood can actually change in the future.

ButterflyDragon on October 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Kirk Spock 2012

Kini on October 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM

JFK was confronted by a nuclear threat because he appeared to be a weakling in the eyes of Soviet leadership. Does anyone think that they would have tried putting nuclear missiles into Cuba under Eisenhower or Nixon?

JFK eventually faced the Soviets down, but we still came close to a catastrophic war because of his incompetence. Our enemies set their foreign policies based on impressions of our leaders, a lesson this generation has forgotten.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Gil Gerard was interviewed years ago, and said that whenever he’s in a restaurant, inevitably he’ll hear someone make the neeby-neeby-neeby noise from the little robot on Buck Rogers.

I suppose Clint has lived his life being served tranya. Must be strange to be so well known for something silly that you did as a kid.

HakerA on October 8, 2010 at 3:56 PM

“The back 9 of life”.
That’s Good

Firmworm on October 8, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I will always know Clint as the Ice Cream Man

A truly disgusting B- horror movie.

Lothar on October 8, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Ben Stein said that when he walks around in downtown Hollywood, people still do the Bueller roll call…

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Why is it that no one ever remembers him as Chaka from LAND OF THE LOST???

That was MY favorite character of his.

tickleddragon on October 8, 2010 at 4:34 PM

OOps…nevermind. Different guy. *blush*

tickleddragon on October 8, 2010 at 4:35 PM

best roles were as Balok in Star Trek and as Paul in Gung Ho. It’s always fun to see him pop in films.

His brother has directed many great films, but his directing style is so formulaic and “safe”. The only real stnadout film of his, imo, is Backdraft where he gave an eerie predatorial instinct to the fire. All of his other films could have been done by no name directors thanks to solid writing and casting.

Daemonocracy on October 8, 2010 at 4:43 PM

I was surprised at Steven Baldwin. I think I’m even more surprised Clint. (Starting to wonder at the regulars in the Adam Sandler movies.) But Ron Howard and his old TV dad Andy Griffith are big time Hollywood libs.

Clint, if you read these things, I liked you best as Sy the controller in Apollo 13.

hawkdriver on October 8, 2010 at 4:45 PM

JFK eventually faced the Soviets down, but we still came close to a catastrophic war because of his incompetence. Our enemies set their foreign policies based on impressions of our leaders, a lesson this generation has forgotten.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Exactly. Kennedy was one of the worst presidents this country has ever had. If not for his assassination, no one would give him a second thought.

ButterflyDragon on October 8, 2010 at 4:56 PM

I wonder if clint knows Ed Morriseys Mom?

Sonosam on October 8, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I had the privilege of meeting Clint a few weeks ago at the Big Bear Lake INTERNATIONAL(!) Film Festival, where his “Alabama Moon” was featured on Saturday night and he received a major award.

I spent a month in 2008 working alongside his dad Rance as a cardinal in “Angels & Demons”, and Rance gave me a free half hour lecture on screenwriting during a break. Rance’s second wife, Judy, played a nun. (Director) Ron shook hands with all the 120 cardinal extras at the end of the shoot.

Nice family – if I had known Clint’s politics, I would have hugged him!

fred5678 on October 8, 2010 at 5:26 PM

…..but Pike’s just got that ‘yes’ and ‘no’ beeping thing going for him…)

jon1979 on October 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Binary baby, the man was digital.

roy_batty on October 8, 2010 at 5:27 PM

I’m sorry…why would you interview Clint Howard? If you’re buddies or something give him a message for me: his brother’s a liberal jerkoff.

Jaibones on October 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Binary baby, the man was digital.

roy_batty on October 8, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Wouldn’t it be “beep”, “no beep” if it were binary?

I am just asking.

Lily on October 8, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Clint Howard has fun with Dems

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T9iQyKKoSQ

CWforFreedom on October 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Wouldn’t it be “beep”, “no beep” if it were binary?

I am just asking.

Lily on October 8, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Problem with “beep/no beep” is you can’t tell whether Capt Pike just said “no”, or his beeper thingy broke. ;-)

Mary in LA on October 8, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I was always amused in “The Menagerie” episode that in the 23rd century the best technology could come up with for Capt. Pike was a “Rascal” with ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ lights.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on October 8, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Clint Howard aka Paco in The Waterboy describing our president: Obowma is not what you would call a handsome man. The good Lord chose not to bless him with… with charm, athletic ability… or a fully functional brain.

dthorny on October 8, 2010 at 6:36 PM

Pssst…don’t tell AP about this.

Fuquay Steve on October 8, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Bah! The best Clint Howard role was as Eaglebauer in “Rock n Roll High School”!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3vMfSeKsxc&feature=related

Tuning Spork on October 8, 2010 at 7:56 PM

This is way better than the Andy Griffith ads the pro-ObamaCare® supporters have been running, even on Fox News, since Sheriff Taylor comes across as if he just wandered away from the Mayberry Nursing Home

Honestly, this is the saddest thing I have seen in a long time. . .

seanrobins on October 8, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Rughead is a righty?!?

Who knew??

;)

Shepherd Lover on October 9, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I really enjoyed this interview. Thanks Ed!

painfulTruthDisciple on October 9, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Best Recurring Role: NORAD Radar operator “Johnson” in the Austin Powers Movies.

Tim_CA on October 9, 2010 at 5:50 PM