When COVID-19 shut down TV production over the spring and summer, actor/comedian David Ury stayed sharp by turning classic ’70s and ’80s sitcom theme song lyrics into dramatic monologues on his YouTube channel. In his take on the Three’s Company theme, Ury embodied sinister figure who warns of a place where “the kisses are hers and hers … and his!” while beckoning us to come and knock on its door.
Known for playing oddball characters in series like Breaking Bad, Lodge 49 and Outer Banks, actor/comedian David Ury plays another weirdo in the “Prayers for Kubby” episode of Hulu’s comedy series Woke. Based on the life and work of artist Keith Knight, Woke stars Lamorne Morris as Keef, a Black cartoonist who has an epiphany after a traumatic experience.
“I’m basically kind of an adversarial figure that meets Keef on the bus when a koala has escaped the zoo,” Ury says of his guest spot on Woke. “Everybody on the bus is very concerned about the koala, including me, and Keef is not concerned.”
Ury opened our eyes in this edition of our “5 Questions”:
1. What’s been your strangest or most interesting fan encounter?
Coming out of the showers at a gym — so I was naked — someone came up to me and was like, “Oh, my god! I love your role in that show! You’re so good in that, man!” And I was like, “OK. Thank you. I’m going to go get my towel now.”
2. Can you tell us about a time you were starstruck?
It was pilot season, and I was on the Warner Bros. lot. I was walking to my audition, this was probably 10 years ago, and Martin Starr walked by. I was a big fan of Freaks and Geeks and Party Down, and this was before Silicon Valley. I saw him and I said something so awkward, like, “You’re great! Great work! You’re great!” He said, “Thank you.” He walked away, and I turned around, looked at his back, and I said, “Great!”
3. What’s a movie that you can watch over and over again?
Black Dynamite. It’s on Crackle, and it’s fantastic. Also Airplane! or The Naked Gun.
4. What’s your favorite sports team?
The only sports team that I pay attention to is the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite the fact that I am from the Bay Area. I grew up a fan of the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s, but then I had a 20-year span of not caring about baseball. And when I started to care again, I happened to be in Los Angeles.
5. What are some other jobs you had outside of showbiz?
I was a Japanese translator, and I wrote the adaptations for something like 150 graphic novels. I was a pirate at Magic Mountain theme park for two days before getting fired. I played it very method. I was always totally drunk every shift. I was also a studio teacher. I taught Spanish to the cast of 7th Heaven. I did that for a year or so, and then I got fired because I went to an audition. When I told them I wasn’t going to be able to come in, they said, “I get the feeling that you’re prioritizing these auditions over this job.” And I said, “That’s absolutely right.” And then I was fired.