With an IMDb profile that will keep you scrolling and scrolling, Carlos Alazraqui is a multi-talented modern-day renaissance man in entertainment. Starting his show biz journey as a stand-up comedian, Alazraqui quickly found a new lane when he landed the voiceover gig of beloved ‘90s animated series, Rocko’s Modern Life, playing the lead role of the lovable wallaby, Rocko. The hit Nickelodeon series opened up the floodgates for the voiceover actor of Argentinian roots. But he didn’t stop there. Carlos Alazraqui later picked up on-camera roles—most notably as Deputy James Garcia on Comedy Central’s hit show Reno 911!.
With Reno 911! airing on Quibi this year, ‘LLERO sat down with Carlos Alazraqui to chat about his extensive résumé, shooting for Quibi and his self-produced horror-comedy flick, Witness Infection.
‘LLERO: How did the transition from stand-up comedian to Rocko’s Modern Life come about?
Carlos Alazraqui: My manager at the time, Chrissy Forrester, knew this guy, Mart McNamara, who had a project by an artist named, Joe Murray, who was the San Jose’s Mercury News cartoonist, and the project was called Rocko’s Modern Life. They asked would I make a tape. I did, and it was just right time, right place. They went on to write it and send it off to New York.
‘LL: Looking through your IMDb, your voiceover résumé is quite extensive. What are some of the favorite characters that you’ve voiced throughout your career?
CA: Always, first and foremost, will be Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life, because he was my first. Then, there’s Mr. Crocker from Fairly Oddparents, and there’s Mr. Weed from Family Guy. That was fun to be part of that franchise. Then, the Taco Bell Chihuahua I thought was pretty life-changing. Now, I’m Carlos on The Casagrandes and also got to play Sergio the Parrot on The Casagrandes. Also, I’ve been able to play Duggard on Dragons: Rescue Riders. There’s also Winslow from CatDog because he was such a mean guy. Those are some of my favorites for sure. I like playing Bane from Batman. That was pretty fun as well. I’ve been lucky.
‘LL: Later on, in your voiceover career you began to work with more Latino characters like El Chupacabra on Disney’s Planes, for example. Was that direction fueled by your Latino roots?
CA: Certainly. My parents are from Argentina. Tengo amigos de México y amigos peruanos. So, I’ve always been adept at doing at least a neutral Spanish accent, and so El Chu is sort of that neutral Colombian. That gives me my ability to sort of mimic those sorts of accents, and I proceeded by doing a couple of other Latino characters on El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera with Jorge Gutierrez and Book of Life. I always had those in my arsenal because of what I grew up listening to with my mom and how she spoke and her friends, etc.
‘LL: How important do you think Latino representation is when it comes to cartoons and the characters that kids see every day on TV?
CA: I think it’s really important. I’m kind of proud of The Casagrandes because it’s actually multicultural. We have a Puerto Rican woman who’s playing the abuela. An Argentinian playing Carlos. We have Roxana Ortega, Alex Cazares. Lalo Alcaraz is also our script and cultural consultant. Miguel Pugas, it’s his story. We have Izabella Alvarez; whose father is from Peru and her mother is Mexican.
And so, we have this really multicultural Latino cast representing sort of a multicultural, big, extended family living above a bodega. I think it really works well. There’s also Ruben Garifas, who plays Abuelo Hector, and he’s just a great actor. It’s just a great, great cast. Eugenio Derbez, who is of course the famous Mexican actor, and he plays Izabella’s father. We also have Sumalee Montano who’s Filipino and Thai. She’s a wonderful actress. We really have this well-rounded cast on that show, and I think it works really great.
‘LL: Reno 911! was moved to Quibi. How did production go?
CA: We wrapped the first batch of episodes that are out already on Quibi. Those were shot in February. There are subsequent episodes coming out officially near the end of August. If you’re currently on Quibi, wait—there will be more!
‘LL: How does production change when filming for Quibi since their platform is set for short, 10-minute episodes?
CA: Yeah, it’ll catalog our morning briefings all into a couple of days, whereas before we would shoot four weeks on with 10 days off. Since it’s more call-heavy and less scene-heavy in terms of interconnection, we have more time to shoot a bunch of sketches. You can crank out a lot of ideas in a short amount of time.