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Interview: Kent Avenido talks about being cast as Howard Bamboo, singing solos, and what’s next for Howard

June 1, 2010

Kent Avenido and his Sheets-N-Things character Howard Bamboo are both hilarious, but at least with Kent you’re laughing with him rather than at him! Although Howard hasn’t appeared in the back nine as of yet, he’ll be returning to our television screens in tonight’s episode, “Funk!” Part of our Q & A is below, but if you want to read the rest of my interview with Kent (in which he also discusses Howard’s personal life, what characters he’d like to further interact with, and more), you’re going to have to wait until September! The full interview will be published in my upcoming companion guide book Don’t Stop Believin’: The Unofficial Guide to Glee which will be in stores this fall.

Gleeks United: How did you get involved in Glee?

Kent Avenido: I initially auditioned for the role of Ken Tanaka, the football coach at William McKinley High School. I had to go through a series of auditions and callbacks, and in the end, my agent was told that I looked too young for the part. However, Ryan Murphy liked me so much that he rewrote another part in the pilot for me. In the original pilot script, Howard was actually Ginny, a “twenty-something employee with bad roots.”

How do you see your character in addition to what we see on-screen? How do you get into the mindset of your character?

Ryan Murphy has often said Glee is about underdogs, and I think Howard Bamboo is definitely an underdog. It’s hard to root against someone who is dyslexic, can’t count higher than 30, is afraid of his vacuum, and gets arrested for simply following orders from his boss.

Whereas Howard does not get a lot of love in the Lima, Ohio, world, he gets a lot of love in the Glee world. The writing is so strong, and the writers (Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan) make it easy to get into the mindset of Howard by giving him such delicious lines of dialogue and solo song lyrics.

If you were given the chance to sing a solo on Glee, what song would you like to sing?

For obvious reasons, I’ve always thought that “Me Ol’ Bamboo” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would suit Howard well. Otherwise, I think a song like “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid or “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors tweaked here and there to suit him could somewhat tell his story of wanting more in life. On the other hand, he could always perform them as is, perhaps singing karaoke a bit intoxicated at the Sheets-N-Things holiday party, which I think would be hilarious!

Glee has scored a lot of amazing guest stars so far. Who would you like to see guest star on Glee?

As a Broadway enthusiast, my vote would have to go to someone like Hugh Jackman or Sutton Foster. With our mutual Filipino ancestry, perhaps Lea Salonga could play one of Howard’s relatives.

What’s next for Howard? Will we get to see more of him in the rest of this season and next?

Howard will be back for the penultimate episode of Season One entitled “Funk.” For his return, I’m fortunate to be singing and dancing in another extravagant musical number at an unexpected location with some unexpected characters. At the present time, I can’t go into any more detail than that, but you can expect more quirky solos from Howard. As far as next season, there are some developments toward the end of this season involving some of the New Directions that could potentially lead to more interactions with Howard, so keep your fingers crossed. In any case, with Will no longer working as a janitor at WMHS, I’m sure Howard would welcome the opportunity to fill his vacancy.

Thanks again for chatting with us, Kent! We can’t wait to see more of you on Glee soon!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2010 6:33 pm

    Thanks for the interview!
    Great to see that perhaps we’ll see more Howard in season 2.

  2. mordsith permalink
    June 22, 2010 11:49 pm

    I’m with him for having Lea Salonga on Glee! I hope Ryan Murphy wakes up and calls her to guest star.. she may even be the coach for the competing team at nationals for season 2! she won 5 awards for a single role when she was just 20. she really should be in Glee!

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