'Chuck's' real Captain Awesome Ryan McPartlin on his namesake: 'Pretty damn ingenious'
Ryan McPartlin, who plays Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb on NBC's spy comedy-drama "Chuck," is well aware of Douglas Allen Smith, an Oregon man who legally changed his name to "Captain Awesome" in November.
"I'd love to say I was totally shocked," McPartlin tells Zap2it, "but nothing our fans do surprises me at this point. Our fans are pretty damn ingenious. This is no exception to that."
He first learned about the homage from an email from his buddy.
"I was like, 'Oh, that's kind of funny,'" he says. "Then all of a sudden the emails started pouring in from all over the country. Every news outlet picked it up. CNN did a piece on it. Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today did something on it. I was like, 'Wow it's amazing how much this show has become a part of pop culture. Now it's at a whole other level with people adopting our name.'"
Besides, McPartlin identifies with idolizing a character on a TV series, although he'd probably pick one from a '70s or '80s TV show.
"It's a good thing I wasn't able to legally change my name [when I was younger]. I would've been The Fonz or Rerun," he admits. " Back in the day those were my shows. I'd probably be Sam Malone actually."
As for the original Captain Awesome, he'd give his blessing to the unemployed guy who took his name. He's used to homages and even has 10-foot statue made in his image as thanks from the Generalissimo of Costa Gravas.
"Absolutely Devon would be very flattered by it," says the actor. "Devon is just a good dude, man. If adopting the name 'Captain Awesome' makes somebody that much better in life or makes their day brighter, he'd be all for it. He's like that positive coach we all wanted to have."
Of all the "Chuck" characters, Captain Awesome is a no-brainer if you're looking for a role model. McPartlin insists, however, that Smith had initially considered honoring another "Chuck" character.
"I said to Josh Gomez that he originally wanted to do 'Morgan Grimes,' but the judge wouldn't allow that because he was thought it was 'cruel and unusual punishment,'" says McPartlin, adding, "Totally teasing."
"Chuck" airs on NBC Monday nights.
Check back with Zap2it for more with Ryan McPartlin as he discusses what's next for Devon and a Celeb Slam Book.