Every good story needs someone to tell it. And every terrible story needs a narrator as well. In A Series Of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, the desperately sad tale of the Baudelaire orphans is imparted to the increasingly woeful audience by Lemony Snicket himself. Snicket is the penname of Daniel Handler, the author of the book series on which the show is based. Snicket's presence in the story is absolutely necessary, as he frequently tells you. Fortunately, A Series Of Unfortunate Events cast a familiar and distinctive voice for the part. Lemony Snicket is played by Patrick Warburton.
And the Netflix series makes excellent use of the actor, inserting Snicket just on the periphery of the world the children are occupying. As I said, an adaptation of A Series Of Unfortunate Events would be lost without a storyteller; Snicket is a fully integrated character in the novels and gets most of the best jokes. ("A word, which here means...") Warburton strikes the perfect chord: stoic, sardonic, and mysterious.
Warburton comes to A Series Of Unfortunate Events in the middle of a very busy career in comedy and voiceover work. If you don't recognize his face, chances are tremendous that you recognize that voice. His resume includes animated series like Kim Possible and The Venture Bros., as well as sitcoms like Less Than Perfect and Crowded. If you're loving him as the patient and articulate Lemony Snicket, check out a few of Patrick Warburton's most famous roles.
David Puddy In Seinfeld
Warburton played one of Seinfeld's most memorable recurring characters, and indeed, maybe one of the most memorable recurring sitcom characters of the '90s: Elaine's easygoing but painfully dim boyfriend, Puddy. His likes include high fives, the Devils, and his new eight ball leather jacket.
Kronk In The Emperor's New Groove
As Kronk, minion of treacherous royal adviser Yzma, Warburton steals scene after scene with his cheerful stupidity. He's just about the nicest guy you'd ever want to try to steal your kingdom and legacy. And he's fluent in squirrel.
Joe Swanson On Family Guy
For nearly 200 episodes, Warburton has been a resident of Quahog. He voices Joe Swanson, the most easily rile-up member of Peter Griffins' friend group. Joe's tantrums are legendary, and he can take anyone who challenges him to fight. Like many others, Warburton's Family Guy character has also crossed over to The Cleveland Show.
The Tick In The Tick
It only lasted a single season, but you've got to give the guy props for donning a giant blue suit to play the live-action version of cult favorite comic character The Tick. The show is being revived at Amazon and the pilot is available to stream. But Peter Serafinowicz will be taking over the role from Warburton.
Neil Patrick Harris gets the showier part as Count Olaf, and A Series Of Unfortunate Events doesn't lack for playful guest stars. But it's Warburton's brilliant Lemony Snicket delivery that sets the subdued comic tone of the unusual show.