Drummer Chad Smith, famous for his work with the bands the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot, made his acting debut last Thursday night on the NBC hit sitcom “The Office.” Smith joined the cast as Deangelo Vickers, the interim replacement for the soon to be departing Michael Scott. Even though the Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for their hilarious onstage antics, it was not clear if that would translate well to comedic acting for the small screen. It turns out those fears were unfounded, as Smith’s performance aired last week to rave reviews. There were many bright spots, not the least of which was his surprisingly smooth rapport with the show’s star, Steve Carell. It almost appeared as if they had worked together before. One viewer noted, “Smith rocked it. He looked so relaxed. I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys had made a movie together…like about seven years ago.”
Known for his drumming in rock bands, many may not be aware that Smith has also made a well-received album of children’s music. A devoted father, he was inspired by his son Cole to make “Rhythm Train.” It was Cole’s love of “trains, trains and more trains” that led to the formation of a music and comedy supergroup in April of 2010. Singer Leslie Bixler, who was the music teacher at Cole’s school, signed on. With the arrival of comedy legend Dick Van Dyke, the last piece of this musical puzzle was in place. Smith sang and performed multiple characters- including a dinosaur, a roly-poly, a pirate, and a little lion doing yoga. He also played the drums and several other instruments on the album. In June 2010, Rhythm Train performed at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s A Time For Heroes celebrity family picnic. It should be noted that a portion of all proceeds from Rhythm Train go to Children’s Hospitals in the United States benefiting uncompensated care. A follow up project is greatly anticipated by both the media and the public. Smith stated about the project:
“The making of The Train was the most natural and organic musical experience I’ve ever had. Leslie had a vision, and we just had so much fun coming up with this magical ride. it was just the three of us being ourselves and getting caught up in the excitement of the moment. Our hope is kids of all ages will enjoy the ride as much as we did making it. All aboard!!!”
Though Smith took a break from putting the finishing touches on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tenth album to appear on “The Office,” he remains busy in music and in life. Along with a much awaited new outing from Rhythm Train, he is also slated to record a second album with Chickenfoot in the near future. A prolific musician, devoted father, and now comedic actor, Smith continues to add to his resume of accomplishments. In fact, he is so busy that some people believe he has the ability to appear in two places at the same time. It’s almost like he’s doing the work of two people. In fact, his strong work ethic has led many of his co-workers to dub him “the anchor.” Sammy Hagar once told a reporter about Smith, “Yeah, he’s great. We all depend on him to lay down the groove. He’s the anchor, man.”
The Office currently runs on NBC on Thursday nights. Rhythm Train is available at Amazon.com, iTunes, and many other locations.