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October 1, 2014

24's MacNicol needs to make viewers forget The Biscuit

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Jan 18th 2007 6:08PM

Peter MacNicol and Calista Flockhart on Ally McBealI must admit, I was worried when I read that Peter MacNicol would be joining the cast of 24 this season. And I was mighty skeptical.

I knew MacNicol only as John "The Biscuit" Cage from Ally McBeal, a role which scored him an Emmy. (Yeah, yeah, I know he's been on the show Numb3rs since 2005. But I don't watch Numb3rs.) For years, I watched as the "funny little man" dazzled fictional Boston courtrooms with his odd antics and did strange things in his law offices, like "dismounting" from the co-ed bathroom stalls, utilizing a remote toilet bowl flusher and saying that he was "drawn to" various females.

So when I watched the first three hours of 24 this week, I kept waiting for MacNicol's chief of staff character, Tom Lennox, to ask if he could "take a moment" to contemplate the gravity of the terror attacks, or, after disagreeing with President Palmer II, uttering, "Bygones."

But none of those things happened. I was just about to buy MacNicol as a hard-nosed presidential advisor. Until hour four. That's when I thought he started gesturing like John Cage. Maybe it was a contemplative look he gave. Or the Biscuit-like kind of way that he rubbed his face. Then the illusion, at least for me, was shattered.

I'm not the only one. One writer said he had to try to "shake images of the petite chief of staff dancing to Barry White tunes" while watching. But a blogger from Blog Critics Magazine said, while she knows MacNicol for his Biscuit role, she thinks Lennox shows no signs of behaving like the Ally McBeal character.

I'm not so sure, but I'm willing to try to see MacNicol as Lennox, the chief of staff. But if he says anything in the neighborhood of, "This policy pleases me," that's it. He'll be known as The Biscuit from then on.

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Debbie

I love him in Numbers, and he gave me the creeps in Ghostbusters II. In 24, I think I already hate him. He seems to be a sneaky, back stabbing, (sneer) politician! The US is dealing with nukes and he his trying to over-ride the PRESIDENT! Who voted HIM in ?!?! Oh yeah, it's just a show... OK, he must be a pretty good actor because I am all riled up :=)

January 20 2007 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
meme

You are an idiot. Regarding Peter MacNicol, I Never watched Ally McBeal. They are Actors! - you will see them over and over again, or should they be one and done? I watch Numb3rs and he's excellent, quirky and loveable. In 24 - he's a creep, or should i say his Character, is a creep! yes, get over it...

January 19 2007 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gt

well there arent thousands of actors to pick from you know...oh wait yea there is.
i often have this problem, but mainly in movies, in fact i prefer movies without huge stars as it distracts me from the movie.
wait til rickY schroeder comes on and i picture him with the duck phone

January 19 2007 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gyzmette

Peter McNichol is phenominal in everything he does. In my opinion, the fact that so many of his roles are memorable, says a lot about his ability to make the audience connect with whatever character he's portraying. Because of the multiple story line nature of "24" he hasn't been on screen enough yet to totally reset our memory banks, but he's got another 20 episodes so I think he'll get there & he will own this character just like he does the Biscuit, Vigo the Carpathian & Larry Fleinhardt.

January 19 2007 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guido

look what you did to me ... i forgot it was 2007

January 19 2007 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guido

Ally McBeal, this is 2006 isn't it?

January 19 2007 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

I'm not a 24 viewer, and did watch a few seasons of Ally McBeal, but I had to speak up for Peter MacNicol as Alan Birch, the hospital lawyer (OK, "The Eel") on "Chicago Hope". He was my second favorite character after Dr. Jeffrey Geiger (Mandy Patinkin) on the first couple outstanding years of this series.

January 19 2007 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

I loved Ally McBeal, and I never thought of that character while watching him on 24. The Biscuit was very neurotic, and quirky. This character is very in control.

January 19 2007 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
const

he is so still the biscuit. can't get it out of my head.

Keep waiting for him to tell president palmer how he likes a fresh bowl.

January 19 2007 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FP

exactly mcspacebar, while "the bisquit" is still fresh in my mind, he'll always be the apprentice sorcerer from "Dragonslayer" to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonslayer

January 19 2007 at 7:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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