February 16, 2004 -- DANNY Woodburn - the actor best known to TV audiences as Mickey, Kramer's pal on "Seinfeld" - said he's taking a cautious approach to tonight's premiere of Fox's "The Littlest Groom."
"My initial response to it is negative . . . because it's a reality show - you know what I mean? And the notion of calling these shows 'reality' is beyond me," said Woodburn.
"My other feeling is that it's called 'The Littlest Groom' - if it was called, for example, 'The Blackest Groom,' there would be an outrage," said the actor who, in a classic "Seinfeld" episode, "heightened" himself by wearing lifts for an acting job.
On "The Littlest Groom," Glen Foster, who's 4'5", will date a bevy of women his own size.
The twist? He'll then be introduced to average-sized women - with the drama becoming whether he'll choose a woman of his own stature or someone taller.
The Little People of America, an advocacy group, worked with the producers to ensure that Glen is portrayed positively - and said they have no problem with the show's concept.
"They sort of put their stamp of approval on it, believing that exposure for little people will only be positive," Woodburn said.
"It's all going to come down to how the producers and editors put it together, and how it plays on people's pre-conceived notions of what this type of show is going to be like.
"When you hear the title, 'The Littlest Groom,' a mischievous grin comes to you face, like, 'Ooh, what's gonna happen,' and then the comedy ensues," he said. "I just get a creepy feeling about the whole thing. But [Glen] seems like a trusting groom and seems to have a great perception of himself," Woodburn said. "Ultimately it will come down to the editing booth - I don't think people are aware of the media manipulation."
And, Woodburn said, he'll be watching when the show premieres tonight (8 p.m./Ch. 5).
"I'm an advocate for the rights of little people and how they're presented," he said. "I can't think of myself as just a 'struggling actor,' because I get offered roles [because of his size] that I couldn't ever dream of getting offered.
"But luckily I'm gaining enough respect in this business where people are coming to me with real character-actor roles."