Q&A: Steve Odabashian
Most people know you as the Andy Reid look-alike guy. Are you afraid your campaign for City Council sounds like a joke?
Absolutely. But the fact that I’ve gotten this far with it has quelled those fears considerably. I don’t go to events with a fake mustache and a clipboard. I talk about the issues.
So you don’t start your press conferences with injuries?
Or talk about time management? No, none of that. But to be honest, when I first did it, even people who were close to me weren’t sure what to think. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, even before the Andy Reid thing started.
You must’ve been thrilled when Milton Street announced his plans to run for Mayor. Now you’re no worse than the second-longest shot on the ballot.
I think I’m a little better than that anyway. As a fan of comedy, I was pretty excited about [Milton’s candidacy]. And as a fan of singing by empty caskets in public places.
Why run as a Republican?
That’s how I’ve identified myself throughout my life. I’m really concerned that the city is running out of money and spending beyond its means and not doing enough to collect what is owed. There’s also the fact that there are two guaranteed seats for Republicans in the at-large races.
That can’t hurt.
Yeah. And I see one incumbent as very vulnerable, and that’s Rizzo.
Because of DROP.
What can you accomplish once you’re elected?
It’s kind of hard as a Republican. I’d really just try to alert the rest of Council to the fact that this is a pretty dire situation. Unless we change our spending habits and our collection habits, we could be Detroit in five to 10 years.
I’ll give you this: You have excellent celebrity endorsements on your Facebook page — Craig Robinson from “The Office” and James Hetfield from Metallica.
Unfortunately, they can’t vote. I met Craig Robinson at Helium Comedy Club, where I used to do a weekly piano show in the lounge area. He and I did a duet of “Endless Love.” I think I was Diana Ross. The Metallica thing, I won a contest on WIP, one of those “be the ninth caller” things. I’ve won lots of things over the years. I’m the all-time record holder on VH1’s “Name That Video.” I’m Forrest Gump, basically.
Your Quizzo team, Lambda Lambda Lambda, won the local championship three years in a row. What’s your area of expertise?
I’m a generalist, I’d say. People look to me for sports, ’80s anything, and geography. I’m also strong with Armenian history.
Think Anna Verna can hold a candle to you on those?
No way. She might say she could, but no.