'Good Luck' star muscles up
Whatever will the writers at Disney do with a suddenly buff and fit Eric Allan Kramer?
The University of Alberta drama alum and son of Calgary Stampeders offensive tackle Roger Kramer was hired three years ago to play the part of the goofy, overweight, hapless father, Bob Duncan, for the hit teen show, Good Luck Charlie.
With his comedic chops and cuddly big-man size of 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Kramer's pest control owner character was often the butt of some very funny jokes.
Especially since Kramer plays a father to four cute kids on Good Luck Charlie, the No. 1 rated scripted series on cable television.
The mere sight of him standing in his Bob's Bugs Be Gone pest control suit next to star Bridgit Mendler, who plays his wise-cracking teen daughter Teddy, elicited guffaws.
But as of January, the 50-year-old started going back to the gym and watching what he ate.
And his character Bob Duncan was becoming less of a sight gag.
"Before everybody's eyes, I started changing," Kramer tells QMI Agency. "And I don't think they saw it coming."
It was while filming the third season last fall that the former gym rat noticed he had put on a lot of extra weight and that his knees were killing him as a result.
"I had really bottomed out. Being a single dad with a full-time show, I had stopped paying attention to myself," said the actor, who rose to fame after his hilarious portrayal of Little John in the 1993 film, Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
"At the start of the season, I was limping around with knee problems and felt really old and weak. When I looked at myself on the show, I didn't recognize myself. I actually said, 'Who is that guest star?' and that's when I said, 'Holy crap! Time to get back to the gym.' "
Kramer was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., but was raised in Edmonton, where his father still lives after retiring from the Canadian Football League.
The actor said his body's beautiful change has been gradual, but noticeable. It started with consistent visits to the gym, four times a week, where he does a combination of weight training and cardio.
His diet was modified from "anything goes" to smaller, lighter meals spaced properly throughout the day.
"The writers started coming up to me, saying, 'Hey what's going on? We wanted to write a joke about your physique and now we can't,' " Kramer said laughingly.
With a 35-pound weight loss by the end of the filming season, Kramer had gone from flab dad to fab dad.
In fact, his newest publicity photos make him look more like a muscular Mr. Clean than a couch potato papa.
His body was so different that writers were forced to explain his weight loss on the show.
The final shows were just taped and the Season 3 finale airs Aug 26.
"It was too noticeable to ignore," he says.
Rest assured, the comedian is still playing Bob Duncan as funny.
"We'll be explaining the change in the end cliffhanger. There's still plenty about me to laugh about since as you see me get skinnier, I actually get balder," he says jokingly.
News that yet another season of Good Luck Charlie has been ordered has Kramer feeling great about his life.
Not only is he back to the weight he was while starring in some productions of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the 1980s, he's also beginning to direct some of the Disney episodes.
He directed one this past season that was difficult to produce.
"It was an episode with indoor hurricanes and you have to figure out how to pull that off, it was a nice challenge," he said.