adam pally as wade whipple standing with a coffee mug

Wade Whipple Was the Hero that ‘Knuckles’ Needed

Knuckles is an exciting series because we get to see our big red Echidna taking on the bad guys all on his own. But he is also training a new warrior at the same time: Wade Whipple. Adam Pally’s Wade is sweet, caring, and the heart of the series.

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When Knuckles (Idris Elba) agrees to turn Wade into a warrior, the two are forced into a number of situations that test their strength, like Wade being on the run after saving Knuckles from G.U.N. and going to his childhood home to hide out. Adam Pally spoke with us prior to the show’s release and was just very happy to see Wade getting his own time.

“My initial reaction was just joy,” Pally said. “I feel like I’m living the dream of every actor, it’s a really tale as old as time, you book a small part and then it grows, and then you have your own thing. It’s kind of remarkable. So I, owe a lot to this franchise and was really excited to give back.”

Bringing improv into the fold

Pally is known for his work in improv comedy, or at least for my group of comedy friends. And in a show like Knuckles, Pally does have some humans to interact with, but a lot of his scenes are with Knuckles—a character created through special effects—in a car. That didn’t stop improv from happening.

“It’s certainly more rewarding for a narcissist because there’s no one else for anyone to look at and that’s fine with me. The more eyes on Daddy, the better,” Pally joked. “I think you just have to, like any job, every actor has their own rhythm and every actor has their own peccadilloes and their own way to do things, and Knuckles is no different, even if he is an animatronic puppet when I’m with him.”

A new adventure for Pally

You might recognize Pally from a few things, The Mindy Project or Happy Endings for the comedy crowd, or as Tony Stark’s super fan in Iron Man 3. That character was famously not partaking in the action around him, but Wade is thrown into a fight where he even helps Knuckles by throwing bowling balls at him.

Pally said, “It’s way more fun. It’s always fun to do more. I find as an actor, it’s like when someone says, ‘Can you do something?’ Your first answer is yes, because even if you can’t, you’re gonna figure it out. And so I relished it, I relished the opportunity to not be the one in the truck. I was ‘Okay, well then this is gonna be my version of it.'”

But none of this would have been possible without the love of Wade, and it wasn’t something he necessarily saw coming—or at least he didn’t work towards making a character that people connect with.”You’re always running, you’re always doing two things as an actor, which is you’re playing the moment and then you’re playing the script. So you can’t pretend that you don’t know where this character is going because you have to orchestrate it to get there. You know what I mean?” Pally said. “So I think it’s a little of both where I try not to think about what the audience is gonna think about my character, but I know because I know the script and then I know what the scene is, where I am and where I’m supposed to be and where I’m going.”

Everyone has their favorites in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Many of us played as Sonic and that left a soft spot in our hearts, but Pally wasn’t afraid of sharing who he really loved and his thoughts on playing the game: “I think Sonic is probably the one that everybody would say. I really enjoyed Tails as a kid. It just bugged me Tails was always behind Sonic. Especially when you’re playing two players. Like it was really hard to get Tails ahead of Sonic and then when you could play as Knuckles, it kind of blew everybody’s mind. So I feel like Knuckles was my guy.”

Knuckles is on Paramount+ now.

(featured image: Paramount+)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.