The actor, 52, tells PEOPLE that going to the games whenever he wants is one of the best perks of being a celebrity.
“You get to go to a lot of games. I really avail myself to that at Citi Field,” he says, laughing.
So when Azaria got the opportunity to interview pitcher Noah “Thor” Syndergaard, 24, while in character as his new TV role Jim Brockmire, a down-in-the-dumps baseball announcer, he jumped at the chance.
“I’m a huge Mets fan, so that might have been one of the happiest moments of my life,” he says. “But poor Noah was very uncomfortable.”
Azaria, whose dark comedy Brockmire (based off a Funny or Die skit he did eight years ago) just began airing on IFC, says the show has been a long time in the making.
(For more on Hank Azaria, pick up the new issue of People on stands April 14.)
“I came up with the character when I was a teenager,” he says. “It’s my generic baseball announcer voice. But the idea was he always sounds like this, whether he’s drunk or having sex and dirty talking. I just had a sense that a guy narrating events the way a baseball game is described would be funny. It always killed at the poker table!”