"Dogs just give it, man," says Bakay, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Robin, two cats and a dog. "The dog came in here three years ago and pretty much wiped the floor with the cats in the love department.
"When we first got the dog, we were squeamish because dogs are just like mud creatures," Bakay tells TV Guide Online. "But it turns around completely to the point where you find yourself at pet stores buying those atrocious treats with total love in your heart. You're buying smoked pig ears and bull prostates and saying, 'My baby will love it!' "
When he's not busy fetching bones for his dog or making wisecracks as Salem (he's also a co-producer and writer on the show), Bakay fills out his schedule with a bunch of other showbiz projects: He provides the voice of Norbert the beaver on Nickelodeon's The Angry Beavers and he's a frequent on-air contributor to ESPN and ESPN2. He's also hosting a new series on campy sports movies, Reel Classics, Sunday nights on ESPN Classic.
"As long as you've got 8 million irons in the fire, you're never at the mercy of one thing," says busy Bakay. "If you're not a megastar, that's the way to fly, baby. To keep as diverse as you possibly can. In a world where you have a satellite dish with a hundred thousand channels, there's gotta be some place I can work."