‘Glee’s’ Patrick Gallagher on Coach Tanaka’s Departure: ‘It Was a Great Ride’

The “Night at the Museum” actor isn’t returning for season two, and he’s cool with that


Patrick Gallagher says even though he won’t be returning as Coach Ken Tanaka for season two of “Glee” this fall, “it was a great ride.”

“The character’s storyline had kind of run its course,” the Canadian actor exclusively told TheWrap of his departure from the Fox series. “That’s just Hollywood and the realities of an actor’s life; you’ve just got to get back on the horse and ride.”

Contacted by TheWrap, Fox had no comment on Gallagher leaving “Glee,” nor would they confirm his rumored replacement, Dot Jones, or other changes to the show.

A recurring guest star on “Glee,” Gallagher was heavily featured in the series’ initial promotional push when it debuted in September 2009. Also known for playing Attila The Hun – “ Who everyone confuses for Genghis Khan,” the 41-year old actor laughs – in the “Night At the Museum” movies, Gallagher has appeared in “Sideways,” and “Master and Commander” with Russell Crowe and on HBO’s “True Blood.”

“I was really glad to be a part of ‘Glee,’ I loved every second of working with Ryan (Murphy) and the rest of the cast,” said Gallagher Tuesday. “I’m not just saying this, it’s a great show and Tanaka was a great character for an actor to play.”

While not much of a song-and-dance man, except for one rap routine, Gallagher’s fanny-pack wearing football coach at Lima Ohio’s William McKinley High had been an integral part of season one of the successful and award-winning high school musical show. The rebound engagement between Tanaka and Emma Pillsbury, as the school guidance counselor tried to get over her love for glee club director Will Schuster, provided one of the first season’s most powerful punches. The football coach called the wedding off so Emma and Will could try and be together.

Besides lofty ratings, the show has won a People’s Choice Award, a prestigious Peabody, had a slew of best-selling cast albums – including one dedicated exclusively to Madonna — and has been nominated for 19 Emmys.

“I’m a fan of “Glee,” said Gallagher, who has an upcoming role on “Entourage” and Disney’s “Pair of Kings” in the can and several other projects on the go, “and I’m going to still keep watching.”