111708wallaceshawn.jpgWallace Shawn—known to some as America's most radical playwright, to others as that guy who goes, "Inconceivable!" in The Princess Bride—recently rapped with the Times about his umpteenth wave of pop culture recognition; this time thanks to his recurring role on the adolescent wish-fulfillment series Gossip Girl. Shawn, who as an actor has played everyone from Chekhov's Vanya (Vanya on 42nd Street) to an alien leader (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), insists he doesn't know why anyone should be surprised by his appearance as Blair Waldorf's mother's boyfriend: "It is a little bit puzzling, because I don’t think of myself in any way. I just seem like a kind of blob or a blank to myself." But he says he does feel qualified for the part because of his experiences as a teacher at Trevor Day School, where he encountered “many Gossip Girl characters in the making. The parents on the show really remind me of some of the parents I met then. I literally do think, ‘Oh, where have I seen that before?’ And I say, ‘Oh, it was in reality.'"