TV Guide
"A Hepcat's Tale"
(April 24-30, 1999)
by Jason Cohen

  Call Alex Desert well-traveled, and you could be referring to his acting resume, which includes The Flash, The Heights, Boy Meets World, Swingers and his current home on CBS's Becker (Mondays, 9:30 P.M./ET). But Los Angeles-based combo whose most recent album is "Right On Time," Desert (pronounced Dez-AIR) has also been around the world, cranking out what he calls "oldies ska" - traditional ska/reggae, without any punk trappings.

  TV still comes first, however. Desert had to miss out on Hepcat's recent tour of Asia and Australia, but he wouldn't have had it any other way. "Acting's my first love," says the 28-year-old native New Yorker. "Initially the band was just therapy for me between acting jobs, so it's kind of cool that after all this time it's doing well."

  On Becker, Desert plays blind newsstand operator Jake, who fires understated verbal barbs at Ted Danson's overbearing title character. "It's difficult trying to act like I can't see, especially since I don't wear sunglasses on the show," he says, adding that his job is not as cushy as Jake's: "It's like, how come I'm never at the newsstand? I'm always sitting at the bar, eating. I must be getting robbed blind.