Peter DeLuise says long-haired Officer Doug Penhall is "a lot like me: He's quick-tempered, stubborn, got a limited vocabulary." On "21 Jump Street," Penhall is guy who's a little rough around the edges. The cop who could go either way.

DeLuise the actor is on his way up -- even as his weight has gone down. The son of Dom DeLuise, a man known as much for his consumption of food as for his comedy, young DeLuise has decided he'll share Dad's career, but not his size.

Barely 21 and 6-feet-1, DeLuise has lost 75 pounds. "I was overweight in elementary school. Then I got active in football in high school. But after high school I got up to 265 pounds. I was on my way down when I got on this show. Now I'm at 190.

"With the diet I'm on, you can never stop: It's salt-free, fat-free. That's just smart eating. I try to get away from red meat. You can cheat once in a while."

Apparently he doesn't cheat much: He lost 30 of those pounds before the second season for "21 Jump Street" began. "The wardrobe people went crazy because I needed all new pants, and the producers have headaches because they don't know what to do with the new me. I was hired as a John Candy type and now I'm told that I look more like a young Marlon Brando."

Peter DeLuise is the eldest of three sons of Dom and his wife, actress Carol Arthur. His brother Michael, 18, already has a role in a syndicated show with Danny Thomas, according to Peter. David, 16, attends Pacific Palisades High School.

"We're all heavy into drama," he said. "We all work out with a private trainer, Sly Stallone's ex bodyguard." The trainer is also getting young DeLuise in shape to play an early '60s street fighter in a theatrical movie called "That Summer," to be filmed during the next "Jump Street" hiatus.

DeLuise has already appeared in feature films "Solarbabies," "Free Ride," "Hot Stuff" and "Supercross," as well as a TV movie, "Midnight Hour"; made guest spots on "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Facts of Life," and played in "Brighton Beach Memoirs" at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, Fla.

"21 Jump Street" has been able to address more controversial topics this season, he said. "The first season they had a racial show, a race riot in school, and the network being as they are, said, 'No thanks, we'll pass.' So they put it on the shelf, and then they ran it this season because we had more credibility."

But young DeLuise is not entirely happy with the scripts for the hour-long series. "I'd like them to be more juicy, have more depth." He thinks that the stories "skip around ... occasionally you just start to get going and they yell 'Cut!' If you have six people in a room talking and you have a two-page scene, what you have is an incredible amount of dialogue."

He'd also like Doug Penhall to have a more well-rounded character. "So I suggested that one of us have a girlfriend. Johnny {Depp, who plays Officer Tom Hanson} got the girlfriend, Amy. I never get the girl."

Actually, Penhall may not get the girl, but Peter DeLuise will: He's marrying his fiance next year.