With the season premiere of Always Sunny mere hours away (tonight at 10pm on FX), I sat down with Charlie Day (Charlie), Rob McElhenney (Mac) and Glenn Howerton (Dennis) to talk about the show and find out which shirt they've chosen as the winner of our Always Sunny T-Shirt design contest.
Are you guys excited for the new season?
Glenn: Oh hells yeah.
Rob: Can't wait.
Is everything all done?
Charlie: No! Not even close. Everything's shot, we're cutting it all together.
It must be hard to edit. I feel like you guys are always cracking up on set.
Glenn: It's pretty bad sometimes.
Charlie: We're like, as bad as Jimmy Fallon.
Is there a particular scene that you guys remember just not being able to get through?
Charlie: Glenn and I laughed a lot in season 2 where he improvs the writing of the political speech that I had written for him. We couldn't get through that.
Rob: We laughed a lot through the scene in 'The Gang Dances Their Asses Off' where we're eating the chips. Where we're talking about the cream rising to the top, and basically talking about Mac's semen. But yeah, we couldn't get through that scene.
I know a lot of the show is tightly scripted, but are you improvising a lot while you're filming?
Glenn: The episodes are written to be pretty tight, but we improvise a lot when we're writing and rewriting scripts. A lot of the improvising gets written down, and then when we're on the set we'll do things word for word. If they're funny and they're working, then it works, and if not we'll go off the page. It's always fun to switch it up on the day.
Now 'Day Man' was written, right?
Glenn: Certain parts of it were written, yeah, certainly the chorus that you hear. There's not really a whole lot to that song, if you listen to it. But the Night Man song that Charlie does, that was actually all improvised.
I read somewhere that you guys were kind of nervous about all the music in that episode. Were you surprised by the success? I mean, people are really latching on to 'Day Man'.
Charlie: Yeah, it was actually really surprising. And gratifying.
You started with the pilot, which cost just a couple hundred bucks to make. Did you expect that this was gonna take you to where you are today?
Glenn: I think to some degree we're sort of amazed and shocked that it all happened this way. I mean, we really just shot it to be a funny movie to show to our friends and make ourselves laugh and keep us busy between gigs, and it sort of spiraled out of control.
Did the pilot change much between your original version and what we saw on TV?
Rob: It changed quite a bit. We actually shot two original home movies people talk about the original home movie pilot but there were actually two of them that we shot, and we sort of combined the major storylines of those two episodes and that became ?Charlie Has Cancer.'
What's your favorite episode that you've shot so far?
Glenn: Well this year has some of my favorite episodes that we've ever done. Certainly "The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell," in which we all flash back to what Paddy's Pub was in 1776 around the time of the Revolution.
Charlie: I like Seasons 1-4.
Rob: (laughs) Yeah I mean, it's hard to pick a favorite. But I'm really excited about this year, that's for sure.
The show has a lot of running jokes Charlie's illiteracy, the waitress's lack of name, etc. What's your favorite?
Glenn: Mine is the homosexual undertones to everything we say and do.
Rob: I like the destruction of Rickety Crickett. We just keep breaking him down. You'd think after the season finale last year that he couldn't get any lower, but we'll find a way.
You guys recently signed on for something like 50 more episodes. Do you have any long-term plans?
Glenn: We can't wait to be done with it. (everyone laughs) No I think it's a lot of fun. We're signed on to do well, they've announced 39 more episodes. Maybe we'll get to that many, and maybe we'll commit ritual suicide before we get to that point.
Where's Kaitlin today, guys?
Rob: She's at home, cooking me fucking dinner.
Charlie: Oh damn!
Alec Baldwin, the ?famous' cast member of 30 Rock, is rumored to be really hard to work with. Is Danny Devito a dream?
Charlie: Danny Devito is great to work with. I think the difference between Danny Devito and Alec Baldwin can be seen in the phone messages they leave for their children.
So besides your own show, what kind of television are you guys into?
Charlie: The Wire.
Glenn: The Shield.
Charlie: We've been watching a lot of police dramas.
Rob: We need to take a break from comedy because we spend so much time making jokes.
Glenn: There's a very good chance that Sunny will be very much like a procedural next year. (laughs)
Rob: We watch a lot of sports, too.
It must have been really exciting to shoot ?The Gang Goes Invincible' then.
Glenn: Yeah, that was a lot of fun. That was a blast, to get out there on the football field.
Rob: Yeah, and a bunch of the Eagles are doing the show this year, too. In an episode titled ?America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest.'
You guys have really hit on most topics, are you running out?
Rob: Hell no!
Charlie: The world keeps popping em out, you know what I mean? Now we got all sorts of new people to have fun with. We have Sarah Palin, she's new. Every year there's gonna be something new, something new. Things keep popping up. You know, there's gonna be a new war, or a new storm, or some kind of new crisis or new disease, and we'll have some laughs at the expense of people who suffer from it.
Dare I ask who you guys are voting for?
Charlie: I'm voting for Dennis Kucinich.
Rob: Fred Thompson is my man.
Glenn: (laughs) Olympia.
Charlie: (laughs) Olympia Dukakis.
Your characters have been hooked on almost every drug available. Do you guys ever write when you're drunk or high or anything?
Rob: No. Stone cold sober.
Glenn: Yeah, there's no way to get work done when you're well, there's no way to get good stuff done when you're on drugs. The truth is that drugs are bad.
I was curious, because SNL is, or was, basically known for that.
Glenn: That's why the writing's so bad.
Charlie: You know what happened? It's people like John Belushi and Chris Farley would get all coked up and they would write a sketch, and they'd bring it in to some little 85-pound nerdy Jew that no one's ever heard of, and he would rewrite it. And he was dead sober. The truth is, only nerds actually write jokes.
Rob: Are you calling us nerds?
Charlie: Yes, of course we're nerds.
Rob: We're not nerds!
Glenn: I'm pretty cool.
Charlie: You're not that cool.
Glenn: Am I not?
Charlie: No, bro.
Glenn: I feel like I am.
You guys bring in a lot of friends to act and write with you. Are you only friends with talented people?
Charlie: We try to keep away from not talented people because it gets awkward when they ask us to be on the show.
Glenn: But I have started to wonder who's friends with me because I'm famous.
Rob: Nobody. (laughs)
Do you guys get mobbed on the street, or get recognized?
Rob: In one city in the country, the rest of the time people don't really care about us.
Glenn: That's not true. Charlie gets mobbed everywhere. Paparazzi everywhere, outside his house.
Charlie: Yeah I'm like people's little toy.
How long until you're in US Weekly?
Charlie: We're a different kind of famous. We're not the US Weekly kind of famous.
Glenn: Because we actually do something for a living.
And last but not least, let's congratulate Jill Baumgardner, who submitted the winning design for our Always Sunny T-Shirt design contest. Charlie, Glenn and Rob picked her shirt from the top 3 to be produced by BustedTees. Preorder yours here!