"What the f-ck are all you guys doing here?," he asked on Paley's opening night, just before introducing the "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" episode they had chosen to screen ("The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis" in case you were curious). Mr. DeVito went on to tell everyone gathered at the Arclight theater that the "Sunny" crew, especially the people at FX, are the biggest bunch of assholes he's ever worked with.
So that was fun.
But, in fact, I had the best time doing interviews just before the screening, because I got one-on-one time with Rob (Mac), Charlie (Charlie), Glenn (Dennis) and Kaitlin (Sweet Dee) and they are the greatest… always cool to talk to and appreciative of my love for the show. I actually got some good video footage of our chats, but as I am technologically challenged, I haven't been able to upload them to YouTube yet. I think the files are too large or something… I don't know, I'm working on it.
Anyway, the guys told me that they are just about finished writing all the episodes for the upcoming fifth season and they will begin shooting them on May 5th. The premiere will most probably air in September.
They'll be dealing with the economic crisis this year for sure — new poor vs. old poor, hahaha — the Octomom — Dee's barren, dry womb (Kaitlin's words, not mine) may house some babies, we'll see — and there will be home movies, so we'll get a glimpse of the gang back in the day… yeah, I guess they were pretty much the same.
The characters, however, have undergone a few changes from what they were when the show was first conceived. In the original script, Mac, Dennis and Charlie were all going to be actors — they figured that would explain their ridiculously selfish behavior — and the series was supposed to take place in Los Angeles. Would you believe the working title was "It's Always Sunny on TV"? It was.
But Rob said that when he took the idea to FX, the network rightly advised them to change the show's location because there were already too many series taking place in L.A. Rob is from Philly, so that's how that came about.
Rob also said that FX is the only network they shopped "Sunny" to, that there was never any doubt about where it belonged.
As most "IASIP" fans know, Rob, Charlie and Glenn shot the pilot presentation for the show on their own cameras, with their own money and that's what they used to sell it. The story for that pilot presentation? What if a guy went over to a friend's house to borrow a cup of sugar and the friend tells him that he just found out he has cancer? How does the guy who really just wanted to borrow a cup of sugar get the ef out of there?
One of the guys acknowledged that "Seinfeld" was really the first show to introduce lead characters that were self-centered and self serving, yet somehow still likeable.
And Charlie said something to the effect of, Yeah, they have to be likeable… If they're irredeemable and unlikeable, you know, that's "Entourage."
That got a huge laugh. From me, at least.
But yes, there were a lot of funny moments during the panel. Kaitlin is hysterical, actually. And, I mean, we know the boys are funny, they write the freakin show. Still, it was cool to see how comical they can be on the fly. And some good information came out of their mouths too.
A rule they operate on? If it's funny, it's not offensive.
I like that.
In real life, DeVito is their wild card.
As Rob said, Danny was brought in to be the father figure, but he quickly took over the role of very young brother who must be watched for fear he'll stick his finger in a light socket or something.
Speaking of Danny, his favorite "Sunny" scene? The one where Charlie repeatedly hits Sweet Dee in the face with that volleyball. He was in stitches over that. He's also particularly fond of "the shit in the bed one." He said he used to hear "Hey Louis! Louis! Taxi! Taxi! Twins!" when he was walking around in public. Now, he hears "Hey, shit the bed!"
Other good knowledge we got?
Well, Charlie can't really see out of the Green Man costume, which must make shooting those scenes interesting.
Green Man, by the way, is a real guy who runs around after Philadelphia Eagles games while fans are tailgating in the parking lot outside the stadium. Rob said he saw the guy when he was at a game with some friends and thought, we have to put that in the show somehow. The real Green Man guy, p.s., is a freakin m.d.
arlie, the moral of that story is don't get sick 'cause that dude could be your doctor.
What else? Oh, Rob Thomas is a huge fan of "Sunny" and that's how he ended up guest starring. I guess he called them up because he wanted them to be in one of his videos or something and they were like, "Uhh… no thanks" — again, Kaitlin's (hilarious) words — "But do you wanna do our show?"
So, yeah, R.T. was totally into it. And they wanted to pair him up with someone ridiculous, and apparently, that was right around the time that Britney Spears was guesting on "How I Met Your Mother" so the guys were like, hey, who could we get on our show?… I know, Sinbad! And that's literally how Rob Thomas and Sinbad ended up on the series.
By the way, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" was a great panel to open the Paley Festival this year because the fan questions that came from the audience were fantastic. Every person who got a mic was pretty much drooling on it. And I mean that in a positive way.
Someone asked Rob to do Mac's karate elbow dance. He obliged, while sitting though. Kaitlin said the funniest part about that dance is how Rob bites his bottom lip while doing it. Rob said that's a direct rip off of Ricky Gervais.
Someone asked Glenn and Charlie to perform a bit of "Day Man".
Aaaaah Aaaah Aahhhhhh.
It was great.
Charlie was asked to sing "Night Man".
It was also great. Turns out Charlie actually improv'd the majority of what became the "Night Man" lyrics. "I always thought it would be really funny if a character didn't realize he was singing about gay sex," he explained.
Mhmm. It is.
There was a McPoyle question, which was cool because we then found out that Charlie went to college with a kid named Brendan McPoyle who had like 12 brothers and sisters and he was kind of the inspiration for the characters. Apparently, Charlie recently heard that good old Brendan is pretty pissed off at him.
The guys hope to have more McPoyle action on the show in season five, but it's tough because the actors who play them, Jimmi Simpson and Nate Mooney, are really in demand and always busy. Oh, fun fact, the McPoyle sister? The stone cold fox? She was actually an extra who basically stumbled into the role. Cool, right? And, according to the cast, she's actually very cute off screen.
The best fan question of the night though came from what looked to be a 13-year-old boy who said he's seen every episode of the show and wanted to know why Charlie never gets laid. "It's effed up," he exclaimed, and then told us that his own friends call him the "Charlie" of their own little group.
Danny DeVito yelled, ask that lady about it!, pointing to Charlie's wife Mary Elizabeth Ellis (the waitress) who was sitting in the audience. She of course responded by turning around, pretending DeVito was talking to someone else. Me, I guess, since I was sitting in the seat directly behind her. I ducked.
DeVito then volunteered to talk with the kid in the audience after the panel, give him a few tips as he's sure he can get him laid…
Oh, it was a good time, a very good time.