Good news this week about one of our all-time favorite comedies: The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creative team – meaning stars/producers Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney – will see reruns of their hilarious series pop up on Comedy Central, beginning in 2010.
Of course, most fans of the series have probably already invested in those bright yellow DVD box sets, but it’ll still be fun to flip around to Sunny repeats every night, and, like lots of great shows that pop up in syndication or cable, I’m betting the Comedy Central airings will mean another whole wave of fans for the Paddy’s Pub gang.
And more news from Sunny-land:
- Focus.com has come up with “25 Things I Learned About Business from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The comments on the article, left by fans of the show, are right on in pointing out that the writers of the article need to watch more episodes for even better examples of the points they’re trying to make, but it’s a funny idea.
- The official Philadelphia tourism Website, GoPhila.com has created a two-day, two-night itinerary for a self-guided It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia tour of Philly. Among the highlights: The Liberty Bell and the Rocky steps at the Philly Museum of Art, of course, plus 12 Steps Down, a dive bar that’s reportedly the inspiration for Paddy’s; the Dave & Buster’s on the waterfront (Dennis and Mac’s fave hangout for cheap steak and cocktails); Love Park, where Charlie met with the (alleged) anti-smoking campaigners; the Italian Market, where the gang dined and dashed; and Bleu Martini, a hangout for Sweet Dee, The Waitress and Artemis. Bonus trivia: I learned this on my first trip to Philly last year – there’s a Sunny connection to Kevin Bacon, sorta. Love Park was the brainchild of Bacon’s dad Edmund, a former Philly city planner.
- And if you want to pay homage to the Sunny gang via your Halloween costume, here are my suggestions for Sunny ensembles, inspired by “The Nightman Cometh” classic, at AOL TV.
It’s a very It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia week, as the Sunny cast kicks off its tour of live The Nightman Cometh performances tonight in Boston, just in time to ring in the show’s fifth season premiere on FX Thursday night (10PM ET).
To get the scoop on The Nightman Cometh tour, the new season (hint: Kitten Mittens! Wrestling with Rowdy Roddy Piper! The gang’s naughty Christmas DVD!) and the next big thing from the cast (the upcoming FX comedy Boldly Going Nowhere), here’s my recent chat with Sunny star Charlie Day, who plays the angry, glue-sniffin’, thermal underwear-sportin’, musical-writin’, oddly endearing Charlie Kelly.
Hey, Charlie! Thanks for chatting today. How did the idea for the live performances tour come about?
Well, we did it once at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, and it was all entirely by accident. A friend of (Sunny star Rob McElhenney‘s) named Don McCloskey is a musician, and he had booked a gig at The Troubador and asked if we maybe wanted to sing a few of the songs from the various episodes in which we sing on the show. And we sort of agreed, and then The Troubador put up on their Website that the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was going to perform The Nightman Cometh, and it sold out almost instantly. And then we said, ‘Alright, well, now we actually have to do something here.’ So we got together and figured out the best way to do it, and we collectively decided that the best, most interesting thing would be to perform the entire episode like a play, and then the play within the play. So that’s what we did, and it was great fun, and it was a success, so we decided we would take it on the road.
Now that you’re moving the performance to these bigger venues in cities like New York and Boston and Los Angeles, will it change? Or will you still be performing the entire episode, with the sets, etc.?
Yeah, I think so. We’re gonna put the sets on a bus or van or drive it around to wherever we go.
Were you surprised at how the tickets – almost all of them at each venue – sold out almost instantly?
I was enthused. I’m pretty aware of the fan base that’s out there … we at the show are very grateful for it. So we’re all just very pleased to see how excited people were, and also excited that we have the opportunity to do this live performance for (the fans).
The tickets were even being sold on eBay for hundreds and in a couple of cases thousands of dollars …
That’s just evil.
There were many “troll toll” jokes being made on Twitter.
(Laughing) Yes, and that’s appropriate.
But you guys must feel like rock stars now, as well as TV stars.
(Laughing) Well, this is as close as we’ll get to being rock stars, so that’s another fun reason to do it, to enjoy it.
Is there a chance that you may do still more with The Nightman Cometh after this? We kind of have the Behind the Music-ish episode in season two where we originally saw (the idea) and now we have the actual show … could there be an episode of It’s Always Sunny about the gang taking the show on the road?
Well, it wouldn’t be like the gang to ever make it out of Philadelphia, but … certainly they would aspire to do something like that, and that could make for a pretty hilarious episode.
Is that true that we won’t ever see the gang leave Philly?
Well, we may or we may not. We don’t want to set down any ground rules so that there won’t be any surprises, but I don’t see big changes for these characters. I don’t see the final season taking place in Miami or something.
There’s lots of buzz about season five … Is it true that The Waitress (played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Day’s real-life wife) gets married this season?
Absolutely, absolutely. There’s certainly a snafu there. And we have a great episode in which we wrestle for the troops, because we want to celebrate the troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and we decide what better way to do that than to put on a USO-type show, and what’s more American than good old-fashioned wrestling? And Rowdy Roddy Piper makes a guest appearance in that episode and he’s fantastic. So that’s a favorite of mine this season. And there’s a bunch of them that are great this season … we’re going to flash back to 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series and see what the gang was up to that day, and that’s a good one as well.
And there’s a flashback to the gang as babies?
Well, not in the (regular) season. You will see younger versions of these characters in the Christmas DVD that we’re doing.
Is that episode a standalone, or will the Christmas episode be part of season five?
That’s a standalone thing, on DVD. And it’s uncensored … it’s pretty dirty. And we’re going to put it out at Christmastime.
And is it true that Charlie’s Kitten Mittens come to fruition this season?
Yes, Kitten Mittens! What the world has been waiting for (laughing). Yeah, there’s an episode in which my character designs these Kitten Mittens and then everyone (in the gang) tries to think of something they can create and sell in the bar.
You realize that fans are going to actually want to purchase Kitten Mittens? You’ve ensured humiliation for an entire generation of cats …
Haha, yes, well then, I apologize to cats of America.
Are you and Rob and (Sunny star) Glenn (Howerton) also working on Boldly Going Nowhere?
We are, we’ve been retooling and writing that. Our focus, really, for the last few months has been on finishing (season five) and getting that out and doing this tour, and then we can kind of shift back to that.
Is there a premiere date attached to it yet?
I don’t think so. We’re still working on it.
You guys are co-creating it, writing and producing it … will the Sunny cast also make guest appearances on it?
If all goes well with that, sure, I think that’s something that we would love to do. If we pull it off, it will be the kind of show that would have lots of people coming and going every week, so there will be plenty of opportunities for performers.
Boldly Going Nowhere has been tagged as “It’s Always Sunny in space” … is that an accurate description? Is it that same kind of attitude, same kind of humor as Sunny?
I think so. I mean, our humor is our humor, so we can’t change it too much.
I recently saw the Reno 911! episode with you and Mary Elizabeth – hilarious. Is that when you two met?
No, no, we had met years and years before that. But we’ve always had the same sense of humor, so we enjoy getting to perform together.
Had you performed together a lot before that, or before Sunny?
No, actually, I think Reno 911! was the first thing on camera, aside from home videos and that sort of thing. But yeah, Reno and then Sunny … I think that was the order. It’s all kind of a blur now.
With Charlie proposing to Waitress in The Nightman Cometh, it begs the question: how did real Charlie propose to Mary Elizabeth?
Haha, on a beach somewhere … we’ll put it that way.
And there was no bright yellow suit involved?
Haha, there was no bright yellow suit. And no musical.
In The Nightman Cometh episode, and several others, are you actually playing the piano?
Yes, I am, I do. Both of my parents are music teachers, and I grew up in a house full of instruments, so I can make noises on a lot of them.
And are you the one who writes the music used in The Nightman Cometh?
Yeah, I do write a lot of the music. And I brought in a good old friend of mine, a guy named Cormac Bluestone, who’s done a lot of music with us, both on The Nightman Cometh episode and on the Christmas DVD, and various other things throughout the show. And, as always, everything on the show is a group effort, so everyone chimes in with their opinions about things. Maybe I’ll come in with a good jumping off point and then everyone will go from there.
Obviously fans love The Nightman Cometh song, and bands are even covering it in concert, but you have been living with it since season two. Is it still fun for you, because everyone else loves it so much, or are you tired of the song?
Haha, no, I’m still having fun with it. I don’t have enough of a music career to be sick of any of my music.
During The Nightman Cometh tour, you’re performing the entire episode … and what else will we see during the performances?
We’re going to show either the season premiere or a random episode from the new season, and we’re going to show a scene from the Christmas DVD, and then do the live episode. And then there are going to be a couple of other numbers in there …
Yeah, a couple of surprises …
And will people have the chance to interact with you guys at all during the show?
(Laughing) I have a feeling people are going to be interacting with us whether we planned it or not. But that’s going to be a part of the joy of the performance, or at least, I hope.
I’m interviewing Charlie Day, my favorite It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cast member, later today, and I will definitely be asking him about this: The new season of Sunny will find Charlie’s dream of Kitten Mittens (TM) coming to fruition. Check the video below:
Got any other questions you’d like me to ask him? If so, send me an e-mail or post ‘em in the comments section.
And, if you haven’t cruised over to the official It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Website at FX lately, check it out now. There are a ton of preview clips for season five, including a longer take on a new line of Paddy’s merch the gang cooks up. Kitten Mittens are just the tip of the iceberg … hint: A Dennis nudie pen.
Mark these dates on your calendars for the return of two of the best series on the tube, both on FX: September 17 for season five of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sept. 8 for season two of Sons of Anarchy.
The Sunny season sounds like it will be the best one yet. In coverage of the show’s Paley Festival night in April, IGN.com talked to star Rob McElhenney about season five plots, and he hinted at the gang’s special take on the bad economy. “(The Sunny characters have) been poor for years! We’re Old Poor, and now there’s all these people who are New Poor, and we feel like it’s just so tacky … so tacky,” McElhenney told IGN. “They don’t understand what it’s like and how to be poor.”
More season five plots that have been rumored, and some confirmed by the cast: The gang’s interaction with a fraternity and a beer pong tournament (someone tell Jimmy Fallon), a Ponzi scheme, a road trip, a possible pregnancy for Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson, McElhenney’s real-life wife), the Octomom and a flashback to the gang’s infant years (just the thought of what a baby Charlie was like is enough to make me giggle, a lot).
In other It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia news:
- The season four finale featured Charlie’s (Charlie Day) attempt to woo The Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Day’s real-life wife) with his The Nightman Cometh rock opera, which the cast performed live in a pair of weekend shows at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in April.
According to THR.com, stars McElhenney, Day and Glenn Howerton are considering taking the stage version of the episode (which includes additional songs) to New York City and Philadelphia this fall. No ticket cost would be too high to be in the audience for that one.
- And in one more bit of Sunny news, everyone’s favorite Paddy’s Pub proprietor, Charlie Day, has signed on to star in Going the Distance, a big-screen romantic comedy with Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. The story revolves around a couple (real-life on-again, off-again couple Barrymore and Long) who try to keep a long-distance romance alive. Day plays Long’s best friend, and Applegate plays Barrymore’s sister (great casting, right? The two look like sisters).
Now, who else will be lining up to see The Nightman Cometh live?
All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
- Tonight is the big 20/20 interview with Adam Lambert.
- The Real Housewives of New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and O.C. are guest-hosting the fourth hour of the Today Show next week. Monday, it’s Bethenny Frankel (Real Housewives of New York City), on Tuesday, Danielle Staub (Real Housewives of New Jersey), NeNe Leakes from Real Housewives of Atlanta on Wednesday and Tamra Barney from Real Housewives of Orange County on Thursday.
- MLB Network is debuting its first reality series, The Pen, on June 14 (8PM ET). The show covers the action in the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen.
- The Real World 23 will take place in Washington, D.C.
- Robert Rodriguez confirms his live-action boob tube-to-big screen Jetsons movie will begin filming next year. Moviehole thinks Danny DeVito may be too old to play Mr. Spacely, but it’s hard to picture anyone else in the role, no?
- Heidi, of Heidi-n-Spencer infamy, will reportedly pose nekkid for Playboy. Curious how that fits in with her alleged religious beliefs …
- A line of Danny Gokey eyeglasses? Yup.
- While Stephen Baldwin is off in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, his foreclosed home is being auctioned off.
- And signs of life from one of my favorite comedies, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which shot some scenes on location in Philly this week, under the direction of Fred Savage (yes, Wonder Years Fred Savage). And how cool is Charlie Day? He’s definitely on my dream Emmy nomination list. The show, BTW, is scheduled to return to FX for its fifth season in September, and will include an episode in which Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) tries to emulate Octomom.
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred – returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) [...]
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