Undateable is a new show coming out soon on NBC that has created quite a buzz in the world of television. The interest is coming from the grassroots comedy tour the stars of the show are doing around the country right now. The show’s creator (who also created Scrubs, Cougar Town, Spin City, and the cult hit Clone High) Bill Lawrence is on tour with comedians Chris D’Elia (best known for his run as Alex on Whitney), Ron Funches, Brent Morin, and Rick Glassman.
It’s a promotion quite unlike anything you have ever seen before. Where most shows send around screeners and merchandise with their logos hastily slapped across it, these guys are actually going out there, proving to people they are funny and you should watch their new show. Thing is, I saw their Undateable Comedy Tour when it stopped in Boston a few nights ago and I can tell you, if the show ends up being half as funny as the four guys they have on it and the one guy they have behind it, Undateable will be one to watch. I was lucky enough to get back stage to talk to these guys before they went on a few nights ago in Boston, and I can tell you, they are either destined to be superstars, or they are conspiring to pull off a heist. I am leaning toward the first, but after ten minutes with them, would not be that surprised by the latter. Don’t worry, coming from me that is a massive compliment. Heists are very cool, and take a well organized team. Just saying.
So this is how it began, and as you could see, I was off to a smashing start. Just kidding. They were in on it:
From there, it was all smooth sailing. This our interview with the cast of Undateable.
So I gotta say, The Undateable Comedy Tour is a very cool way to get the word out on the show, and much more proactive then sending around screeners and t-shirts. How did this come about?
Chris D’Elia: Well, we didn’t know when the show was going to air, so rather than shove billboard in people’s faces, we thought it would be cool to do a grassroots thing, and just go around and get the word out ourselves. Plus, we are all friends, so it is not even like work to us. We just get to hang out. It’s fun.
I was going to ask that next. How did you four all meet up? Doing comedy in LA?
Brent Morin: This guy (talking about Chris D’Elia) kinda took me under his wing, very big brother, little brother. He would look out for me and stuff.
Chris: It was very cute.
Brent: It really was. We ended up meeting Rick (Glassman) and just all hit it off. Rick ended up moving into my building, and now I can’t shake him. We met up with Ron, who we were fans of, and it just clicked.
Ron Funches: I was the enigma. The guy who came a little later to the group. I was nervous they might not let me in or wanna hang out or whatever, but everyone has been really cool. We are all big fans of one another’s work, so to work together has been great.
(This lead to a discussion about comedy, at which point, I had to ask Chris about his epic Justin Bieber roast he did at the Laugh Factory in L.A recently (watch footage here)
So how did that roast of Justin Bieber come about? It was like you got to live the American dream for a minute there. You got to bring Justin Bieber on stage and make fun of him.
Chris: He asked me to do it. He was at the show before I was, and he was a fan, so when we were talking, he asked me to bring him on stage and make fun of him.
Wow, so he ASKED for that?
Chris: Yeah, he was actually a really good sport about it.
Wow, that actually makes me hate him a little less, which somehow makes me hate him more. So regarding Undateable, have any of you pulled any stories from your own lives about your own “Undateability” for the show?
Chris: The writers are really good using their our sensibilities. I don’t know if they have used any stories of ours.
Ron: It is more of our attitudes and reasons why we wouldn’t get dates are written and shown through the television for us. The characters are definitely versions OF us. You get a good feeling of our humor, but no personal stories. Yet.
I could not help but notice that, at least in the pilot, you guys have some rather attractive co-stars. Is that going to be a trend for the show? Lovely ladies for you all to date, successfully or otherwise?
Chris: That is one of the benefits of working on TV. You get to be around pretty girls.
With that in mind, I was wondering if you guys had any female actresses or celebrities you would like to see cast to play alongside at one point? This might be a good time to name drop some famous lady you are into. I can tweet this article at her and we can all act coy.
Rick Glassman: I have always wanted to work with Meryl Streep.
Chris D’Elia: Really? That’s odd, I wonder if anyone else would say that….(laughs)
Rick: Ever since Death Becomes Her, I have been thinking about a love scene with Meryl Streep.
Chris: Do you think she would do a muti-camera sitcom, or only Oscar winning roles?
Brent: I think she would win an Oscar WHEN she did our multi-camera sitcom.
Oh man, I need to get this to article to Meryl. Great Death Becomes Her reference, by the way. I was more of a Goldie Hawn fan in that movie. Something about that red hair and the giant hole in her stomach.
(At this point, we broke off into bits of sordid humor, far too salacious for this family site, but it was all awesome, and maybe I will talk about it one day down the road)
What about the rest of you, any dream female “co-stars”?
Chris: I always wanted Kate Beckinsale to do something with me so I could kiss her.
( At this point I informed him I am tweeting this to Kate Beckinsale. He brought up the fact that she may have a husband and children, and I said that only helps his chances. Things went off the rails a bit here again, as I was checking the recording app I was using to see if actually was still working. Chris told me I had to “keep all this stuff” in the interview, and I assured him I was getting paid by the word and intended to. At this point, Rick Glassman told me to make sure that the Meryl Streep quote got in, and I assured him it would. See Rick, you can trust me. I told you that line was gold then, and I meant it.)
I just wanted to take a second to thank you guys for taking the time to do this and field my questions. It is appreciated. I expected you guys to tear me apart like sharks.
Rick: Wait, are you looking for the cast of Undateable? Oh man, we are just hanging out back stage. None of us are actually ON the show.
Brent: Yeah man, the cast is one room down.
Well, you guys seem fun enough, so I will just write in the actors names. So what was it like working with a TV legend like Bill Lawrence? That guy churns out pure gold, and has an impact on TV that will resonate for decades.
Brent: In a word, awesome.
Chris: He is just one of those guys where his reputation is that he is awesome, and when you meet him, you expect there to be some flaw or something, but he really is the BEST guy.
Rick: You hear stories about guys being so successful and being jerks, but he is such a down-to-Earth dude, it makes you feel bad about yourself. He is THAT good. I’d be in the room with him doing a reading, and I have never seen somebody be that nice to actors before. Just a really cool guy.
Ron: Yeah, he would sit there and tell you: we are just gonna take as many takes and we need, and he would let you just go until you did the best work you knew you could do.
Brent: He also let us ad-lib a lot, too, which was cool.
I was going to ask that next, actually. You guys have a really comfortable candor in the pilot and I was wondering how much of that was written. I am always asking actors how much room for improv they are given on shows because I know it can vary greatly. So you guys were allowed some room with the scripts, to just kind of ad-lib and be yourselves?
Chris: Yeah, nothing too crazy, but we definitely are not tied down and allowed the freedom to explore and play around a bit.
(At this point, Ron Funches points out my BMO phone case from Adventure Time, and it bonds us for life. Or at least in my head it does, because I am slightly delusional)
So finally, one last, unnecessarily long winded question from me. Where do you see yourselves, as your characters, in one year or one TV season from now? Do you have arcs planned out for your characters, or are you just playing it a day at a time?
Brent: Interesting question.
Ron: I think we just wanna keep working together. That is one of the reasons we are out here, promoting like this. We just really dig the show and enjoy working together. You can always end up on different shows and you never know how things will play out, but we think we have something special here.
Brent: I think that is why Bill Lawrence was so set with us doing the tour. Because all of us are comedians, but we all have very different styles and work really well together. When people see us do the Undateable Comedy Tour they will see that. We also feel like that will translate well when people watch the actual show.
From what I have seen, it really does. Thanks for taking the time to do this, guys, and best of luck with Undateable.
(This is when we shook hands and parted ways, knowing what we shared was magical. I then proceeded to watch them do two hours of killer standup, which I be talking about more in depth in a few days)
A huge thank you to Chris D’ELia, Ron Funches, Brent Morin, and Rick Glassman. As well as Warner Brothers for sending us to the check out the Undateable Comedy Tour. The show was a blast and the guys were incredibly kind and accommodating considering I often drool on myself and don’t know to use apps.
More details about Undateable coming soon. Stay tuned, as they say in the business.
[Photo via Rob Kim/Stringer]