Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson discuss the new season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dennis’ creepiness, Dee’s torment, getting shot down, Boys II Men, and so much more. Watch the season nine premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Wednesday, September 4th at 10pm on FXX.
Kaitlin Olson: Danny does get really slathered up in Purell.
Glenn Howerton: We are doing an episode this year where there is a flu scare in Philadelphia and of course, in very Sunny fashion, we take things way too seriously. [Laughing.] We quarantine ourselves at the bar because we are worried because we are preparing to audition to open for Boys II Men as an a cappella group.
Kaitlin Olson: A flu would really ruin our vocal cords.
Glenn Howerton: Explain this episode. [Laughing.]
Kaitlin Olson: I don’t know. It’s going downhill.
Glenn Howerton: [Laughing.] It’s really strange. Yeah, so we quarantine ourselves so we can’t get sick because we are worried that if we get sick, we will not be able to sing for Boys II Men.
Kaitlin Olson: [Laughing.] We just wanted to be able to sing a Boys II Men song, so we made an episode about it. [Song choice] “Motown Philly” – what else?
Does Kaitlin contribute to Dee’s torment:
Kaitlin Olson: I don’t come up with anything. Maybe in so far that I’m constantly hurting myself in real life, so then they will make fun of that. No, I can’t take any credit. I love it. I’m so surprised that when people ask me when I read what I have to do, if I’m upset. Upset? That’s why I signed up. That’s what I want to do.
Glenn Howerton: The episode that we are screening today, I’m really excited about because it’s called “The Gang Broke Dee.” It’s about that exactly. It’s about that exact same thing. You realize at the very beginning of the episode that she’s acting very depressed, she’s eating old cake, she’s smoking a cigarette, she’s drinking a pint of whisky, and we realize – oh, we see what’s happening here like we finally broke her. She’s no fun anymore because she doesn’t fight back; she’s broken. We need to fix her and that’s what the episode is about. I’m very excited for everyone to see it because it’s great.
Glenn Howerton: I don’t know how my character’s monologuing began, but I guess it’s because my character – well, really it’s me in real life in some ways – I get so angry about things and I’ll just rant about something and then we’ll end up putting it in a script. The implication – that whole implication monologue – I didn’t write that episode with them. I came in one day and they were so excited. They were like we wrote this thing for you…and it’s hilarious.
Kaitlin Olson: Oh, it’s great you’re a rapist. [Laughing.] You are going to love this.
Glenn Howerton: It is hilarious. It’s a little bit of both.
Kaitlin Olson: That’s one of the things that I love about Rob, is that he loves writing for other people. He really loves paying attention.
Glenn Howerton: So does Charlie.
Kaitlin Olson: Yeah, Charlie too. I just live with Rob. He definitely pays attention to things that he finds funny and he loves going and taking that and heightening that and writing it. They are all really good at that.
Glenn Howerton: You are absolutely right. It’s significant because we are the writers and the actors. You would think that it’s tempting to be like it’s more important for me to make sure that my character is funny. I think initially if any of us was better about making sure that that wasn’t the focus, it was Rob.
Kaitlin Olson: He sees himself as a writer more than an actor. They are all really good.
Glenn Howerton: Thanks.
Kaitlin Olson: They are all really good. Write that down, it’s really eloquent.
Getting shot down:
Glenn Howerton: We’ve not been shot down, ever. Well we got a little shot down in the first season because we wanted that episode – “Charlie Got Molested” – the person that was being accused of but ended up not molesting anybody was a priest, in the original episode. It being the first season and FX not really knowing what the show was, or certainly what people’s reaction was going to be, understandably they were a little like – if we do this about a priest. We fought them and we almost quit the show. We literally were like this is the show; you have got to be fucking kidding me. We were so mad because the priest didn’t even do it. In the episode, the priest didn’t do anything wrong. It was all our characters making stuff up. That was the whole point and what we thought that was so great about it. The obvious joke – because it’s an edgy show so some priest molested some people blah, blah, blah…but with our show we thought the joke was so great because the priest didn’t do anything. In our way, we were like that we were validating the Catholic church, if anything, by saying that they didn’t do anything wrong. The assumption that they are all rapists is a wrong assumption to make. They really insisted that we try something different, which is why we changed it to the gym coach, which ended up being funny too – which is why we didn’t end up quitting the show and the fact that we wanted to have a job. But that’s it. We’ve never been shot down.
Glenn Howerton: I know that it certainly doesn’t affect how we produce the show. The show is what it is at this point and they have never asked us to make any adjustments for the audience. The truth is that I don’t think they really know what is going to happen. We certainly don’t know. To be honest with you, I’m not really concerning myself with it. I just want to make a great show and I know that if we are going to be in 80% of the homes that FX is already in and then it will grow from there. We are still going to be in more homes than FX was in when FX started doing The Shield. We are going to be in a lot of places. They are launching the channel two days before our show launches. [It’s replacing FOX Soccer.]
Kaitlin Olson: If they are going to have us be ambassadors for a new network I want to wear cloaks. I’m imagining a staff and a cloak and maybe some sort of a crown.
Glenn Howerton: That’s a good idea. I’ll bring that up…
Kaitlin Olson: To publicity or John Landgraf.
Glenn Howerton: I genuinely think that would be funny. Just show up to Comic-Con dressed as ambassadors, ambassadors to a whole new network.
Kaitlin Olson: We added an X.
Kaitlin Olson: I just love. I don’t remember anything that you’ve done, I’m just paying attention to myself and what I find funny. The thing that is really, really getting me about the Dennis character is that he just keeps getting maybe creepier, and creepier, and creepier as the years go on. Definitely, Dennis is absolutely without a doubt a sociopath and maybe a murderer [and/or] rapist.
Glenn Howerton: Yeah, yeah probably. Who knows if we will ever answer that question. I, kind of, hope not.
Kaitlin Olson: I just love what keeps, kind of, popping up in episodes. It’s just sort of like thrown away. Like what did they say he did?
Glenn Howerton: [Laughing.] We are doing an episode where you end up seeing each character’s fantasy of what they would do. We are doing an episode where we are in a convenient store in the beginning and it gets robbed and the question is posed that we are in this convenient store stuck in here with this guy with a gun. What are we going to do? It then goes into each person’s fantasy about what they would do if they were to save the day or whatever. The episode is called “The Gang Saves the Day.” Yeah, we get into some pretty interesting territory there. It’s a big swing.
Kaitlin Olson: It’s ridiculous but it’s great because you definitely get a bigger insight to all of the characters individually.
Glenn Howerton: It’s sort of like what goes on in their heads if they had a fantasy life. That’s what this would be. As the Dennis character goes, it’s a little questionable. [Laughing.]
Bringing characters back:
Kaitlin Olson: We do a Thanksgiving episode this year and some of your faves come back – The McPoyles, Gail the Snail, who is one of our favorite characters and the fans’ favorite characters who has only been in one episode. She’s kind of become this iconic character. Mary Lynn is so funny. It’s great to have her back. It’s basically – the concept of the episode is – that we realize that we have too many beefs in town and it’s affecting our lives so like the Pilgrims and the Indians, we take Thanksgiving as an opportunity to squash our beef. We invited all the people we have a beef with in the city of Philadelphia over to a giant Thanksgiving dinner to fix things. Gail the Snail works at a convenient store and she won’t go to the convenient store anymore, so it’s not convenient anymore. We have to fix that. We were trying to rent a video but the McPoyles own the video store so we can’t rent a video. It’s a whole thing so we are like we have to squash this.