The Television Critics Association visited the set of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where the show is filming its landmark 14th season. That’s 14 years of the gang getting in trouble. They haven’t run out of schemes, and they certainly haven’t learned their lesson.
The cast and creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia spoke to reporters after the tour of Paddy’s Pub, Frank and Charlie’s apartment, and Dee’s apartment. Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny Devito previewed the upcoming 14th season, which premieres Wednesday, September 25 at 10PM on FXX.
All Waiting for Godot Needed Was More Laser Tag
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia may do raunchy jokes, but you can’t say they aren’t educated. Day cited the Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot as an inspiration for a season 14 episode.
“We’re doing a Waiting for Godot themed laser tag episode that America has always wanted,” Day said.
Waiting for Godot is famously a play where nothing happens. They just wait and, spoiler alert, Godot never shows up. Day explained how it applies to Sunny.
“We went through a lot of versions of the draft and some of them were a lot more existential where nothing was happening and we realized this isn’t going to work,” Day said. “We’ve got to get a few jokes in there. It’s a fun way for the characters to contemplate themselves, who they are as people and for us as a show to contemplate the show and its success or lack of and how long we’ve been on. We use those metaphors but we also make sure there’s plenty of laser tag themed moments to keep the pacing going.”
Some of Sunny’s best episodes are its most outrageous, like the musical episode where they sing “What are the rules,” the other musical episode where Charlie mounts a stage production of The Nightman Cometh, or the ones where Mac and Dennis make sequels to Lethal Weapon. Laser Tag Waiting for Godot doesn’t sound as outrageous in context.
The Gang Still Tackles Current Events
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia hasn’t shied away from topical commentary, like last season’s “Times Up For The Gang.” Some events have remained relevant since season one, when the gang went to an abortion rally.
“Dee comes in saying that she wants to get a haircut,” McElhenney said. “The four of us decide that she should not be getting that haircut because yes, it is her body, but we have to live with the choices that she makes about her body. Ultimately, we all have to live together. We have to look at the hair so we should get a say in what you do with your body. When that was pitched, we’re like well, that’s a great new way of looking at an issue that we’ve already dealt with this season.”
With restrictive abortion laws in states like Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and more, we need the Sunny gang to weigh in more than ever.
“It’s just a little bit more fun to not tackle abortion directly but make it about something else where it’s clearly about that,” Howerton said. “It’s about having a very strong opinion about her not having a short haircut.”
Another episode tackles global warming, which DeVito laments will always be relevant.
“We can always do a global warming episode,” DeVito said. “We can do one every year. It gets worse and worse.”
The Gang Gets in on Airbnb
Airbnb has made travel much more affordable and comfortable, and helped homeowners make some extra money. Leave it to the gang to ruin it for everyone.
“We’ve also got an episode that really kicks off because we’re all Airbnbing our apartments,” Howerton said. “We’re all using it as a way to find romance. So it’s a bit of like Airbnb/romantic comedy episode.”
If you’ve watched the show, would you Airbnb in Charlie and Frank’s place?
“That’s where the comedy kicks in,” Day said.
McElhenney added, “It’s all about managing expectations.”
Mac Hasn’t Changed
Season 13 had a landmark episode where Mac came out. Now that he’s living openly, McElhenney says he hasn’t changed.
“Pretty much exactly the same,” McElhenney said. “We wanted to make sure that even though the characters might change, that they don’t evolve. We want to make sure that he doesn’t become a better person or a sweeter person or a more endearing person or a nicer person. We felt like we still wanted to keep the tone, so I would say in all the right ways, he’s remained exactly the same.”
That’s classic Sunny for you. Even after profound life moments, they’re still the same old A-holes.
Guest Stars and Genres
Dolph Lundgren will be playing action hero John Thundergun in an episode. Hopefully, he can live up to the legacy of the late Roddy Piper’s Sunny cameo. Another episode also delves into a classic film genre.
“We have a film noir episode,” Day said.
Let’s hope it involves Charlie in a trenchcoat taking a case from The Waitress who betrays him in a shocking twist.
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