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Sundance: 'Toy's House' Lovebirds Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman On Multi-Cam Vs. Single-Cam Sitcoms and How They Met

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 23, 2013 at 12:17PM

Comedic power couple, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, are back in Park City for a second year in a row following their work together on last year's "Smashed," for the deadpan family comedy "Toy's House" (acquired yesterday by CBS Films). Fans of Mullally's deranged guest appearance on Offerman's beloved NBC's sitcom "Parks and Recreation," during which the two had sex on a table in the middle of a packed diner, will be sad to know the two share scant screen time together in their latest Sundance film. Still, despite their lack of on-screen cavorting, "Toy's House" is a hilarious heart warmer that heralds the arrival of a fresh new comic voice in writer-director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
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Did Woody's casting create any friction on set?

Mullally: Well, I think you know we were just excited they even considered Nick, because he wasn’t a name. You know how the stunt casting they did on that show was outrageous. So for them to even consider him was a big thing. When they cast Woody Harrelson, we were like, ‘Oh, okay.’ ‘Cause you know the network wants famous people.

Speaking of stunt casting, who was your favorite famous co-star to appear on the show, Megan?

Mullally: God, it’s rough. I mean Matt Damon was so funny. John Cleese was my personal favorite because he played my husband for a whole season – and Minnie Driver. We almost had our own like show all living in a house together. And Gene Wilder was just so dear.

Offerman: Alec Baldwin was nuts. I mean…in a good way.

Mullally: He did one of the live episodes, and of course he killed it.

Offerman: Just to be clear, Alec Baldwin’s comedy was nuts. It was crazy how funny he was.

Mullally: We just had so many great people. And all the great pop stars that came on. I had a whole episode with Madonna. She was so professional, very nice and very friendly. She wanted to chat all the time. She was a perfectionist and always wanted to rehearse her scenes a ton.

"Parks and Recreation"
NBC "Parks and Recreation"

It's fascinating to compare a show like “Parks and Recreation” to “Will & Grace,” a show that now seems of a different era. What's it like to look back and see how the sitcom template has evolved?

Offerman: That’s an awfully big thing to wrap your head around and I don’t know that I watch enough TV to answer.

Mullally: Oh, I do.

Offerman: I think the paradigm that Greg Daniels sort of perfected with “The Office” and then on "Parks and Rec" brings the comedy into a much more intimate, realistic setting.

Mullally: More naturalistic.

Offerman: The multi-cam has a hilarious and wonderful presentational feel that in ways can begin to feel canned.

Mullally: Networks really want to try and resurrect the multi-cam because it’s so much easier to shoot. Aren’t the two highest rated half-hour shows both multi-cam? “Big Bang Theory” and “Two and Half Men?" So you know, it’s not without reason. “Modern Family” would probably be third and that’s single cam. I know they want to do that. Maybe audiences are ready to go back to multi-cam, but for me it seems when I watch multi-cam, it feels a little 'time capsule-y.' But I think there’s a way to maybe freshen it up again and make it seem new again. Everything’s cyclical.

This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, Interviews, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, The Kings of Summer, Television





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