It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is back for a 13th season tonight. The gang has all new adventures in bad behavior. The cast of Sunny read the script for one season 13 episode at TCA. You could call it “The Gang Does A Table Read.”
Or, perhaps, “The Gang Answers The Tough Questions” in the Q&A that ensued after the live reading. Here are a few things we learned about the new season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, airing Wednesday nights at 10 on FXX.
1. Mac is gay.
The Always Sunny episode they read for TCA involved Mac coming out to his prison inmate father. Rob McElhenney explained how he decided Mac was gay.
“It was something that sort of slowly evolved over time,” McElhenney said. “This year, Charlie and I decided that this was something we were going to focus on, at least for one particular episode. I found something sort of extraordinary happened to me when Mac came out, which I thought that we handled pretty well. But at the end of the day, it was still an episode of comedy and I just assumed that people were laughing along with us. And through social media, I had a massive response of our fans in the LBGTQ community that reached out and told me how moved they were and how important it was to them that they felt represented on a show that they loved. And I just was not expecting that. I mean, thousands and thousands and thousands of people. And I just didn’t think that we were that kind of show, and it turned out that we were for people. And so we wanted to honor that and do something that, you know, felt very different from what we normally do, that we would create an episode that seems like it’s going in one direction and then pull the rug out from underneath.”
2. Mac expresses his sexuality through dance.
The Always Sunny episode in which Mac comes out features an elaborate interpretive dance performed by McElhenney and a professional dancer. McElhenney estimates he performed the dance 50 dance for the final take.
“That took months,” McElhenney said. “I don’t really know how to dance. I’ve never really been a dancer. And I still can’t dance. I can just do that routine. It was probably, like, four or five months. It was two choreographers, Alison Faulk and Leo Moctezuma. Alison I met because she did Magic Mike and originally, when we were conceiving this, we thought it would be interesting to do something like super uber sexual like Magic Mike style. And then, the more we kind of talked about it, we felt like maybe there’s an opportunity to do something completely different with an episode of SUNNY. So that’s what we wanted to do.”
3. Where’s Dennis?
Season 12 of Always Sunny left Dennis moving to North Carolina to be with his son. Glenn Howerton has another TV show, AP Bio on NBC. So is Dennis gone?
“He’s in pretty much every episode,” McElhenney said.
Howerton was not part of the panel because Mac’s coming out episode did not feature Dennis.
“I mean, he’s in the majority of them,” Charlie Day said. “Then we have a couple like this one that we just saw which focused more specifically on two characters. We have one that’s an all female reboot of an episode that we did before using Kaitlin and Artemis and the waitress and Mac’s mom and my mom fly to Los Angeles to a women’s march and they try to break the Wade Boggs’ drinking record. So there are episodes without Glenn that was really fun to focus on some of the other characters.”
4. Dee falls from greater heights.
It wouldn’t be Always Sunny if Dee wasn’t getting beaten up. Kaitlin Olson is game to fall out of windows and anything else they have in store.
“I want to, like, skydive with no parachute,” she said. “I think it’s really funny the more they want to beat me up and make fun of me.”
5. Mac got buff.
A few seasons ago, Mac got fat. This season, he is ripped.
“”It feels like the last eight years, every time a man takes his shirt off in a scene, he tends to be, like, insanely ripped, like a Greek God,” McElhenney said. “Obviously, unless you’re Chris Hemsworth and you’re playing Thor or Superman, which in that case it makes sense, I don’t understand why, like, teachers and guys that are playing teachers and engineers and, like, food delivery guys, all of a sudden they take their shirt off and they’re just fucking ripped. I thought, man, like, there’s something really funny about playing with the vanity of that and having and also, I just thought it would be funny if an actor put that much time, effort, and energy into looking a certain way. And, then, in the first episode, I take my shirt off. None of the characters are impressed. They tell me to put it back on, and I literally never take it off again. To me it’s funny that I put in or somebody would put in six months’ worth of hardcore working out and diet and then only get, like, 30 seconds of glory out of it.”