Rob McElhenney

October 16, 2013

I am Rob McElhenney AMA!

I created a TV show. Sometimes I'm on it. Other times not.

Proof on twitter:

What do you think about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman?

As long as he lowers his voice three octaves and acts sullen I'm good.

how much of Sunny is improv? also, tell us how you gained all that weight!

We usually do a scripted version of every scene. Then we find what works, what doesn't. Sometimes an entire scene is exactly the way we scripted it. Other times not a word was written.

re: the weight. I ate. A lot.

Did you take Karate growing up as a child?

Judo and wrestling. I got my ass beaten more times than a cranky three year old during the Depression.

It's Always Sunny has been my favorite TV show since it has come out, so thank you for that.

How difficult was it to gain all of that mass and then lose it shortly after?

Lotta weight questions. I put on sixty pounds in four months. I tired for a hundred but my doctor put a stop to it. Stupid doctors.

I tried to do it eating massive amounts of healthy food. Didn't work. I went for the donuts, fast food and weight gainer shakes.

The first 30 lbs on and off was the easiest. The next 20 was very difficult. The final 10 brutal.

I love the show's self-referencial humor. Is it hard to fit in references to older episodes and jokes, or is it just fun and part of the process?

It's really fun when a character or relationship from the past fits in organically with a current episode idea. The Gang is constantly using the same old VHS tape camcorder for various purposes. It's probably one of my favorite runners through the entire series. I'm not sure if I've laughed harder on set than on the day Charlie and I shot the Fight Milk commercial.

Does it take much out of you? Constantly being a Badass that is.

It's exhausting getting beaten up all the time.

Will the McPoyle's be back soon?

Our season finale is a Thanksgiving special with many of our favorite characters. The McPoyles will be there.

Is Mac ever going to address his sexuality ie come out of the closet?

What closet?

What other projects do you have coming up other than It's Always Sunny?

Love It's Always sunny and your work on the show.

Working on a kids adventure movie right now. That's right. A monster movie, bitches.

Nice! That's gonna be interesting to see you play a role that isn't mac.

Not acting in it. Wrote and directing.

Love your work Rob, I can't even pick my favourite episode of Always Sunny, I love them all, but which is your favourite episode?

Also, Dennis is asshole, why Charlie hate?

Because Dennis is a bastard man.

I can tell you we collectively hated shooting that episode. Fun to conceive. Fun to write. Fun to edit. Hell to shoot. So much screaming.

Why do you make such last minute, rash decisions?

Also, how did you guys decide to finally "out" Mac this season?

(Love IASIP, thanks for the years of laughs.)

Out from what?

Why do you make such last minute, rash decisions?

Also, how did you guys decide to finally "out" Mac this season?

(Love IASIP, thanks for the years of laughs.)


I love you?

Dick pics?

What is Charlie like? I imagine him to be fluffy.

The funniest person I've ever known. Sometimes jolly. Other times an ornery son of a bitch.

Rob! The episode where Charlie makes the play about day man honestly makes me cry laughing everytime. Where do you come up with those amazing songs? I always pay the troll toll.

We wrote a number of them together but it's really Charlie and our buddy Cormac Bluestone that write the vast majority of the music.

If you had to bust out some sweet karate moves on Glenn, Charlie, Danny or Kaitlin, who would last the longest before you pound them into submission?

Kaitlin gave birth to two babies, without drugs in our bedroom. She's the toughest human being in American as far as I'm concerned.

What's working with Danny DeVito like? Is he down for any of the weird things you guys throw at him? (Like Mantis toboggan, being naked in a couch, etc)

He suggested the couch thing. That should give you a good idea.

Where do you and Charlie get all of your awesome shirts?

Suburban Riot is a clothing line that has given us quite a good amount of our wardrobe.

Have you seen Japanese kids perform Day Man?

We're global. Accept it and move on.

Did you enjoy being fat Mac more than regular Mac?

I wish I could be 60lbs overweight all the time. It was glorious.

Hi Rob, Just wanted to apologize for trash talking your Eagles when the Chargers kicked there butt a few weeks ago. Oh and I love show. Please keep it bad ass.

Ah the Chargers. The only NFL organization that can't sell out their home games. Wonderful...

Are there still plans for Aaron Paul to be on the show this season?

We'll see....

Ghouls or Magnets?

Magnets. Without a doubt.

Sunny somehow manages to stay fresh with almost every new episode, while most shows this late into their run start getting stale. Is this as hard to accomplish as it seems, or are you guys still just having fun bouncing ridiculous ideas off each other and having it turn into comedy gold?

We never take an episode off. We take some big swings and sometimes we miss but it's not for lack of trying. We don't wanna put out mediocre, recycled shit.

Rob! I'm A HUGE FAN OF THE SHOW!!! I've always wanted to know, how you, Glenn, and Charlie met?

Thanks for doing this!!

I met Charlie on an airplane from NYC to LA. We were screen testing for the same part. I knew by the end of the trip I wouldn't be getting that particular part.

Do you guys actually get drunk at times when filming drunk scenes?

Yes. But not often. Earlier seasons more often. I'll tell you what, you name a scene and I'll tell you if I was drunk.

Thanks for creating such an awesome show! How did you guys create the most catchy song of all time, Dayman?

That's all Charlie and Glenn. And a little inspiration from Queen.

Hi Rob! Thanks for wearing an Emerson College Football shirt on the show, like, five seasons ago. Emerson students still talk about that. And thanks for creating such a messed-up, hilarious show that all of us messed-up people can quote endlessly.

That was sent to me by Emerson students. If you send me a cool tee shirt and I look terrible in it, I'll wear it on the show.

What do you do in your free time? (besides practice your sweet martial arts skills)

Spend time with my children. You wanna hear about my kids, right? You wanna see pictures? Everybody likes seeing pictures and hearing stories about other people's kids, right? Come on....

were the names listed in the credits of "Covington's House" real people? Especially the "load wipers"

Members of our crew.

What kind of car do you drive?

I have an electric car because I'm a Hollywood type now.

What inspired you to create IASIP?


Do you find yourself acting the same and using the same mannerisms off screen with each other as you would do on screen?

We're all actually quite different from our characters. Except for Danny.

Why was Frank in the coil?

If I told you it would ruin it, now wouldn't it?

If you weren't a hilarious actor, what do you think you'd be doing with yourself? Huge fan by the way!

If I had the size, speed, agility and mental wherewithal I would be a professional basketball player. Though if I had the mathematical acumen and intellectual prowess needed I would be an engineer of some sort.

Massive fan Rob, seriously love the show!

What were you doing before Sunny and how did the idea form to start making it?

I was waiting tables.

Where in Philadelphia am i most likely to run into you?

'Mac is a serial killer' is my favorite episode. That was some television gold right there. Thanks for being awesome!

The Eagles game this Sunday. Or at my bar Saturday night.

Will the Tranny be making an appearance this season? When will Mac stumble upon his confused sexuality?

Confused about what?

Just wanted to say Mac is my favorite character on Sunny! thanks for making me laugh so much!

Smart. You're my favorite questioner so far.

Why is Franks hair shorter this season?? I preferred his hair as long and disgusting as possible

Frank's hair has it's own way of doing things. We've learned not to question it.

When is the episode written with the game of thrones writers airing? You guys are the best show on TV right now and have me and my buddies cracking up every Wednesday night

Next Wednesday

Any news on the sci-if series you guys were developing? It needs to happen!

Developing it now as an animated show for FOX.

Who are some comedy writers that have influenced you?

The Marx Brothers. Woddy Allen. Carl Reiner. Norman Lear. George Carlin (big time). Gary David Goldberg. Larry David. David Sedaris.

Will there ever be another Chardee Macdennis the game of games episode? Mac and Charlie came so close, and I want to see a rematch.

There is a very good chance of that, yes.

Are there still any plans for the Jackass crew to be on the show?

We were prepping to have Ryan Dunn on the show in season 7. To think about it now makes me really, really sad.

Did you use the D.E.N.N.I.S. system to seduce Kaitlin?

She did.

are we ever going to get more episodes of Boldly Going Nowhere???


How much did the first episode cost to make? Who does the majority of the writing now versus then?

The first two episodes of what would become Always Sunny cost $300.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for so many excellent years of Always Sunny. It's great for so many reasons and you're one.

Anyway, I've seen Kaitlin, Charlie and Glenn acting in many other projects lately. I'm wondering if we can expect to see you in any movies or shows, or possibly writing/directing?

Mostly writing and directing.

I love the way you guys handle politics on the show, especially on 'Gun Fever 2', is it difficult to keep your own politics out of the show and go for balanced hilarity?

Yes. But I figure that I have this platform in order to make you laugh and enjoy yourselves for 30 min, not to preach to about how I may feel on a particular subject. Besides it's way more fun to present the extremes of both sides of an issue. That's where the idiots who drive the national conversation dwell.

That said, just let the gays get married for Christ sakes. What is the big fucking deal?

Do you foresee Dennis killing someone in future episodes?

I'm wondering if he already has.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to pursue a career in comedy?

Be more specific. Stand up? Write? Act?

[No question]

That's it for me. But I'll be back. Thanks for all the questions and all the support over the years. It doesn't happen without you. You have no idea how grateful I am.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Rob McElhenney conducted on Reddit on 2013-10-16. The Reddit AMA can be found here.