While a fair number of conference call interview opportunities come up around CliqueClack and I tend to take my share of them, none are half so exciting as whenever an e-mail comes through that some of the cast of Happy Endings is going to be on the other end of the line — this time it was Zach Knighton (Dave) and Adam Pally (Max). It becomes clear very quickly that the comedy on the show doesn’t just come from the writing room, but from the actors themselves. All of them come from a strong comedy/improv background (except, Knighton points out, himself), but Pally estimates that about 50% of the show stays as is written, and 50% comes from riffs on the spot, with Knighton improvising just as much as any of the cast members. Dave’s song from the season 2 premiere, “Love Times Love to the Power of Love,” for instance, had lyrics created by staff writer Matthew Libman, but the melody and performance was all Knighton.
Knighton and Pally were both eager to spill on upcoming guest stars, the likes of which include Rob Riggle and Saturday Night Live castmember Bobby Moynihan. And Happy Endings has already boasted fabulous guest stars this season like Megan Mullally, Fred Savage (who has also guest-directed), Brent Musburger, and Larry Wilmore.
“I think we’re still begging friends,” Pally says. “I’d like to say that there’s a big rush of Hollywood trying to sign up. But basically any guest star that you’ve seen is a friend of ours.”
“But we begged a lot of friends to do it and they haven’t done it,” Knighton points out.
“Yes,” agrees Pally. “So it’s all our friends that have turned us down. The rest are real assholes.”