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Will It Always Be Sunny for the Stars of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia?"

By Rob Payne | Industry | June 17, 2011 |

By Rob Payne | Industry | June 17, 2011 |

Unless I was simply imagining the comments on Dustin’s top TV of the week posts, Pajibaland has fairly large appreciation for two TV comedies that are actually funny and air on FX, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Archer” to be exact. Junkies of the former are about to get two sweet, sweet injections of trade news, and fans of the latter… Well, in the immortal words of “Survivor” host Jeff Probst, I’ve got nothing for you, head back to camp.

Most of you are probably already aware that “Sunny’s” Charlie Day, who plays the indomitably illogical Charlie Kelly on the small screen, is co-starring in this summer’s theatrical satire, Horrible Bosses. If the trailers are any indication, Day may come out of the film as this year’s Zach Galifianakis, effectively stealing the whole show from well-known and well-respected comedians and thespians, the likes of which include Jasons Bateman and Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. For fans of his TV work, this will come as no surprise.

What is shocking, however, is that Day is apparently joining the cast of Guillermo Del Toro’s next big budget film project, Pacific Rim. Details on the movie are scant, but the plot appears to revolve around giant robots punching-out giant aliens … underwater. Del Toro, Day, giant robots, and alien invasions are all enough on their own to blow up my Marilyn Manson skirt. But combined? Well, honestly, I have no gorram clue what to expect. Variety has, naturally I guess, pegged Day as the movie’s comic relief, which I suppose every big budget CGI-fest needs to some degree. (At least it’s not John Turturro this time.) That said, what makes Charlie Day such a compelling performer, not just a great comedian, is the feeling — not unlike Galifianakis — that anything can happen when he’s onscreen. A movie like Horrible Bosses would seem to work because great comedic movies thrive on that sort of manic, no-holds barred energy. But Pacific Rim, based on what little we know (and what we can infer based on Del Toro’s previous work), sounds like a movie that will, by its very nature, be an extremely controlled environment with little room for the sort of intensity in which Day really shines. Then again, Hellboy II and the Curse of the Golden Golems contains a scene of the titular character and his best froggy friend, Abe Sapien, getting drunk on PBR and singing along with Barry Manilow to great comedic effect. In short (ha!), I’m nervous for Day, but intrigued.

Speaking of being nervous and intrigued, Rob McElhenney, who plays Mac on “It’s Always Sunny,” revealed late last week on Screen Junkies that he has gained 50 pounds for the show’s seventh season, which starts this September. Allow me to repeat that: Mac will be 50 pounds heavier this season. So far, nobody associated with the show has given an in-story or in-character explanation for the dramatic weight gain, but the actor has stated that he believes this will inherently make the character funnier. According to Charlie Day (who states that he and the rest of the cast worried at first, due to the obvious health implications), this is absolutely true. I think I can see it. Mac has always been obsessed with physical fitness in general, and his own (not-that-impressive) physique in specific — hence, comedy! So, the idea of that character suddenly being overweight definitely affords itself comedic potential; especially when one considers that Mac is at his best when he has zero control over a situation, and that is weight gain in a nutshell.

If you’ll indulge me for a moment of overweight self-reflection, I know know how hard it can be for people to take you seriously when you’re walking around with a few (or few dozen) extra pounds. In my case, it might be due to the fact that I built a comedic persona to fight back against youthful bullying, so my tone of voice may just sound constantly sarcastic. Inevitably, this means I spend a lot of my time telling people how for serious I am. This usually merely ends in those same people laughing even harder, and seeing a character like Mac struggle with something akin to this may result in new depths of awkward hilarity. So, as long as the humor doesn’t come from a place of bullying, but from self-deprecation, then this development has rascal scooter motors for legs. Besides, the guy is one of the creators, writers, and stars on one of the most consistently brilliant half hour TV comedies. “It’s Always Sunny” is, arguably, one of the few shows on TV that is never-not-funny. So, who am I or anyone else, to question their sensibilities? For his sake, though, let me just say, I hope McElhenney stays out of the… dangah zone!

There you go, “Archer” fans. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Rob Payne writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show/podcast We’re Not Fanboys, and imagines himself as a cross between both Mac and Charlie Kelly. Especially now that Mac is a bit of a fatty.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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