On the pod, the guys revisit The Gang Gets Racist from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 1, Episode 1.
Megan: If anybody's headphones are too loud, you can let me know and I'll drop the volume.
Charlie: Look at you. I like that we just go into this, assuming you-
Glenn: Megan, on the ones and twos-
Charlie: -know how I do this. I'm very- I'm very impressed. You gotta whole mix board there. Jesus.
Glenn: What is that? When-when somebody says that somebody's on the ones and twos.
Rob: I've never heard that before.
Glenn: What? Oh really? Megan on the ones and twos. You've heard that right?
Megan: Isn't it like turntables or something?
Glenn: Yeah, I think it's--[crosstalk]
Charlie: Um, turntable one, turntable two.
Rob: So this is the show-
Charlie: Are we doing it?
Rob: It's begun-
Charlie: It's begun?
Glenn: Oh, we started?
Glenn: Oh, okay. Cool.
Rob: And we have no structure to it, so we're-- I think we'll just- we'll just talk.
Glenn: I think a structure will eventually emerge. Uh, but you're gonna have to--
Rob: Like the show?
Charlie: Yeah, right.
Glenn: You're gonna have to sit through quite a few episodes before it gets good. Just like the show.
Rob: Just like the show. Yeah.
Charlie: I was telling Rob earlier, just on a show-related thing that I had some Caso cheese on-on Sunday. Today's Wednesday.
Glenn: Oh, mm-hmm, how'd that do you?
Charlie: My stomach still hurts.
Charlie: Uh, and so, uh, very, unlike my character, I just can't ever-- I should never go anywhere near cheese.
Rob: But okay. This is a conversation that we have had. This feels like--
Charlie: 'Cause I'll keep doing it. I keep doing it.
Rob: Yes. We-- we've had this conversation for-for 14 years.
Charlie: For 14 years.
Rob: When was it--
Charlie: No, early on I didn't know it was the cheese that was messing me up.
Rob: We knew it was something.
Glenn: Well, but you-you also- but you had an aversion to creamy things. You knew creamy things were related to--
Charlie: I had a hunch.
Glenn: But anytime anything creamy came across your plate, you were like, that this-this could be a problem for-
Charlie: I had a hunch, but it was a lazy hunch. Like an alcoholic's like, I should probably stop drinking. You know what I mean? Like, but doesn't do anything. So I was just like eating cheese willy-nilly. And then I stopped and started feeling better. And then every now and then I just like, well, I could probably do it now.
Glenn: It's probably fine now. My stomach has learned.
Charlie: Yeah, yeah.
Glenn: As-as you get older, your stomach generally gets stronger, right?
Rob: I'll-I'll tame my stomach with cheese and cream, right?
Rob: Well, just like everything else, we had that conversation then try to figure out a way to put it into the show, which is what we did by making your character obsessed with cheese.
Glenn: Also, weirdly just- it just seems like some things are just funny. I didn't--
Charlie: The word. Yeah.
Glenn: Cheese is funny.
Charlie: Cheese is funny. Cats are funny.
Charlie: Eggs are funny.
Glenn: Eggs are funny. I dunno why.
Rob: You know what else is funny guys? Racism.
Charlie: By the way, I was thinking this 'cause I guess part of the structure is we'll watch an episode and talk about it. So we-we just watched the first episode and now we're talking about it. We never had any intention of that being our first episode, right? Like--
Glenn: No, is that the second episode that was written?
Rob: No, no, no. The second-second was Charlie Wants an Abortion.
Glenn: Was it? I thought that was the third one that was written.
Charlie: No cancer. Abortion.
Glenn: Yes. No, no. It was originally called The Gang Gets Hip. That was originally the title for the Gang in the second one.
Rob: Yes, but it wasn't the second one.
Charlie: Feels worse.
Charlie: That title feels less appropriate. Um, but there was, FX was like, no, we should lead off with this.
Rob: Well, they thought that the gang gets racist would be more accessible. Which is unbelievable. Now, anybody that understands what we're trying to do with the show recognizes what we are trying to do with that particular episode. And I would venture to say that in a lot of ways we failed. It was--
Rob: But that's looking back on the lens of today as being 44 and being in 2021. And that was, I don't know how old, what year was that? 1983. The camera seemed to suggest it was. [laughs]
Glenn: The camera suggested it was 1983, however, it was in fact 2005-
Charlie: 2005 that aired. Yeah.
Rob: Yeah-yeah. I think our hearts were in the right places. But maybe, um, maybe there's a couple of things in there we'd probably adjust.
Glenn: Well, I think, you know, I think at that time I think that we weren't as conscious of the fact we knew we were making a show about bad people doing bad things and satirizing bad people doing bad things. And we certainly as people didn't endorse their behavior. But at the same time, I don't think we were quite as good at making it clear that the people who were creating the show were not also horrible people. I-I mean, I-- Or maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. I mean, I can't see it the way obviously the audience sees it.
Charlie: Well, so much of the show and so much of the characters is about ignorance. Like so much of the comedies coming from their-their ignorance, which is a byproduct of their arrogance.
Charlie: And so it's kind of funny to see the collision of those two things, these super arrogant people who are like, "Oh, I have these strong beliefs about why I'm right." Mixed with this intense ignorance. And then you put that against the lens of race-
Charlie: -it's extraordinarily uncomfortable but that was the show we were making. We're like, well let's look at the things that we are all getting wrong. But then it-it's tough. It's a moving target. Things have changed so much to be like, well, even your way that you're trying to say this is wrong, is wrong. And maybe that's fair. I don't know if this is fair, I don't know how I feel about it.
Glenn: Yeah, I don't know. I don't know.
Charlie: Please don't make me figure it all out.
Rob: No, no, no.
Charlie: I'm not smart enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not. Can we all acknowledge that--
Glenn: I think that's fair?
Charlie: You know, like-
Glenn: I think it's good to acknowledge that.
Charlie: Can I just say that and then I'll never be in trouble? Like, guys, I'm not smart enough.
Glenn: I'm too dumb to know what I've done wrong.
Charlie: To know that the answers of now and the answers of 15 years in the future.
Rob: We can definitely admit that we were trying our best, right?
Glenn: Yeah, but-but we did wanna make a show--
Charlie: Mm, yeah.
Glenn: No, no. Listen, all joking-- We were definitely trying our best because we-we did- we-we were relentless.
Charlie: Welcome to our Sunny podcast apology tour.
Glenn: Yeah, yeah.
Charlie: Where we're like, okay, this one, uh, look, how do we- how do we approach this?
Rob: No, there's a lot of great stuff I that I absolutely stand by in that episode.
Rob: I'd say Glenn-Glenn's drunk acting. That was really scary for me. I remember being there on the day.
Glenn: Scary? What do you mean?
Rob: Well, 'cause I was like, Oh shit, this guy's good. And I'm like, just try to keep up with him.
Glenn: I remember everybody talking about, they were like, "Oh, man that was really good drunk acting," or whatever. And I was like, Oh, very proud of myself or whatever. But that was like before Charlie had-had a chance to do any like real drunk acting and certainly, Caitlin had and I mean now, it's like you guys' drunk acting blows mine out of the water.
Charlie: Or Danny on the plane when he is trying to chug down those beers.
Glenn: In the box episode?
Charlie: Yeah, drunk acting's not that hard.
Rob: It is for me, I find it quite difficult.
Charlie: Well acting in general for you is-
Rob: A challenge.
Charlie: -a challenge. But that's all the more impressive. We're busting your balls. You're very good.
Rob: Well, you can see me just trying to keep up.
Glenn: Well, in that scene actually, I would argue--
Charlie: Ah, you-you're great in that scene.
Glenn: Actually, it's one of my favorite scenes of yours in the early seasons. I also like to say for the record, like, I'm weirdly uncomfortable with my acting in the first two or three seasons of the show. Like especially the first season. Like I-I just don't think I'd found it yet. Like I was like-- I think it was still like so concerned with everything feeling real that like wasn't willing yet to embrace the absurdity of what it could be at times.
A perfect example of that actually is something that I wanted to cut from the episode that is- has become like one of the most iconic moments from the first season where my character is concerned, at least in terms of comments I get, but is that the boys are out tonight spin move that I do when I grab that dollar bill. I think I did that one take where I did that. All the other-- I didn't do that in any other take.
I did that in one take just to make you guys laugh, just to do something outrageous, just to kind of, you know, mix things up. And then you guys wanted to put it in the show and I was like, no, no, no, no. That wasn't meant to be in the show. That was meant to make you guys laugh. That's insane. That's so broad- that's so broad. We can't put that in the show. And-and you guys fought me on it- fought me on it and finally I was like, all right, fuck it.
Charlie: But it's because you are unguarded and free. And just, you know, going off instinct that it-it's funny. It works.
Glenn: Yeah, when it took me a couple of years to learn that, like, oh no, no. That's the- that's actually the thing is like, that should actually be my intention all at all times as an actor to try and make them laugh, to do something as outrageous and unexpected as possible so that I can make the people that I work with laugh.
Rob: That's certainly what we all started to adopt. And that's when the show got really fun, right? Was when we stopped necessarily caring about what other people might think we should be doing with the show and just trying to make each other laugh.
Charlie: Quick shout-out to Malcolm Barrett in that first episode.
Charlie: Uh, plays Terrell, who was my buddy from the Louis Guzman, uh, a short-lived sitcom that I think only three episodes aired.
Glenn: The name of that show?
Rob: Louis. Yeah.
Charlie: Louis. Well, Will Luck show original Louis, and Chris Miller and Phil Lord were writers on that, oh, were like staff writers on that show.
Glenn: Oh, my God.
Charlie: Yeah, I was like, these guys are funny man.
Rob: I remember I came to the recording one of those episodes, the first time I'd ever seen a television show recorded live. And-and PT-PT Anderson was there.
Rob: Thomas Anderson was outside and I smoked a cigarette near him. [laughs]
Charlie: Yeah, because he likes high art and we were making fine art-
Glenn: Yeah, I have somebody I have a kind of a--
Charlie: -the highest art form.
Glenn: A related experience When I was doing that '80s show, uh, I got to share a cigarette with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. Like, which is kind of on the same, on par with having a cigarette with Paul Thomas Anderson.
Rob: Yeah-yeah. Well, I again, I just wanna be clear, I was near him while he was smoking and I too was smoking.
Charlie: Right, right. Yeah.
Rob: So we were sharing it and it was--
Charlie: I like boogie nights Mr. Anderson [laughs].
Glenn: What is he? Fucking 10 years old?
Charlie: Yeah, Rob was 10 years old in that- in that imagination of the scenario.
Charlie: So Season one, episode one.
Rob: I mean, the show is so different without Danny. It's-it's so different without him. It's like a completely-- Well certainly in this episode, For Better or For Worse, we are much closer to resembling actual human beings than what we- than what we quickly become in season three or four.
Glenn: You mean terms of our behavior? [laughs]
Rob: Yes, in terms of the character's behavior. Like we're-we're presenting people who might actually exist and even though that they're the most terrible person on earth, they were still presenting them as being somewhat real.
Glenn: Yeah. They were much more grounded in like the actual reality of the world as opposed to what it became, which is kind of its own reality.
Charlie: Well, it's a real bar and they wanted to do better business, and they, you know, hire this guy, and then it becomes a gay bar and they're uncomfortable with that or they're comfortable with that based on the profits. You're uncomfortable with it even though you come out as gay later.
Rob: Yes, I'm clearly the mo- my character's clearly the most homophobic in the story.
Rob: Which we then, uh, retroactively-
Charlie: Yeah. Capitalized on it.
Rob: -capitalized on seven seasons later-
Rob: -when we realized, "Oh wow." But if we did- we did take a look through the behavior of the- of the character over multiple seasons and thought, "Oh, this is pretty demonstrative of something."
Rob: And then we-we-we lean into that.
Glenn: It's all right man. We're getting our sea legs, you know what I mean? We gotta--
Charlie: That's all right. Yeah, yeah,
Glen: We gotta get our sea legs here.
Rob: What's-- We-we should take some calls.
Glenn: Let's take some calls.
Charlie: Who's on the- on the line?
Glenn: Megan. Uh, yeah, let's take the first caller, Megan.
Charlie: Who's on the line?
Glenn: Who we got?
Charlie: Hello? Uh, yeah, I saw your, uh, first episode.
Glen: Yeah, what'd you think?
Charlie: Uh, thought it was pretty boring and it mostly sucked, uh.
Rob: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Glenn: Yeah, that sounds good.
Charlie: Um, and I loved it and I watched all the 14 seasons.
Rob: I wonder if-- Is there anybody at one point, uh-
Charlie: That was not a caller, by the way, that was-
Rob: -you guys--
Charlie: -that was Glenn.
Glen: That was Glenn.
Rob: At one point- at one point, you guys looked over, and Charlie, you said like, how could anybody watch this episode and be like, "Okay, great. I'm in."
Glenn: Oh, right, yeah.
Rob: I wanna watch the next 14 years of this show because there are truly some repugnant. [crosstalk]
Charlie: No-nobody is tougher on the show than us though.
Charlie: Like I think-
Charlie: -I think for--
Glenn: I don't-- I can't-- I have a hard time watching that first season.
Glenn: I-it's not even 'cause I necessarily think it's bad. I think I just don't know. And at the end, my-my sensibilities have changed so much since we did that. I just-- I look at everything and I go, "Oh, God, I would never do that now."
Glenn: As an actor, as a writer or any-any-
Rob: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Glenn: -any of it. I would never do any of that now. Uh, so- so it's hard for me to stand by it knowing that I would never-
Glenn: -I would never do that now.
Glenn: And yet somehow people keep watching it, and I don't know why.
Glenn: I truly don't understand it.
Rob: Well, are there people out there, do you come across like fans who talk about like, season one as being one of their favorite seasons?
Rob: I don't- I don't know.
Charlie: No, I don't think so. I think--
Glenn: No, no.
Charlie: I feel like people are like, "Oh, you're finding it." The-there's, there's some great stuff in season one. Some great moments, some great ideas about what the show is going to be.
Rob: Wasn't this? Yes, this was the season where we had Anheuser-Busch. They heard that we were making a show about a bar and it was-
Glenn: Oh, my God.
Charlie: Yes. Yes.
Rob: -on FX. And they- and they were like, "Great, we're gonna be the official beer of-- [crosstalk].
Charlie: The guys were in, we're in fully in.
Rob: We're in. So we shot the whole first season with all this signage everywhere with-
Charlie: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
Rob: -Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light- Bud Light signs-
Charlie: Yeah, Bush and Bud Light, yeah. [crosstalk].
Rob: -everywhere. And then we aired the first episode and the next day, FX got a call and--
Charlie: And they're like, "We're fully out."
Rob: We're fully out. And the FX goes, "We already shot the entire season with all of the signage. And Anheuser Bush was like, "I'm sorry, we're out."
Charlie: "Please blur it or we'll destroy you."
Rob: Yeah. "We're out. And then our-our position was, fuck you. You guys had the scripts. You read the scripts."
Rob: "Then you should be fully in." And then FX was like, "No, fuck you." [laughs]
Charlie: But isn't--
Rob: We have a relationship with them, like, Big Fox, like News Corp, had a big relationship with them for the Super Bowl and-and-and NFL Football. And so we had to go in and digitally change them all to gobbly good.
Glenn: Yeah. It was just- just like, "Yeah, beer. Yeah, generic."
Charlie: Isn't it weird though now to watch the show 15 years later and be like, "Budweiser gets it. They were right."
Charlie: "They were right. They were right to get their asses out of there. They're like, "No."
Glenn: When did- when did Cours come on board? Because then they--
Charlie: Cours doesn't care.
Rob: Cours is- [laughs] Co-Cours came on board-board years later once- once audiences started to pick up-
Rob: -on what we're doing.
Charlie: Yeah, yeah.
Rob: So they were like--
Charlie: That's a better business plan.
Glenn: It is. Yeah. Yeah, let's wait until we know that people--
Charlie: Are people enjoying this?
Charlie: Great. We'll advertise.
Rob: Yeah, and I-I think our position was like, "No, you guys don't understand this is satire." And then they were like, "I don't think you guys know what satire is." And we were like, "Yeah, maybe not. We are too dumb."
Glenn: "We'll show you."
Rob: Then 15 years later, we're in.
Charlie: "Mr. Anderson, can you tell us what satire is?
Charlie: What is it? What even is it?" "Get the fuck outta here, hack." "I hear ya." [laughs].
Glenn: So, what else about this first episode that you guys remember? I remember I was extremely sick shooting all those Philly scenes that year.
Rob: Well, you were always in a-a state of sick in terms of like starving yourself, eating--
Charlie: I don't think I was doing that--
Rob: Was that season two?
Charlie: That season--
Rob: That's season two 'cause we do a whole lot of scenes.
Glenn: Oh, yeah.
Charlie: Season two.
Rob: That's right.
Glenn: First, we wrote two.
Rob: You hadn't lost your mind yet.
Charlie: Season one we were all in the same trailer. And by trailer, I mean closet.
Glenn: One room.
Rob: Yes. One room.
Glenn: One teeny tiny little room. And uh, yeah, we were all stuffed in there. That was outrageous. That was out- an outrageous thing though.
Charlie: There's things that we didn't know we could ask for like, um, an office to write a show.
Rob: Yeah, we didn't have an office.
Charlie: We didn't have an office.
Rob: We're writing out of the house- of the houses.
Charlie: We didn't have like-
Rob: We didn't have--
Rob: We didn't have proper, like, yeah, dressing rooms or trailers, anywhere to go. Just a-a room we shared.
Glenn: Yeah. [crosstalk]
Charlie: I didn't own a computer-
Charlie: -until the second season. So we would write on your computer. I would write my shit out on a yellow legal pad.
Glenn: You wrote a version of, uh, Charlie Wants an Abortion on a yellow legal pad.
Charlie: I did.
Rob: Didn't you?
Charlie: I did at the Astro Diner. I still have that legal pad.
Rob: Do you?
Charlie: I should turn it into an NFT.
Glenn: You don't-- Oh, my God. I ha-- I actually have--
Rob: That's fungible.
Glenn: I actually have a whole notebook of all of our original notes and some shorthand episodes written, and yeah, all kinds of shit.
Charlie: Did we have an episode that we ended up scrapping?
Glenn: Yeah, I remember it was one of the first episodes that I was writing, and it was an episode about Sweet Dee's Dating a Middle Eastern Guy and us being convinced that he was a terrorist.
Glenn: Just a typical, you know, Sunny [laughs] you know, profiling episode [laughs].
Glenn: I don't remember why we didn't- why we ended up-- Maybe it just wasn't good. It probably just wasn't good enough. I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. I'd never written anything in my fucking life. It made no sense for me to be writing a television show. I still don't know why I'm allowed to.
Rob: Maybe that's why they didn't give us offices.
Charlie: [laughs] These guys know what they're doing and they're gonna get an office.
Glenn: I mean, I-I definitely did not know what I was doing at all. It's crazy.
Rob: Do you feel confident about writing an episode this year?
Glenn: Yeah. Yeah, I do. I have a little bit of a better idea of how to do it, but, uh, still not totally sure.
Charlie: How about when we all got to know each other? 'Cause people ask me this from time to time. They're like, "When did you guys get to know each other?" And I no longer know.
Glenn: I do.
Rob: I do.
Charlie: I remember meeting you, Rob, on a- on a flight-
Charlie: -and we were both being flown out to test for a pilot.
Charlie: Glenn, I have no idea when I met you.
Glenn: I don't know, you know--
Rob: Tuck Everlasting.
Charlie: Yeah. I do remember.
Glenn: the Tuck Everlasting audition?
Rob: The Tuck Everlasting audition was the first time-
Charlie: I do remember.
Rob: -I met you.
Glenn: That was in New York?
Charlie: I thought that's when I might have.
Rob: We were all there at the same time. They-
Charlie: With Chris Polaha.
Rob: -brought every guy that was living in New York City.
Glenn: I remember I walked back to NYU or somewhere with Chris Polaha-
Glenn: -after that audition.
Charlie: Wait, then I walked with you because I remember-
Glenn: Maybe you did.
Charlie: -walking like to like Subway.
Glenn: With Polaha.
Charlie: Yeah. With Polaha. And maybe you.
Glenn: You don't remember me?
Charlie: No, I kind of remember you, but like that's such a vague, you know, that's not a big--
Glenn: Polaha was taller and much more striking.
Charlie: And then when-- True. And then when-- But when did we hang again? Not till we were--
Glenn: Well, so- so you and I both auditioned for that '80s show.
Glenn: And we-we-we came out to LA and we tested, and what happened was we both tested for it. I was testing though for one character. And you were testing for like my best friend.
Charlie: Yes, I-- That's correct.
Glenn: And then you-
Glenn: -this is actually funny, 'cause I remember you were like, "I gotta get," you were like going back to your hotel or something. You were like, "I gotta get back to my hotel, and I guess I'm gonna call a cab." And I was like, "Oh, I'll drive you." And you- and you were like, "You have a car?" And I was like, "Yeah, they gave me a- they gave me a rental car."
Glenn: And you were like, "They did?"
Glenn: You know, you were- you were like surprised-
Glenn: -that they-they were. "Oh, okay. They gave you a rental car."
Charlie: [crosstalk] the best friend character of the rental car.
Glenn: Yeah, exactly right.
Charlie: That's right.
Glenn: I remember we were driving away from the Fox lot, which is so crazy.
Charlie: This I- this I recall.
Glenn: That's we're now driving down Pico. I get a call from my agent, Stephanie Ritz at the time Endeavor. And you were also with Endeavor. Stephanie calls me, she's like, "You got it. You've got the part." And I was like, "Oh, my God, that's incredible. Holy shit, I just booked the lead in a half-hour comedy. That's amazing." And I was like, you know what, uh, actually Charlie's right next to me. You got any news for him? [laughs]
Charlie: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Glenn: And she was like-- There was like a little pause and then she was like, "Yeah, put Charlie on"
Glenn: And then I just heard-- and I handed you the phone and I heard you like, "Uh-huh, Uh-huh. Yeah. Uh-huh. Yeah. No, that's-that's cool."
Charlie: Yeah, I didn't fucking care.
Glenn: Yeah, yeah.
Glenn: You had tested for like 16 pilots back then.
Charlie: Yeah. By then I was like, this is what you do. You- you go, you read, they think you're weird and then-
Glenn: And then you lose.
Charlie: -and then you lose.
Glenn: [laughs] That's how it goes.
Charlie: Rob, I have a distinct memory of you and I. So I used to record those IFFC-
Rob: Oh, God.
Charlie: And- and I-- Coming up on IFFC, it's [unintelligible 00:18:56], whatever. So, being at a place called Buzzies on Melrose, right?
Charlie: Did all the things. And you met me, we had coffee across the street from Buzzies and we were- had a conversation about like, we should just make our own fucking thing-
Rob: Yeah, yeah.
Charlie: -because we're sitting around waiting for [crosstalk]--
Glenn: But was that after we had been hanging out at your apartment with you and Jimmy Simpson and you guys showed us all those really super weird in-camera edited movies that you guys made in New York City? You and Jimmy Simpson and Nate Mooney-
Glenn: -and David Hornsby and-
Charlie: And Logan Marshall-Green.
Glenn: -and Logan Marshall-Green-
Glenn: -made all these super weird, really funny short movies. And I remember- I remember-
Glenn: -sitting there watching those with you, Rob-
Glenn: -and both of us were like, "Oh, my God, this shit is so fucking funny."
Charlie: You know, that-- It's like it was the 2000 equivalent of TikToks or like, uh-
Charlie: -you know, like YouTube videos. Like there was no YouTube so we were just--
Glenn: It was just for you guys, right?
Charlie: Just for us, yeah.
Glenn: Just to show your friends.
Charlie: Yeah, yeah. Just to--
Glenn: But Jimmy did put a couple up on YouTube and I stand by them. I think they're super fine.
Charlie: Yeah, years and years later.
Glenn: I don't know if they're still there.
Charlie: Yeah, I think so.
Glenn: Uh, but--
Charlie: But so that conversation, I don't remember where in the timeline had happened but it was-
Rob: Very early, yeah.
Charlie: -before-before we were actually doing the show.
Rob: Yes, before we were doing the show and I was like writing screenplays and like, trying to get the [crosstalk]--
Charlie: Yeah, I remember that.
Glenn: I remember distinctly going over to Charlie and Jimmy's apartment with a bunch of actor friends of ours--
Rob: To do a reading of--
Glenn: Well known. Uh, I-I'm sure like, I mean, I know it was like a bunch of well-known people.
Glenn: Yeah, Pacino was there.
Charlie: Yeah, and De Niro was there.
Glenn: And then you knew Paul Thomas Anderson so you invited him.
Charlie: Yeah, he-he was there.
Rob: He was directing.
Glenn: I had Bog- I had Booger there. Um, no, but, uh, but I remember like sitting around and doing it like a "Table read" like just a-a round table read with- of, uh-
Rob: Billie Jean.
Glenn: Yeah, Billie Jean.
Glenn: Did Lynn- did Lynn Collins play Billy Jean?
Charlie: Yes, that's right.
Rob: Yeah, Billie Jean that's something I wrote with-with Bacchus.
Glenn: With Bacchus, yeah.
Rob: And I remember it being pretty funny-
Charlie: Yeah, it was good.
Rob: -and I was like, oh, we can- we can do this, but then it's so hard to get anything through to the machine. So you'd-
Rob: -send it to somebody and they'd be like, oh, I'll read it. And then three weeks later, they just forget about it and that'd be the end of it.
Rob: And so then, you know, watching Charlie's home movies, I was like-
Glenn: Let us just do it.
Rob: -what the fuck, why are we waiting for somebody else? Let's just make it ourselves.
Glenn: Let's do it, yeah.
Charlie: Also the British Office, the-the like-
Charlie: -the running gun look of that, the cheap- the cheap look of it.
Charlie: -to be like, oh, right.
Rob: And curb- and curb.
Charlie: And curb.
Charlie: And the invention of that Panasonic DVX 100A.
Charlie: Like that camera looked like those shows?
Rob: It was the first time that you could have like a consumer-grade camera-
Rob: -that didn't look like a videotape, like VHS.
Rob: It looked like closer to what we understood as film. And so we thought, oh, wow, we can fake this a little bit better.
Charlie: Yeah, so it was like the difference between like those homies I was doing with Jimmy, he was doing those [chuckles], were shooting those on like a little tiny Sony digital thing that-
Charlie: -he'd gotten the money from that Amy Heckerling movie Loser, he had a big part in that, and he put like all his money into like renting an apartment that like, [chuckles] the landlord was a crackhead. It was above a Gray's Papaya, it smelled like hotdogs the whole time.
Charlie: And-and- [laughs] and this- and this video camera. But then the Panasonic, you shot something and you're like, but this looks-
Glenn: Yeah, I mean--
Rob: Like a TV show.
Charlie: Like a TV show.
Charlie: This looks professional.
Rob: Yes, of course. You look at it now and it looks like absolute trash.
Glenn: The shows always looked terrible.
Rob: At the time, it really felt like wow, we're- we can make something look good.
Charlie: And that look spilled over into the pilot that was shot with FX.
Glenn: And I remember us insisting- we were like we came in, you know, guns blazing. We were like, this is how we want to shoot the show, and every director, everybody would talk to me like that's fucking crazy. You can't shoot it that way. That makes no sense. We're like, well, we can because we just did- we did with nothing, with no resources, just--
Charlie: Yeah, no-no lights, no marks, just--
Glenn: No lights, no marks, ju-- You know and we even resisted, in that whole first season, we did not allow our-our director of photography to put marks down. And I think most people know what that is at this point, probably but--
Charlie: It's a little piece of tape you put on the ground, uh, where the actor is supposed to stand because the light is perfect for the [crosstalk]--
Glenn: Yeah, the lights, right, and you got to be in focus.
Charlie: Well, where you are not gonna block the other actor in the shot or--
Glenn: Right, or you're not going to catch the other camera if you got two cameras rolling. But I remember, the main thing people took exception to was that we wanted to shoot three cameras at all times. We had one person shooting wide-
Charlie: Oh, that's right.
Glenn: -shooting a wide master. And then if it was a two-person scene, we had somebody shooting, you know, same as the scene between me and Rob.
Charlie: Maybe right.
Glenn: One camera on Rob one camera on me and one camera shooting the master.
Rob: Even at the- at the time, we were making our thing, and then we would- we would shoot, right, and then we'd go and we'd look at it cut together and we'd be like, something's weird. They're just looking at each other, but it looks like one's looking in one direction, one's looking in the other.
Glenn: Oh, shit.
Rob: And we had to figure out in real-time-
Glenn: Or we didn't know the line- where the line--
Rob: -that we didn't understand the line. [crosstalk] Yeah, like we just didn't know, we just started doing it. And now, and--
Glenn: I don't remember that.
Rob: Yeah, I thought--
Charlie: I don't remember that either, but I know I got it.
Rob: In fact, if you-- Yeah, if you look at the first one, there's some weird eyeline things that don't make any sense-
Glenn: Across the line, yeah.
Rob: -and we didn't know why because we have no fucking idea what we were doing.
Glenn: Yeah-yeah. Also, we were not shooting it to sell it.
Glenn: I don't know where your head was at, but I-I know for me, I was like, oh, I just wanna shoot a funny home movie like what Charlie and those guys did in New York and just-just to show people, to make my friends laugh. And in my mind, I was like, we're shooting like this little short film thing. And then I remember we looked at it we were like, it's weird. It feels like a TV show-
Glenn: -because that was not the original intention.
Rob: No-no, it was something all the way through.
Charlie: Remember how concerned we were with white balancing?
Glenn: Oh, my God, yes.
Rob: Yes, there was a lot of white balancing.
Charlie: Like we gotta white balance.
Rob: Oh, shit. [laughs]
Charlie: We gotta white balance these cameras man. This is everything, otherwise two shots don't look the same.
Glenn: Oh, my God, that's right. Well, at least we had the presence of mind- at least we knew how to do that.
Charlie: Well, we didn't know, we make it sound like we didn't know anything, but we like we knew some stuff, you know?
Glenn: Oh, just the bare minimum.
Charlie: We had a boom. We know enough to have a boom.
Glenn: Mm. No.
Rob: But we didn't have a real- we had a directional mic that we turned into a boom mic like-
Charlie: That's a boom.
Rob: -hanging it from a--
Glenn: We had a directional mic hanging from a broomstick.
Rob: Yeah, it was a broom.
Charlie: We had a broom, I said. What did you hear?
Charlie: Uh, what did you guys have for breakfast? This is what they-- They don't wanna hear about the show, they just wanna hear this kind of shit. The Rock would say what he had for breakfast.
Charlie: I had nothing.
Rob: You didn't eat anything for breakfast?
Rob: What's the--
Glenn: Do you wanna-- [crosstalk]
Rob: Well, you're wondering why you're- you're havi- you're having stomach problems. What time did you eat for the first time today?
Charlie: I-- For the first time today when we had lunch.
Rob: Charlie, did you have coffee?
Charlie: I had a ton of coffee.
charlie: Yeah, but coffee doesn't really bother my stomach.
Rob: Cheese does, just cheese.
Charlie: Let me make this clear.
Glenn: You can't drink, Rob, can't drink coffee.
Rob: I don't drink coffee anymore.
Charlie: I just-- Sometimes I'll have breakfast but today I didn't. I just ran out the door, you know. What, um, what kinda- what do you bench?
Rob: My-my bench has gone down significantly since COVID. I-I got up- I got a bit up there but--
Glenn: I think, yeah, I have no idea- I have no idea what I can bench, no clue. Three chairs.
Rob: I think it's okay for a 44-year-old man not to know what he can bench.
Glenn: I think it's the best.
Rob: Are you 45?
Glenn: I'm 45, yeah. I wasn't gonna say it- I wasn't gonna say it.
Charlie: So am I.
Glenn: So is he- so is he.
Charlie: So am I. Cut that- cut that.
Glenn: Cut that- cut that- cut that- cut that.
Rob: 45? That's so weird.
Charlie: Hopeful and minded.
Glenn: Yeah-yeah, cut that- cut that- cut that- cut that.
Rob: Cut that- cut that- cut that.
Charlie: Yeah. How old were we when we started doing this show?
Glenn: 27 years old. I know I was 27 when we shot the original home movie, and then 28 when we shot the FX Pilot.
Rob: Right, so we like to think that we were like super young, but we really weren't.
Rob: Like the Beatles had broken up by the time they were 26.
Glenn: Most people- most artists had done their best work.
Charlie: Wow, we're gonna start comparing ourselves to The Beatles, we're gonna have a hard time here.
Glenn: No, we're gonna have a hard day as night.
Charlie: Oh, yeah.
Glenn: You guys, most artists I would say probably done their best work by the time we started this show. [laughs] They were like well past it. We were just warming up.
Rob: And that feels like a lifetime ago.
Charlie: Yeah, everyone peaked too soon, man.
Glenn: Cause it was- cause it was. We were old.
Rob: Yeah, but we can't remember any-any of it, but that's the Pinot Grigio and the Bourbon, for me.
Charlie: Pinot Grigio and Bourbon?
Rob: Well, I don't mix them together, but there was a period of my life, a good eight years while I drank Pinot Grigio. And I don't drink that anymore, I just drink Bourbon now.
Charlie: Do you?
Glenn: You switched? Bourbon?
Rob: I switched to Bourbon, yeah I drink Bourbon.
Glenn: I don't know you to be a bourbon.
Rob: I wasn't a bourbon drinker until, um, the- until we all locked down for-for the global pandemic.
Glenn: Okay, we don't have to go into it on the podcast, but I want to hear about the Bourbons that you're into. Are you super into it or are you drinking like--
Rob: I'm-I'm super into it.
Glenn: You are?
Rob: Yeah-yeah, no, I.
Glenn: I've got a couple of recommendations for you.
Rob: Okay-okay. Maybe they'll be sponsors.
Glenn: Hey, yeah. You know what, I really have been into his rye whiskey.
Rob: I drink a lot- I drink some rye.
Glenn: I really like-- I-I don't know, it was something about rye, I don't like it when my liquors are too sweet. So like a lot of tequilas are too Agave forward, if you will.
Glenn: Uh, I wanna dry experience.
Glenn: Some people- some people wanna do hear this, Charlie.
Charlie: No-no-no, I'm sure they do.
Glenn: I'm just trying to talk about something.
Charlie: Yeah-yeah, I get it- I get it. It's 73 degrees out.
Charlie: I'll say the news today. The avai- uh, the available WiFi network is Foxton brands.
Charlie: Just talking about your phone.
Glenn: Just talking about your phone.
Charlie: Just talking about your phone.
Rob: Well, guys, this has been fun.
Charlie: I like talking about whiskey.
Charlie: Well, yeah.
Glenn: I thought that- I thought that- I thought that--
Rob: Whiskey's cool.
Charlie: Have you ever heard of Japanese whiskey?
Rob: Yeah, good stuff.
Glenn: Yeah. They're making some good ones these days.
Rob: Yeah, I went to Japan, it was awesome.
Glenn: Oh, okay.
Charlie: You still have cats?
Glenn: Yeah, one, I got one.
Rob: Is, uh, one of those cats is still alive?
Glenn: Yeah, Bean's still alive, 19 years old.
Rob: That's insane.
Glenn: She's old as shit.
Rob: Wow. I remember you getting those cats.
Glenn: Yeah. I-I- I'm surprised she hasn't had a heart attack from the dogs at this point, honestly.
Charlie: That's the tough thing like 18 years into a cat's life just bring in two dogs.
Glenn: Yeah, bring in a couple of dogs, and yeah, they just want to gobble her up.
Charlie: Cats like, what the fuck?
Glenn: What the fuck, man?
Charlie: What are you doing?
Glenn: Yeah, she is really funny. Every time she takes a shit she's like, [cat sounds].
Charlie: You might wanna get that checked.
Glenn: Oh, there's no getting it checked at this point. It's like we're 19, everything's gonna fucking hurt. But it-it like something, every time she takes a shit, she's like, [cat sounds].
Charlie: I'm concerned about your cat now man.
Rob: I know. Have you talked to a vet about it?
Charlie: I'll take it in to get checked.
Rob: Have you talked to a vet about this, I mean?
Rob: Is she in pain?
Glenn: I don't know what she's doing.
Rob: She might be in ecstasy. Listen, she might be--
Charlie: Cut that- cut that- cut that- cut that.
Glenn: Cut that- cut that- cut that- cut that. She might be in ecstasy guys, she might be in ecstasy.
Rob: So you're saying, you can't tell the difference whe-whether a female is in pain or in ecstasy?
Glenn: Are they the same thing?
Rob: Cut that.
Charlie: Cut that- cut that- cut that.
Glenn: Cut that- cut that- cut that.
[00:29:59] [END OF AUDIO]