Jason Gann on The ‘Traumedy’ of Wilfred


Sure, there might be plenty of bong hits and tennis-ball-fetching, but creator and star of Wilfred Jason Gann wants to make clear that the black humor of his new FX show isn’t going to be scarified for a few leg humping jokes. “It’s a dark comedy that I call traumedy,” Gann explains. “There’s the human trauma, and then the trauma that Wilfred goes through. We really hit some dark human emotions.” So, of course, when producers tried to entice Gann into make an American Wilfred after having a 16-episode run in Australia, they naturally compared it to the most prominent traumedy of our time. “And then, they said, ‘This could be your Mork & Mindy.’ The Mork character was an alien. It wasn’t human. It was a stand-out character,” Gann recalls. “I said, ‘If you do this, even if the show is not a hit, everyone is going to remember the guy who played the dog. So, if you can sell it, I’ll do it.’”

Having found the character of Wilfred while riffing on the thoughts of a real neighborhood dog, Gann credits the dog suit for the personality of the irate misanthropic pup, saying “Wilfred is kind of neurotic and anxious, and he has a fear of abandonment and dissatisfaction of being trapped in this dog’s body, and the moment I put on that suit, that’s exactly how I feel. It’s surprisingly not the acting challenge that people might think it is because I’m pretty miserable when I’m in it.” So far Americans seem to really be into the show: “Not everyone here knows about the show yet. I’ve had some offers from furries – people that want to have sex with dudes in furry suits. I’ve had some interesting requests. There’s some great fans.”