Vulture considers itself proudly fanatic when it comes to Party Down, Starz’s tragically shuttered catering comedy. But Details has just dropped an epic oral history of the show — a show which, we now remind you, suffered such comically low ratings we feel absolutely fine erroneously stating that it was literally watched by no one — and it puts our purportedly die-hard allegiance to shame. Below: four things we learned today about Party Down that only make us like the show more. And please do read the whole oral history yourself, if only for the general sense of well-being that will wash over you after you see how much that cast and crew genuinely liked one another.
1. HBO rejected the show because they didn’t think it was funny. Says co-creator Rob Thomas:
We initially sold Party Down to HBO, and at that time Paul [Rudd] was going to star in the Henry role. He was shooting Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and talking to Steve Carell about playing Ron Donald. And then we ended up turning in this outline to HBO, and we had one of those tragic meetings where you can tell that the two entities are on entirely separate pages. The first word out of the HBO executive’s mouth was, “We know outlines really aren’t supposed to be funny … ” So we parted ways.
2. Lizzy Caplan loves being mean to Adam Scott.
He can be kind of charmless when he doesn’t know you. So I had a pretty awkward monotone conversation with Adam and somehow that convinced me to do the show, even though he really was totally boring on the phone. I was like, “Who is this grumbly kid?” I had no idea.
One time we were shooting in Malibu at this nice parkish area, and there were all these ducks. Ryan and Martin and I picked up a duck and put it in Adam’s trailer and it shit everywhere. It was hilarious.
3. Starz loves boobs. Co-creator Dan Etheridge:
Let’s put it this way: We were asked by the network, and not in an offensive way, to explore premium content, and part of that was some nudity if it was possible. It made us all flinch a little bit. Porn awards [“Sin Say Shun Awards Afterparty”] was born from trying to take that request and figure out a way to do it that will enhance the show. Failed orgy [“Nick DiCintio’s Orgy Night”], similar thing.
It really was Starz pushing for boobs, constantly. They loved boobs. I think it was coming from high up. There were just random boobs flying around in our show sometimes.
4. That Party Down movie probably is never happening.
LIZZY CAPLAN: I have my fingers crossed that we get to maybe do some kind of movie or something, so maybe we’ll get to see.
ROB THOMAS: We’re hoping to do a movie. We’re talking about the happy ending for this show.
FRED SAVAGE: I think Rob has to make his Veronica Mars movie first. He’s got a few cult followings wandering around.
KEN MARINO: I would be there in a heartbeat. Why — you funding it?
The Complete Oral History of Party Down [Details]