Sad Breasts and Giant Hogs: A Party Down Reunion

We are definitely having fun.

Photo: Landon Nordeman
Photo: Landon Nordeman

A decade ago, Party Down premiered quietly on a Starz network that was just getting into original programming. A year later, it went off the air, also quietly. But in between, the show’s cast and creators were able to put together 20 hilarious, heartbreaking, real yet ridiculous gems of TV episodes about making the best of broken dreams. Then, in the years following, thanks to streaming and word of mouth, the show found a cult.

So, earlier this month, ten years and eight months after the show premiered, at Vulture Festival presented by AT&T, the whole team (save Paul Rudd) — Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Megan Mullally, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, and Ken Marino, and its creators Jon Enbom, Dan Ethridge, and Rob Thomas — got together to remember the very special time they had making the show, looking back at their favorite episodes and moments.

You can read a transcript of the reunion below or listen to the panel, which was released as a bonus episode of Good One, Vulture’s podcast about jokes. Download the episode from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. Are we having fun yet!?!? If not, we’re about to.

Jump to a Section:

The Beginnings
The Cast
Jane Lynch’s Favorite Episode: “Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar”
Ken Marino’s Favorite Episode: “Sin Say Shun Awards After Party”
Adam Scott’s Favorite Episode: “Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen”
Rob Thomas and John Enbom’s Favorite Episode: “Celebrate Ricky Sargulesh”
“Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday”
Megan Mullally’s Favorite Episode: “Joel Munt’s Big Deal Party”
The Series Finale
A Party Down Movie?

Ryan Hansen: [makes air horn sound]

Adam Scott: There’s a bag of hair behind Lizzy.

Megan Mullally: That’s my wig from Party Down. So at the end of the thing, I’m going to see who I think was the biggest fan. I’m going to throw it out there.

Scott: Is it really?

Mullally: Yeah.

Scott: Oh, wow.

Mullally: I bought it on Hollywood Boulevard 39.99.

Lizzy Caplan: You ruined that.

Scott: Totally ruined that.

Mullally: That’s true. I really did.

So when was the last time you guys were all together and have seen each other?
Ken Marino: Just backstage.

So before that, then.
Mullally: You know what — actually at my birthday party last year. Almost everybody — except Ryan who is very, very elusive — was at that.

Hansen: I have a lot of children, so.

Rob Thomas: And Jane too. I don’t think Jane.

Jane Lynch: I don’t think I was invited.

Caplan: Ooooo!

Mullally: I’m so sorry.

Marino: Oh, here we go.

Mullally: I’d like to get to know you well enough to invite you to my birthday party.

Lynch: We’ll see what happens.

Mullally: Okay. I’m in the doghouse now.

Do you have text chains? Are you guys constantly …
Caplan: We made Party Down before there were cellular phones.

Lynch: That’s true.

Caplan: So we don’t know how to, yeah.

Scott: I think we did, we had an email chain for a long time but you’re right — text chains weren’t a thing while we were making the show.

Mullally: No, we were on clamshell flip phones.

Marino: When we’re done here, we’re going to start a text chain.

Have any of you guys watched the show recently?
Caplan: Not in forever.

Scott: I have not.

Mullally: But I know people who have. Does that count?

Have they told you what it was like?
Caplan: They loved it.

Mullally: They loved it, yeah.

The Beginnings

Good. We’ll walk through all of it and it will be a nice refresher for you guys, as well as the audience. So I had everyone tell me their favorite episodes and scenes from the series, but I wanted to take a moment and talk about the beginning to give some context. So from what I understand, the story started with you watching the British Office?
Thomas: Right. A British ex-girlfriend of mine emailed me and said, “Hey, you’ve got to watch this show,” and I felt like I had been steered wrong on shows by her before. Like, I had. I didn’t get into Ab Fab or a few others.

Lynch: Shame on you.

Thomas: I know, I know. And so I recorded it and it sat there and I thought Okay, I want to be able to say I watched it. And that first scene of Ricky Gervais hiring a forklift driver, my jaw was on the floor. I watch a show and I called Dan and John and I said, “I think I’ve watched the best show of all time. Come watch it with me.” And it was showing on BBC America and John would come over, as would Paul Rudd, who was our co-creator, who is not here today. And we’d watch the last week’s episode and then watch the new episode, and never in my career had I thought, I want to write a comedy. But this, like, sad comedy — a sad comedy called out to us. I mean, in John Enbom, we had the saddest, funniest person I knew and …

Mullally: Mostly sad.

Enbom: I got better.

Thomas: And so by the end of it, we just said “We want to write a comedy in this tone,” essentially.

How did you then get to the idea of Party Down? Why people who have chased dreams for far too long? What is the next step?
Thomas: I hosted a lot of parties. The idea of being able to drop into a new party each week seemed like a funny idea to me. When you host parties in L.A., you tend to get people whose life ambition is not to be waiting on people at your party.

Was anyone here a caterer?
Caplan: Yup.

Lynch: Yes.

Caplan: It sucks.

Thomas: You know, I played in a band in Texas before I did this.

(audience hoots)

Caplan: Bands!

Marino: Is that for that for his band or for Texas?

Scott: That’s for bands.

Thomas: That’s definitely not for my band.

Scott: Bunch of band fans here. You guys like bands?

Mullally: Yeah, yeah. Bands are great.

Marino: Bands! Yeah!

Mullally: Bands, man. They’re great.

Thomas: But we started writing it around the time we were turning 40, or close to 40 or whenever, and that was the time all of my friends back home were trying to decide: Do you give up the dream, or do you keep going? And that idea of how long do you chase a dream was interesting to us.

So the path from that to Starz is a particularly long and windy one. I’m wondering if any of the creators could, as quickly as possible, summarize that for those who don’t know how it ended up on Starz.
Enbom: Well, what did we do? We went to HBO first with Paul Rudd, and they bought it before we got through the door when they saw Paul. And then I think a week or two later, Paul was like “Oh, I can’t do it.” And then we sort of parted ways with HBO also because I think we wanted something kind of downbeat and small.

Dan Etheridge: Well, I think specifically we turned in an outline that we had been working on, the four of us, for years that we loved, and then first out of the gate when we got to the notes session was HBO said, “We know how hard it is to be funny in an outline so don’t worry.” So we felt like the writing was on the wall fairly quickly.

Thomas: Yeah. I mean, HBO I think bought it thinking that we were going to be very inside Hollywood, which is something that they like to do, and we turned in this outline to the first episode, which was a Sherman Oaks neighborhood homeowners association potluck. That did not turn them on, and then we took it to FX and we had a great development process with them. We wrote the original Party Down script for Fox, for FX. And then at the end of the day they decided it didn’t fit well with It’s Always Sunny, and they passed on it. It sat in our collective drawers for two years, and then we decided to shoot a pilot in my house, and then actually shop the DVD, and we went out to favorite people to ask if they would do it for $100 a day. This is who we could afford.

Martin Starr: They couldn’t actually afford me. I came on later.

Caplan: Yeah, I also was too expensive to be a part of that backyard pilot.

Hansen: I think I actually paid to be a part of it. Thank you guys for letting me pay.

Marino: Didn’t it happen after Veronica Mars was canceled and then you took the crew and brought them to your house? Did something like that happen or am I making that up?

Thomas: That final season, we were supposed to do 22 episodes and they cut our order back to 20. There were a couple extra weeks where people were available, and so we used a lot of that crew and shot it.

Enbom: Because we pitched it to other places and it’s such a simple logline — you know, cater waiters, every episode is a party — everyone had a completely different idea for what the show could be. So I think part of the thing that we wanted to do was just say “No, it’s like this.” And you know, that led us almost nowhere.

Thomas: Yeah, we went around town. We went to every network that was doing comedy and showed them our cut final episode, which we were really pretty pleased with. We thought it was funny and good. The people at Comedy Central did not. We went into Comedy Central, and all these young executives came in with popcorn and excited and chattering and happy to be there, and it was 30 minutes without a laugh. Then we went to Showtime. Showtime watched it and they guffawed the whole time, like there’s no way they weren’t buying it. They loved it. They ate it up in the room and at the end of it, the head of Showtime said, “I don’t know how to market this show,” and we were dead there. Starz at the time had never done their own television show. It was an agent of mine who said, “Let’s send it to Starz. They want to start doing indie comedy sort of stuff,” and luckily they said yeah. So it really was our last stop. But they didn’t have a comedy on the air yet.

Marino: But wasn’t it about a year after you actually shot it? Because I remember you shot it, went around with it, nothing happened. Then you put a sizzle reel together. Then I never heard anything. Then about a year later, when we were doing Childrens Hospital, I got a call and you guys were like, “Hey, we’re doing ten episodes on Starz.” It was a while, right? Before it actually got picked up?

Scott: Yeah. We shot it in spring of ’07 and then started the show like November or December of ’08, so it was like a full year and a half. Is that correct?

Thomas: Yeah, that sounds right.

Marino: I appreciate you really sticking with it.

Throughout all of that, what did you learn about the show and having it be a thing that you were thinking about for so many years?
Enbom: I mean, I think steeping that long with those particular characters was the thing that, at the end of the day, made all the difference. Like once we had to actually do the show, we could actually churn it out, you know? Because what did we have? We had like two months to write the season when they actually asked. But we kind of were so familiar with everybody, we could actually just crank it out just because we sat with it for so long and talked about it for so long. We had to kind of make up how to shoot it, but you know, we were able to actually write it and produce or direct it or whatever with a fair amount of confidence just because we, you know, we’d been with it for years.

The Cast

The show is perfectly cast. I feel like it’s a matter of both getting the right people, but also the people bringing the right thing to it. So I wanted to go through the characters and talk a little bit about how you cast them, and also what the actors saw when they saw the parts. I’ll go in order in the same order that I believe it was cast. So Henry Pollard, who is played by Adam Scott. 


Yes, cheer each time.
Marino: [cheers]

Why was Adam right for it? What did you see in …
Scott: [to Marino] Keep going. No keep, keep going.

Marino: [cheers] Drool.

Scott: [to Fox] Sorry. Did you? Sorry.

Yes. So why was Adam right for it, and Adam, what did you see in Henry that you’re like Oh, I can do this? What made you into it?
Thomas: Do I have part A for this?

Part A is for the creators and part B will be for the actors. We’re going to do this for each of you, so watch how this goes.
Marino: So far it’s going great.

Thomas: John, Dan, feel free to jump in here. With that, with the Henry character, we wanted somebody who felt like they came out to Hollywood with bright eyes and excited to conquer the world, and what we’re really interested in is having the character at the center of the show be done with it. Be world-weary. Be cynical. Be jaded. That said Adam Scott to us.

Scott: Yeah. I mean, I was — when they asked me to do the homemade pilot — I had been hearing about it from Rob and Dan and John and Paul for years, so I kind of vaguely knew the whole thing, and I think [Steve] Carell was attached at one point, and I was maybe going to be Roman? Is that right? Like early, early on, like right when you guys were …

Thomas: Yeah, when it was at HBO, the idea was yeah, Carell as Ron. Sorry Ken.

Marino: Oh, I knew this.

Caplan: Can you even imagine how amazing it would have been?

Marino: This is not news to me.

Scott: Paul Rudd as Henry. Steve Carell.

Lynch: We had Steve Carrell??

Caplan: Paul Rudd. Steve Carell. HBO.

Mullaly: How much better.

Thomas: I wanna see that show!

Marino: Murderer’s Row.

Scott: Anyway, so —

Mullally: Yeah. This Q&A would be at the Dolby.

Scott: So, a couple years later when you guys knew you were going to make the thing, I was really excited to be able to play that role, and it was just sort of a no-brainer to do it because it’s not like I had another acting job to select this from the crowded field of nominees. So it was super fun, and we were all friends anyway, so it was great. I wasn’t really thinking this would ever continue. I just thought it would be fun and I think, as Rob was saying, this is the jaded, cynical [character] … like I had been around long enough to know that this will probably never happen for real. So we just had fun doing it.

Ronald Wayne “Ron” Donald.
Scott: [cheers]

So, casting — after Steve Carell made 40-Year-Old Virgin, [and] was now unavailable, what comes next?
Etheridge: Well I think with a lot of the, what was the great thing with a lot of people we cast was that we not only had worked with them, but we also knew them socially as well, so we had a sense of their vibe as human beings, and Ken, we had been lucky enough to work with as Vinnie Van Lowe on Veronica Mars and knew him socially. So post-Carell, one-stop shopping right there.

Marino: Me now? So we were working on Veronica Mars, and you were talking about the script. This is how I remember it. And I said, “Ooo, can I read it?” And I read it in my trailer while I was waiting to shoot and then when I finished reading it, the way I remembered it is, I went up to you and I said, “I don’t know if you’re ever going to do this, but if you do do it, can I please audition for Ron?” And then I never heard anything back. And then when Veronica Mars got canceled, and then you were doing it in your house, you guys gave me a call and asked me to do it, and I went out and had a nice one-on-one diner lunch with you.

Scott: Yeah, at the thing.

Marino: At the thing, and we talked about it and then I got to do it. And Ron in the original one had a little mustache.

Scott: And black ties.

Marino: Did we have black ties? We didn’t have pink ties?

Scott: We had black ties.

Why the switch to pink ties?
Etheridge: Costume designer, right?

Endom: Actually, yeah. A costume designer just said they, I think, they specifically …

Etheridge: Can I say that, Jane? What I said earlier? I don’t know …

Lynch: [nods]

Etheridge: Yeah, like initially Starz’s response, this was an earlier time, was “Those are too gay.” They didn’t really varnish the note. They just gave us that note. And so we kept them.

[Crowd Cheers]

Thomas: We did not get a lot of notes from Starz. We were literally the first show they had done in house. The thing that they mostly wanted to ensure was a certain number of naked breasts. Like that, that was their one requirement.

Marino: Hopefully an even number.

Enbom: Five.

Mullally: Save it for the reboot.

Thomas: Because John was running the show, they then would follow the note with a note saying “Not sad breasts.” They did not want sad nudity. Which, they were right to give that note.

Caplan: I saw a woman on one of the nude episodes and she was like a background artist doing nudity, which I think is like the pinnacle of bravery, like for real, and I saw her and she looked like she had sad boobs. Not because they weren’t, like, attractive breasts, but because she was picking something off of them for a very long time. Yes.

Marino: That was probably a producer’s note. You’re on set and you’re like, “You never pick your breast.”

Mullally: Yeah, I remember being in a scene with the orgy and I was on a bed with somebody. You’d think I’d remember. And there were all these other naked people making out all around me, and I was like, “This is a little too real for me.”

Thomas: I believe that an email or text-message chat went out when we all realized that Stormy Daniels had guest starred in Party Down. Like that, we were like, Holy shit. Remember Stormy Daniels?

Mullally: In which episode?

Thomas: In the porn-awards episode.

Marino: She’s the one who fellates me. Or tries to. Quick story: So I was in New York and I got invited to …

Scott: We get it. You were in New York. That’s cool.

Marino: No, there’s more to it than that! I got invited to go hang, go watch a rehearsal of SNL.

Scott: Okay, you got invited to SNL.

Marino: And so I was walking backstage and it was the episode where Stormy Daniels was in the cold open, and so I was walking down the hallway and I see her come out of her room, and she sees me and she’s like, “Hey!” And I didn’t know if she remembered the thing. But then I remembered ’cause we were [part of] the text chain that was going on. And so I was like, “Oh my God, hey. How are you? What have you been up to?” And she looks at me and she’s like [shrugs].” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, right. Of course. Yes yes yes yes yes yes.” True story.

Scott: It’s so funny. I would not have remembered that Stormy Daniels was on the show. Who was it that …

Enbom: Martin.

Scott: It was Martin who was like “Hey, she was on the show?” Or was it?

Starr: Yeah. Maybe it was.

Constance Carmell. Why, Jane?
Lynch: What?

Why the part?
Lynch: Well, I just loved how stupid she was and how earnest, and I knew I wanted to work with these guys. Do you guys remember I did a guest star on Veronica Mars?

Thomas: Oh yes. I do remember.

Lynch: A two-episode guest star. Yes.

Mullally: Quit bragging.

Lynch: And I really liked them, and so I was very happy to be invited to be a part of it, and I remember showing up for my $100-a-day job. We all dressed, boys and girls alike, in your bedroom, all at the same time. It was so summer stock.

Mullally: That’s illegal.

Lynch: It was really fun. We didn’t wear the bow ties. The girls wore the little, like, the girls in the navy. I don’t know. Anyway.

Scott: Wait, what? I don’t remember that.

Lynch: It was like the little grade-school ties the girls wore. That cross-over like that, that the navy ladies wear.

Thomas: The thing about casts, about you being in Veronica Mars, what was embarrassing to me at the time was we had gone out, we wanted someone for this role. We had written “a Jane Lynch type” next to it and, and then we go into a casting session and Jane Lynch walks in. I’m like, If I knew she was available, we wouldn’t … You didn’t have to read, Jane, for “a Jane Lynch type.”

Lynch: It’s usually the kiss of death.

Kyle Bradway.
Marino: [cheers]

Starr: Relax.

Hansen: Why?

Hansen: Also on Veronica Mars. I play Dick. [The] third season ended, and my wife and I had took this big vacation and blew all of our money, and then I got an email from Rob. We were in Rome. And he’s like, “Hey, sorry, Veronica Mars is canceled, but read this script and let me know if you want to do it.” And I emailed right away. I didn’t even read it. I’m like, “I’ll do it.” And I feel like it was the part I was born to play, Kyle Bradway. Couldn’t pass that up once I finally read it when I got there on set.

Scott: I think it’s my favorite character name of, again, a crowded field of great character names. Kyle Bradway: Do you guys remember where that came from?

Marino: I’m going to guess John.

Thomas: John. John is the master of names. It would entertain me just to read down the names of the cater waiters at Valhalla Catering. Like the rival catering, and they were like “Doon.”

Caplan: Hale, right?

Thomas: Yes. Those were some great names.

Scott: They were all so gorgeous.

Caplan: Yeah, they really were.
Roman DeBeers.
Starr: Alright, alright.

So as you mentioned, he was not in the pilot you shot. How did you then end up being in it and why, and why Martin?
Starr: Yeah, why’d you fire the other guy?

Thomas: That other guy has worked many, many times for us.

Scott: He’s terrific.

Thomas: He’s a fantastic …

Starr: But not on this.

Thomas: Well, for one thing, I love Freaks and Geeks almost like no other show.

Starr: Oh right. Thanks.

Thomas: And so I was already a Martin and Lizzy fan when these roles came open. We were all fans, and no one up here had to read for their part. They were all people we were fans of.

Starr: My character also said “a Martin Starr type,” and my agent read it and said “Hey, I think I found something.” They’re real detectives, where I used to be represented.

Lynch: I love their relationship, too. They were like brothers and you were constantly beating each other up, and I mean real hard, open-hand slaps.

Hansen: Like really hurt me every day. Really, really.

Lynch: Yeah, and he’d be punching your shoulder.

Starr: Yup.

Did you guys find that rhythm naturally? When you met, you immediately were hitting each other?
Hansen: Martin found that very naturally.

Starr: Some people just deserve it. I feel like we all just hit the chemistry stride almost immediately, and it became obvious that we were all going to get along based on how we all kind of pitched and created moments for each other. There was a very unselfish, comedic tendency throughout.

Lynch: And we did shoot it in a bubble. We didn’t get any notes from the network, and nobody knew it was happening, and we would be showing up at all these weird locations every day. It was truly a blessed time. It was truly the most fun I’ve ever had doing a job. And we all started smoking together. We would all smoke, and we loved coming to work, and you know, it was just a really great time.

Scott: It was great … By the time we’d finished the first season, nothing had aired, so like you said, it was in a bubble.  We didn’t know how many people were going to end up seeing this. So we were kind of just making it for ourselves.

Caplan: It turns out we really were making it just for ourselves.

Scott: Yeah, it really did, for a number of years.

Thomas: I saw a viewership for us once when we were on the air that showed 65,000 viewers — which, I’d never seen a number that low on network television. Although we were cruising right along until Starz did Spartacus. Spartacus killed us as much as anything when they thought Oh, we have a new model. They’ll give us breasts every week. And blood.

Marino: They won’t be sad breasts.

Thomas: They were not.

As we mentioned, Lizzy was added after. And I believe Adam, you helped recruit her?.
Scott: Yeah. It was a long casting process, and then at a certain point, we brought up Lizzy as a sort of a … I think we weren’t going to be able to get Lizzy but we … No, seriously. Like, we didn’t think that would be possible, but we shared an agent so I thought we could just give it a shot. Is that what happened?

Thomas: You know, being in network and studio pitch and casting sessions, there are very few actors that have more of a reputation of saying no to things than Lizzy.

Caplan: That is very true. I’m very proud of that.

Thomas: And so yeah, it did feel like a long shot.

Caplan: Yeah, but I don’t … I remember hearing about it. I think I got cast like very [late], like it was maybe the weekend before we started.

Scott: Yeah, it was on a Friday and we started shooting Monday.

Caplan: Yeah, and you called me for your big pitch.

Scott: Because our agent in common was like, “You’re going to have to talk to her and sell her on this, ’cause you know …”

Caplan: Just imagine.

Scott: Just like …

Caplan: This guy.

Scott: Well, I had to try and play it cool. And I think I …

Marino: “Hey, Adam Scott here. How ya doin Lizzy? Uh …”

Caplan: Yeah.

Scott: I thought it went great. But it kind of didn’t.

Caplan: It was … There were many pauses. Long pauses. I mean, I think I [thought] it was like a holiday job, you know? It was around the end of the year. It was ten episodes, ten weeks, and Jane, for me, it was, Jane Lynch was in it — sorry everybody — which was enough for me because they certainly didn’t pay us anything. I mean nothing.

Mullally: I’m sorry I didn’t invite her to my birthday party, because then you could have seen her there, too. Now I really feel bad.

Lynch: Next one, right, hon?

Mullally: Next one, yeah.

Scott: No, I think it really was like we weren’t getting paid anything so it was just essentially It might be fun, right?

Caplan: I think I was getting paid the least too, by the way, because all the money was gobbled up by you guys. So I really … I remember how much I got paid.

Lynch: Well that’s how much we got paid too, honey. It was favored nations, I think.

Caplan: No, was it?

Lynch: I think we all got the same.

Scott: We all got nothing.

Marino: We all got paid shit.

Lynch: Almost, almost nothing.

Caplan: On the count of three, say how much you got paid per episode.

Marino: I don’t remember, I just know it was low.

Caplan: You’d remember.

Scott: How much did you get paid?

Caplan: [whispers in Scott’s ear]

Scott: Oh yeah, I got more than that.

Caplan: [whispers in Mullaly’s ear]

Mullaly: [nods]

Caplan: [off-mic] Really??

Scott: That’s crazy.

Hansen: Jane took all the money.

Lynch: I took all the money. We just figured it out.

Caplan: It’s nuts. It’s nuts. It’s nuts.

Scott: Wow, I can’t believe you did it.

Caplan: I know. But again, there it was, like there was nothing else to do, it’s like you can do this thing for ten [episodes], and I liked enough of the elements but I … you know.

Scott: And the phone call. The phone call did it.

Caplan: Of course the phone call really pushed it over the finish line.

Mullally: And then it was really unusual to do only ten episodes.

Caplan: I think I saw the backyard pilot and there was just enough … It was just a cooler time for comedy. You could make interesting stuff, and little did I know when I signed on, I thought it would just be like Yeah, I’ve known Martin forever, this sounds kind of fun. But like was already said, it didn’t prepare me for what it actually …

Mullally: You’ve known Martin since like second or third grade, right?

Caplan: Yeah, since we were seven, me and Martin had known each other.

Starr: Not to brag.

Caplan: That’s right. But it ended up being like … I had no idea it would end up being, like, just how special it was.

Starr: Our relationship?

Caplan: Yes. I knew when I first saw Martin, age seven, he was already an actor. He appeared in the movie Hero with Dustin Hoffman. He played a boy in a full body cast. I said “As God as my witness, I will work with that boy.” And here we are today. The end.

And last but not least, Lydia Dunfree.
Thomas: Well, you know, when we lost Jane — and sometimes I’ve seen this written up — Jane had already done the Glee pilot before, before she did Party Down. Glee was in a holding pattern. We knew we could lose her at any time, and we ended up losing her after eight episodes the first time around, and Jennifer Coolidge came in and was wonderful for us. Because all of our scripts were written in advance, we really just kind of just had Jennifer Coolidge do Jane’s part. So when we started the next season, we felt like we should create a new character, and we were talking about How are we going to do this? and the idea of the stage mom came up. We had heard that Megan had wanted to do the show [and] that she was a fan of the show, and she would love to guest star in an episode, so we reached out to —

Mullally: I think Adam and I had the same manager, and that’s how you knew that.

Caplan: Did you get a phone call?

Mullally: Yeah.

Marino: “Hey Megan, it’s Adam Scott.”

Scott: I do remember when I heard that Megan was a fan of the show, I immediately emailed everybody that: Megan Mullally — this is a famous person that had seen the show! It was huge news that she was a fan of the show. It may have been the first person that we knew had ever watched the show.

Thomas: So we were like “How about ten guest-star appearances?” Yeah. That was very fortunate for us.

Mullally: Yeah, I was so excited when I heard. I think I got $9,000 an episode. Pretty sure. It might have been $7,000. Get more than that on Will & Grace.

Scott: Is that within the ballpark of what you get on Will & Grace?

Mullally: It’s very close, yeah. Yeah. I get $10,000 for Will & Grace a minute. I remember it so well because it was September of 2009, and I went into the first day, and it was so fun. We had a little dinner before, and I thought everybody was really nice, but it is weird coming in after they had already done a season with Jane and everything.

Scott: In Glendale.

Mullally: Yeah, in Glendale, yeah. Yeah. Why was it in Glendale? Does anybody know? Yeah, so I went the first day and it was really fun. I was driving to work the next day and I got blindsided at an intersection by a woman, some woman, and I broke my wrist and I had to go to the hospital, and I called and it was a thing, and they were like, “Just don’t come in. You don’t have to come in today. We’ll work around it.” And then I went in the next day and they’re like, “You’re back!” And I was like “Yeah, I mean I have a cast, but I’m back,” and they were like, “We thought you were trying to quit. There was a story — you were in a car accident and you couldn’t show anymore.” That’s so sad, you guys. It’s really sad that everybody was convinced that I was trying to find a way out.

Etheridge: But it’s great — you can watch that episode now and watch two-thirds of it, Megan finds the most amazing way to never show that cast during the [episode].

Mullally: Yeah. Like my arm is behind a door or …

Caplan: Isn’t your daughter, wasn’t your daughter Kaitlyn Dever, who’s now …

Enbom: Escapade.

Caplan: Escapade, yeah. She’s amazing.

Etheridge: Booksmart.

Caplan: Booksmart, and lots of other stuff. But yeah.

Scott: Her name was Escapade?

Etheridge: Another great John name right there.

Scott: Escalade.
Caplan: Escalade.
Etheridge: No, Escapade.

Caplan: Escapade? She’s in Booksmart. She’s fucking amazing.

Scott: And Unbelievable is the show, right, is the other?

Jane Lynch’s Favorite Episode: “Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar”

So as I mentioned, I had you all pick your favorite episodes, and we’re going to go through and see what you guys remember. So first up is season one, episode three, “Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar,” and this was Jane’s choice. Why did you pick this?
Lynch: Oooh, I’ve been waiting for it to go. Well, getting high with Adam in the bathroom was so much fun. We were at that, what is it, the Salvation Army thing? What is that? It’s on Highland?

Marino: The Lodge?

Lynch: The VFW.

Marino: The American Legion.

Lynch: Right, exactly. And so we were putting drops in our eyes to make our eyes red, and then my favorite moment is when Ken comes in as Ron Donald and he talks about the dangers of pot smoking, and he shows us the picture and says, “Look what it did to my friend.” And we’re looking at it and Adam says, “I don’t know what I’m lookin at here.” He said, “He lost his foot. He smoked pot and now he’s footless.” That made me laugh so hard. He was so earnest and sincere about it.

Enbom: Yeah. I took it in the kitchen and blurred the foot off.

Lynch: Oh my God, and I love John Enbom, the greatest writer in the world, honest to God, you guys. This guy. People say, “Did you improvise on that show?” I’d say, “Why would I improvise? I had John Enbom writing lines for me!” One of the things that I got to say — and oh God, I hope I remember this correctly — is, although Constance was older than the rest of them, she hated old people. She was scared to death and they were all old people. She hated being in there, and she was talking about old man’s balls. She said, “It was like two eggs in a sock. And they don’t really cum anymore, it’s just little puffs of air. Puffs of dust.” Oh, John Enbom, ladies and gentlemen. Author.

Marino: To that point, I think that’s why when you asked that question before about, like, how did it come out of the gate like so good, there wasn’t a — and I might be wrong — there wasn’t like a team of people writing it. You were writing it, you were writing it, and that was it basically. Like you wrote some stuff and then John was there every day, working off his computer, writing the next episode. I think that there was a fully realized vision of what the show was, and there weren’t a lot of people coming in, telling them what to do. It was, like, through his brain and then out, and we immediately got it and then did it.

Etheridge: I think this scene is the scene I, that we, felt, where John had immediately, really found the show. It was so exciting to shoot this scene because it went on for eight minutes. It took an incredibly long scene, violated all the rules, and I think that was the moment when John wrote it, we read it, and then when you all performed it so exquisitely, like that was the show. That scene right there was the show.

Scott: And I think, if I remember correctly, this is the second episode we shot because the Republican Convention one is the second episode aired, but the third one we shot. So right away, I remember, the first one was fun and great and everything, but we were getting our bearings. This one, while we were shooting it, we all looked at each other and were like, Oh, this is great. This is so fun.

Caplan: I remember this scene. I think the rest of us were, like, nearby or behind the monitor. I remember it was this scene — it was like Oh shit, this is actually really special.

Mullally: Wow. It better be good, guys.

Caplan: It was such a powerful moment for us as a team.

Marino: When you get a chance, go back and watch the season.

Lynch: You know what else I loved about doing this is that we had two directors. So we had one director in prep and one, one guy directing you, Fred Savage and Bryan Gordon. So these guys were part of the team as well, and you basically have one guy writing it, two people directing it, and there’s something about that, just kind of paring it down to a couple of voices, you know? Several voices singing in harmony. Isn’t that beautiful, what I just said?

Scott: Yes it is.

Ken Marino’s Favorite Episode: “Sin Say Shun Awards After Party”

The next is Ken’s pick. Does that work? “Sin Say Shun Awards After Party.”
Marino: [looking at the screen, with still of Stormy Daniels] I think I picked this, not this scene. I was picking the Martin scene.

I picked this picture just in case you didn’t already tell the story.
Marino: You wanted to see Stormy Daniels. Yeah, I get it. So one of my favorite scenes in the entire series is Martin and Beth Dover, Martin about to get laid but he is too proud when, what is it, hard sci-fi, and what is it?

Caplan: Fantasy.

Enbom: Something about dragons.

Starr: Fantasy is bullshit.

Marino: It’s like the difference between fantasy hard sci-fi, and like they’re vibing and then she says something that’s more hard sci-fi than fantasy and he can’t …

Starr: Opposite.

Marino: Or the opposite.

Starr: Get it right.

Marino: It’s this incredible thing where Martin just, he hears it and I think he has a shot and he’s like [makes face] and he takes a drink, and he can’t help himself and corrects her, and then he blows the whole thing. It is just the most beautiful scene, and it’s so sad, and it’s performed so well. I love that scene. It’s so beautifully written. I just love it.

Do you remember shooting that scene? What was it like?
Starr: Beth is an incredibly talented and funny actress, so it was fun to get to play with her.

Caplan: Woah!

Starr: To get to play with her. I don’t get it. So anyway …

Caplan: That’s your friend’s wife.

Starr: What? We played around a lot together. What’s the big deal?

Scott: Hey, hey, hey.

Caplan: Woah, woah, woah.

Scott: Woah, woah.

Starr: I’m saying we played a lot together.

Marino: Woah woah woah woah woah!

Scott: Woah!

Hansen: I think Joe’s … here?

Mullally: You’re saying you’re playing with each other a lot.

Starr: We played together.

Mullally: With each other.

Starr: With each other, we played.

Marino: [points to clock] Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

Starr: 28 minutes left. How long can this bit go? It was fun. I mean, every day, this was maybe the only job where every time we were wrapped, we stuck around. This was a fun place just to be, and that speaks volumes to the work and how much fun it was to work here, that you wanted to come and stick around after, when, you know, especially Jane, had a lot of other shit to do.

Lynch: Yeah, I was a busy woman and wanted all over the place, but I also am one of those people, I’m in bed at nine o’clock when I’m not working, so if I’m working ’til ten or eleven, I’m in like deep REM by [the] time we’re done. And I would, I would go out. I would go out with these clowns. We had so much fun.

Where did the idea of Ron having a big dick come from?
Enbom: I don’t remember. Where did that come from?

Lynch: It just makes sense.

Scott: Just a giant hog.

Enbom: Just so you know, that’s the medium one that they brought, of the props.

Caplan: That’s crazy.

Thomas: One memorable story about that episode was that our props master got pulled over delivering the props to set.

Enbom: I think she was in an accident.

Thomas: An accident, yes.

Enbom: In which an ambulance arrived and the whole deal.

Thomas: And she has all the trophies of, like, the dildo trophies that are being handed out at the awards. And in her open trunk while getting arrested. Or not getting arrested — she was then arrested. It was a tragic story.

Starr: Was she impaled by the trophies? How did the … Give us a play-by-play of the accident?

Caplan: Stop saying “play” Martin, you did it again.

Starr: I like to play with people, jeez.

Marino: Hey, hey.

Scott: Hey.

Adam Scott’s Favorite Episode: “Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen”

Season one, episode six, “Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen.” Adam, this was your choice.
Marino: Look at your hair.

Scott: Wow. Out of control.

Mullally: It’s all I can think about.

Starr: You look like a hedgehog.

Marino: He does look like a hedgehog. Look at that.

Scott: It looks like a hat. Also, I think either this or the Guttenberg birthday were my favorites, but this was again early on when it all was really congealing. Gross, sorry. It was coming together.

Starr: No one jumps on him for that, but I say “play.” Fuck off.

Hansen: Adam, don’t say “congeal,” okay?

Scott: Our play was starting to congeal. And it’s a really sweet [episode]. I loved the end of this [and] how we, the popular — I haven’t seen it in a long time — but the popular kids, and we’re over with the outcasts at the end. It just felt right. We all really felt that way. And then we were on the Queen Mary shooting it the whole time. It was so fun. It was like right in the middle of the season, all in this, like, buzz of loving what we were doing, and I couldn’t wait to get to the set. I remember shooting on the Queen Mary. It was in Long Beach so it’s an hour drive, [and I] had to get up extra early. I would get there like 40 minutes early every morning because I was so excited to see everyone and work on the show. So this was particularly fun for whatever reason.

Marino: This was a fun one too for your character because there was a little hope. Like there were like two or three or four after that, because prior to that where you were just sort of I’m fucking stuck in this thing, and then there was an opportunity for you to get a gig. I think that that was also fun to watch your character go through that.

Scott: That’s right. J.K. [Simmons] was this big producer, and he gets me to debase myself and say “Are you having fun yet?” a bunch of times, and it was particularly humiliating. That’s right.

Caplan: Wasn’t Kevin Hart in that episode too?

Scott: He was.

Caplan: Jesus.

Marino: Yeah, I got high with Kevin Hart. I mean, I didn’t get high with, but we acted like we were getting high.

Scott: Again, Dolby Theater, if uh …

Etheridge: And you got Breckin [Meyer] to do this role —

Scott: Breckin Meyer.

Etheridge: And I believe he said, “I just want to do Matthew McConaughey.”

Scott: He did a Matthew McConaughey impression for the role. That’s right.

Thomas: One of the moments we retell about this episode all the time is that originally, the script said that Ken, that Ron Donald, wanted to open his own Souplantation, and we …

Scott: [points to the crowd] We’ve got a “Soup ’R Crackers” T-shirt in the front row.

Thomas: So John had written a whole string of jokes with Kevin Hart.

Enbom: We wrote multiple episodes with Souplantation jokes.

Thomas: And so this day Kevin Hart was going to come in and do all these jokes about why he wouldn’t set foot into a Souplantation, and somebody at Starz decided that we could get some of that sweet product-placement cash, and so approached Souplantation about paying to have their name in an episode and they said “Fuck no. In fact, don’t use our name in an episode.” And so John, on the eve of shooting this scene, had to turn Souplantation … had to make those jokes all work and came up with Soup ’R Crackers, which …

Scott: It’s so great.

Thomas: That was a profound moment.

Scott: It’s such a profoundly stupid idea for a restaurant. It’s perfect for Ron.

Rob Thomas and John Enbom’s Favorite Episode: “Celebrate Ricky Sargulesh”

Season one, episode eight, “Celebrate Ricky Sargulesh.” John and Rob, you picked that one.
Thomas: You want to talk about it?

Enbom: Well, I mean, for me there were two specific things about this. The first was it felt like the most emblematic of everything that made the show work — when we felt like it was kind of clicking on all cylinders, just in the sense that you know, the script is fine but everyone was elevating it so much in their performances. Steven Weber, I guess, was the neighbor of the director and he was just like, “Yeah, I’ll pop over and see if he’s busy.” And so he just found out that he was free to come do it, and none of us had ever met him or anything, and so he just kind of showed up. I tried to say hello to him, but apparently he glued his eyes shut and couldn’t move his face, and so I was worried that he hated being there already. So I was very nervous and everything, and then he just went berserk. And so it just had this quality of all the things kind of like, this is, ya know, what makes it great is all the pieces come together, and everything just kind of is this barely controlled chaos. Everyone was really going for it in this particular episode. The other thing was, the bit with this gangster demanding that Henry give his pitch line over and over and over again was, I think, one of the first bits that we kind of started tossing around, like way back when, and it found its way into this particular episode, which ended up working vastly better than we ever thought it would. So I can’t help but always be fond of this one.

Thomas: Yeah, that moment when Henry is having to do “Are we having fun yet?” over and over and Casey, he’s in a fight with Casey, and yet she comes over in the middle of it and he has to put his arm around her and pretend that she’s his fiancé. That moment when I first saw the cut of it made me laugh like nothing else. That was like the high point when I saw that.

Starr: And Constance Carmell had done a movie called Dingleberry.

Lynch: Dingleberry.

Starr: That all the mob guys were a big fan of.

Lynch:Listen, I recognize you from getting out of the stream and wrapping yourself in silks.” And I said, you saw Dingleberry?

Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, and Dan Etheridge’s Favorite Episode: “James Rolf High School Twentieth Reunion”

Season one, episode nine, “James Rolf High School Twentieth Reunion,” which Lizzie, Ken, and Dan mentioned. Love the throwing up.
Caplan: I mean that’s the, that was the thing. Like Ken, on the ground, throwing up, yelling “Call an ambulance!” and just being there with the hose that was spraying the vomit. There was so much vomit, and I laughed so hard when I watched. I mean I think that’s the, I mean, I think everybody’s collective favorite is maybe the Guttenberg episode, but this shit, it was like Oh that’s … You’re a genius. You’re a genius. That’s genius. The end.

Etheridge: And I think this was the height of darkness. Starz wasn’t always thrilled that, most of the time, none of the characters ever won. But they were behind that and they knew that’s what we wanted to do. But man, this episode is about as dark and bleak as it can possibly get. We thought we’d gone too far when we had done it.

Caplan: But also, going back to his reunion thinking that they’re all going to be so impressed because he’s like the captain of the catering team …

Scott: It’s catering the reunion.

Caplan: I feel like those moments are really effective, but you see them in coming of age [movies] — like during the moment that’s like in high school, you would maybe see that in a movie, but not now. I just hate it so, like ten times more pathetic and wonderful.

Enbom: I just love remembering how injured you were the next day from all your vomiting. You were that committed.

Marino: There was a lot of convulsing, yes. It hurt the next day.

Scott: I think you would think in a comedy, something where Ron is at his own high-school reunion, things aren’t going well, like you were saying Dan, by the end of that episode, everything would be fine. He would reconnect with someone. He would somehow find a way to feel better. But what Lizzy was talking about — him saying, “Call an ambulance!” while he was vomiting — that’s how the episode ends.

Etheridge: Molly Parker’s devastated in tears.
Marino: She’s crying. Yes. Weeping.

Caplan: Oh, I remember her thing. God, what an episode.

Scott: Molly Parker was great.

Caplan: Every single person that’s come up on this screen, [it’s] like Oh right, they’re amazing.

Thomas: We got into a disagreement with Fred Savage, who directed both this and the porn awards, and the disagreement was in the porn awards we showed like 15 frames of Ron’s dick and Fred wanted like 8 frames of Ron’s dick.

Enbom: I don’t think he wanted any.

Thomas: “We’ve completely oversold it, we’ve completely oversold it! You can’t see that much!” But when we did this I’m like, “But Fred, you gave us two hefty bags full of vomit on the ground.” We’re not a show that traffics in underselling it.

Caplan: I just remembered something that doesn’t apply to this but I just have to share it: When he gets that big dick out and you’re so startled, you back into the dumpster. Do you remember that? Oh, it was amazing.

“Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday”

So it is the episode that we’ve mentioned a few times but it’s time to get there. [Still from “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday” appears on monitor.] Though I do feel like if we’re going to talk about this, we should have someone else here. Steve?
[Steve Guttenberg walks out.]
Hansen: We already said hi to Steve, so that’s why he didn’t hug us. Backstage we said hi.

Steve Guttenberg: Well I was sitting back there. I didn’t want to come out because this was so great to listen to, and they said, “You’re on.” I said, “No, no, no. not yet, not yet. Keep going.”

How did this happen? How did you guys get Steve on the show?
Enbom: Oh boy … He had seen a billboard and had emailed Rob like five minutes ago, and Rob just wrote back like “Hey, we have an idea.”

Thomas: Yeah, we, the most fun we have, I mean, I don’t mean the show in total but those of us who help write it. I mean, John writes the bulk of it, but we get together at the beginning of the year and come up with what are our ten parties and we start throwing ideas up on a board and literally, we had just come up with this idea of a surprise Steve Guttenberg birthday party.

Enbom: Well, without Steve Guttenberg.

Thomas: No, no, no, no.

Enbom: We were just looking for parties that didn’t have extras because they were our biggest expense.

Thomas: Well, that’s true. But we had Steve Guttenberg. I mean, Steve Guttenberg was already the idea and I hadn’t heard, I mean, Steve had done a ton of season-two Veronica Mars, so we knew Steve. We thought, Who could we go to who would be great? and we had Steve, and then five minutes later, Steve emails me a photo from Times Square of a big Party Down billboard and said, “Hey man, congratulations.” I wrote back, “Hey. Just put you in an episode so I hope you’re available.”

Guttenberg: I was walking through Times Square, so I saw the billboard and you know, I wanted to send Rob a note. And later on you said, “Hey, we’ve got this episode with you.” And I did Veronica Mars. So I thought Oh no, not another pedophile. Oh my God, I’m going to get typecast. This is just terrible. I knew that it was going to be great and I was really psyched to shoot the show, and you know, I’m a fan of everybody, so I was just thrilled to be there and shoot it with everybody here. It was really a lot of fun. Everybody here are nice people and, well, almost everybody is a really nice person. When you mix nice people, talent, [a] great script, [a] place to shoot it, something good’s going to happen.

Thomas: You sound like Steve Guttenberg in the show.

Guttenberg: I was just thinking about that scene with Ken when you’re in the aquarium where the ice is and you’re kind of like “No, no, no, that’s really expensive.” You know? There was just some really funny stuff in there, and people come up to me all the time and say, “Your Party Down was so funny, so funny.” And I’ve seen the whole show and every episode is really funny to me, so I still go, “Really? It was really that funny?” And they go, “Yeah, it was amazing.” I go, “Okay, great.”

What do you guys remember from shooting it?
Marino: For me, when I heard that Steve Guttenberg was doing the episode, I was very excited because — and I think I told you that week — growing up, Diner was a movie that I watched I can’t tell you how many times. Steve in Diner, his performance in Diner is so beautiful and there’s such an ease to it, and for me, it’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be an actor. I talked to you about a moment, a very small moment, in that movie where you get up and Tim Daly wakes you up and you go and brush your teeth but you don’t put any toothpaste on it. You just brush real quick and you throw the thing down. And I always think about that moment as an actor, because I think it’s such a specific thing, and just a guy that doesn’t give a shit about putting toothpaste on, and he just throws the thing. That moment and your performance in that movie, and that movie as a whole, is one of the main reasons that I wanted to act so badly. When I saw you on set, it was a huge moment for me.

Guttenberg: Yeah, no, we talked about that. It was terrific. And then you and I got to have lunch in New York.

Marino: That’s right. Which was delightful.

Guttenberg: It was really good.

Marino: Which was like “Check it off the bucket list.”

Guttenberg: Yeah.

Scott: What did you guys eat?

Marino: Food.

Scott: Food?

Marino: Yeah, mostly food.

Scott: Woah.

Lynch: That’s awesome.

This is the episode where you have the people do what they ostesibly have said that they are. You have your actors acting, the writers writing. How did you approach that scene where it’s basically like “Adam, be good at acting.”
Scott: Fake acting.

Yes, “Be good and everyone else I guess be okay at acting.”
Scott: I remember reading the script and I remember all of us reading this one as the season-two ones were coming in. I mean, they’re all great, [but] this one was just a perfect piece of writing, right? Weren’t we all just like, Holy shit. Guttenberg! This is perfect. And part of it was going into the reading of the — it was a screenplay, Roman’s screenplay. That’s what it was. Yeah, that and how all of our roles in the screenplay within the show kind of reflected how we were feeling. It was all perfect.

Guttenberg: And when you guys were, “I can act you out of this room.” The words were, what was the line? Something, “I can act better than you feel; I have more feelings than you.” You were upping each other.

Thomas: It’s “One feeling tied behind my back.”

Guttenberg: Yeah, “One feeling tied behind my back.” That was a great line. Just a great line.

Caplan: Also because we didn’t have extras, it really was the first time that we got to be just us together at, like, the perfect time when we wanted to just spend all of our minutes together.

Starr: Chris Mintz-Plasse was in this episode too, right?

Scott: Yup.

Starr: I don’t want to embarrass you here, but you walked up to Chris Mintz-Plasse and I, Steve, and you said, “So how’s the show going? Are you guys getting a lot of ladies?” And I just remember thinking, Oh he has no idea that only he and Megan Mullally have ever seen our show.

Guttenberg: And by the way, Martin has been over to my apartment for spaghetti and meatballs.

Caplan: What?!

Scott: What?

Caplan: You got a Gutt’ invitation?

Guttenberg: Spaghetti and meatballs which my girlfriend at the time made great — oh no, did I make the spaghetti? I made the spaghetti and meatballs.

Starr: It was homemade. It was made by the fucking Gutt’.

Guteenberg: I’m sorry, Ken. Next time you’ll come to the apartment.

Marino: What’d you guys eat?

Starr: Oh God. Here we go.

Marino: Sorry.

Megan Mullally’s Favorite Episode: “Joel Munt’s Big Deal Party”

Since we’re running out of time, I’m going to skip the next one. Everyone cheer. I want to make sure we can get to this one [still from “Joel Munt’s Big Deal Party” appears on screen]. That one’s a big deal, which was, Megan, your pick.
Mullally: Yeah, the thing I remember most about it was that I was deathly ill with the flu. I had a 103 degree fever when we shot, and I had to talk really fast, and I had all these lines and it wasn’t fun. But it was fun. But I was out, you know? When you feel like you’re not even there? Like you’re just on another … That’s how I felt the whole time we were shooting that week. I’m surprised that I didn’t infect all of you.

Marino: A coked-up Megan Mullally is a good Megan Mullally to watch.

Mullally: It really is.

Caplan: That’s the only one I know.

Mullally: Yeah. I’m coked-up right now.

Scott: Is there another one?

Mullally: I tried to dress like a cater waiter today but that was my closest approximation. Yeah, but what else about that episode? A lot of extras, yeah.

Scott: Which one was it?

Marino: Paul Scheer was in it. It was, your writing partner is successful. I don’t remember the name of the episode. I think it’s — your writing partner is successful.

Starr: Someone did coke off of our Starz need for boobs, so someone did coke off some boobs in that episode I believe.

Mullally: Wasn’t that every episode?

The Series Finale

So I want to talk a little bit about the finale, which I believe was shot not knowing for sure it was going to be the last episode, though there may have been some inkling. And so, specifically the final shot, in which Henry is going to audition. Now that it is the final shot of the show, how do we all feel about how the show ended?
Thomas: Sad.

Starr: Yeah, I hope it hasn’t for good here.

Scott: Yeah. I mean, the reason I haven’t seen the show in years is because I know it will make me sad to watch it. It’s been so long since I’ve seen it, but the final episode Ken directed and it was so deeply fun. Jane came back because it was her wedding. I remember there was a scene where Jane, you’re riding off saying goodbye to all of us, and I had a line like … I don’t remember what the line was, but I had a hard time saying it because I was starting to cry because I felt like the show was gonna end. It was something about “she’ll have a good life” or “it’s hard” — some profound thing. Do you remember what the line was? It was tough to say and Ken was directing, doing an incredible [job]. Literally watching Ken direct and his storyline in that episode was particularly arduous, and it was inspiring watching this guy run around back and forth. It was so, so fun and an apt ending. I think we all kind of had a feeling in our gut that this was gonna be it.

Caplan: Because then you took that other show.

Hansen: Thanks, Adam.

Starr: Yeah that’s … that’s when we really knew. That was a tip-off for sure.

Scott: Well …

Marino: That’s not how it went down.

Thomas: That is not how it went.

Caplan: Did you cry at the end of that show too, Adam?

Mullally: I want to do it again. Can we do this show again?

Lynch: Yes, please.

A Party Down Movie?

So let’s talk about the movie. I feel like you guys would, in every interview until about 2013, you guys would be like “Oh, we’re definitely doing a movie.” They’ve already written the movie. It is now 2019. Have you talked about it in any more recent years? Do we feel like it’s a realistic possibility? Would you want to do a movie? Where do you guys all stand on doing something again?
Scott: I don’t know about a movie, but …

Mullally: I’d do anything with this group. I mean, this is really the nicest, funniest, best group of people that I ever worked with. It really is a great group.

Hansen: I would do, like, a cool web series or something.

Starr: I think you already did.

Lynch: Five-minutes kind of thing. Five-minute episodes.

Enbom: A Quibi?

Scott: John, Rob, Dan: What do you guys think?

Etherirdge: I don’t think a movie’s in the cards, but I think maybe in the next year or two we’ll kind of explore another way to get the gang back together.

Starr: Are you just saying that for an applause? ’Cause that was fucking cheap.

Etheridge: Yes.

You guys have all been really busy since — you’ve had all really great careers. Where does Party Down sit in terms of the things that you’ve done?
Marino: Number one.

Lynch: Number one. Absolutely.

Scott: Number one.

Caplan: Number three.

Lynch: Fuck you, Lizzy Caplan.

Caplan: No, number one. Number one. For real.

Mullally: Yeah, number one. It was the most fun. It was the most fun.

Guttenberg: Number seven

Thomas: The things I remember here is that while these guys were all having all of this fun, Dan and I had a show on ABC at the same time and we were having the worst times of our lives. And we would occasionally get done with our grueling, awful day and wander over and spend a few minutes on the set of Party Down going Oh, this looks like fun. So I’m very proud of the show and certainly had a hand in it, but it is largely John [who] was the showrunner-writer.

Enbom: I got to have fun. I had more fun than you did.

Thomas: I made more money.

Enbom: Yes.

Thomas: Are you kidding? What a dick thing to say. Just wanted the punchline.

Caplan: But you did. You did make more money.

Thomas: I did.

Starr: You speak the truth.

Enbom: That’s why I’m sad.

Scott: You know what episode that I always forget about but was extraordinary, just before we finish? I want to say the one that Wayne directed, the theater group?

Enbom: “Not On Your Wife.”

Scott: Goddamn, that was great.

Mullally: That was a fun one, yeah.

Scott: It was so fun.

Thomas: “Kyle, you thatch-headed wastrel.”

Starr: Was that magnificent?

Marino: Yes, that was magnificent.

Any other last memories before we wrap it up? Anybody?
Caplan: It wasn’t really Adam’s fault this show ended. I just want to make that clear.

Scott: Thanks, Lizzy.

Caplan: You’re welcome.

Mullally: Who wants my wig? Does anybody want it or is it too gross?

[Mullally stands up and walks toward the crowd.]

Starr: [points to an audience member] She got all dressed up. She’s not even raising her hand, so she doesn’t want it.

Mullally: Oh no. You’re wearing a Party Down outfit, but …

Scott: She deserves it.

Lynch: Give it to her.

Marino: Give it to the Party Down outfit.

Mullally: You raised your hand first and you’re a girl, so …

Scott: You guys, you can cut it in two.

Mullally: Wait, we should show how. Let me just see it for one second. Look how gross it is. It’s so shiny and weird.

Scott: You’re welcome.

Mullally: Yeah. I went to Hollywood Boulevard. I don’t think I was reimbursed. It’s okay, I’m on Will & Grace.

Sad Breasts and Giant Hogs: A Party Down Reunion