The Telefile

Matthew Perry Goes On About His New Comedy

by Samantha Rullo October 22, 2012 4:10 pm
Matthew Perry Goes On About His New Comedy

This season hasn't been the best for new comedies, but Go On stands out as one that is actually funny and enjoyable. Most of this is due to Matthew Perry, who's universally beloved by audiences because... well, he was Chandler. Now he's bringing all of that comedy to Ryan King, a widowed sports radio host forced to attend group therapy with some equally entertaining weirdos. In a recent media call he discussed what's ahead for Go On and reminisced a little about the classic Friends. Here are some of the highlights.

On choosing Go On
I was looking to do a drama and had met all the networks and studios about finding a drama and was sent this. And it's obviously a comedy and I could tell by the amount of pages that it was a comedy, and I called my manager and said 'Why did you send me this?' and he said 'Just read it.' I realized that it had all of the elements that I was looking for. It was definitely funny, it had a lot of funny characters in it. And also it posed a big dramatic challenge. Plus I had known Scott Silveri; he was on Friends for eight years and he'd written a really great script. So I was in.

On Ryan's job as a sportscaster
This answer is filled with stereotypes so I apologize in advance. But, I think because the show is so touchy-feely and it's dealing with emotions and people talking about their problems that Scott wanted to go unapologetically male with the sports part of it [because] he wanted guys to watch it too. And I think it lends itself to sort of a smart- alecky kind of guy on the radio who is not prepared to be talking his feelings and emotions all the time. So, I think it's just like the cliché answer: my character being in sports just gives something for everyone to enjoy on the show.

On the rest of the cast
Scott Silveri panicked about a month before we started the show and was like this is a show about a guy who lost his wife. We have to have as many funny people surrounding him as possible and sort of that panic led to the casting of Sarah Baker, who's hilarious and Brett Gelman, who's just really, really funny. Laura Benanti is hilarious and so it's sort of my job if I'm looking to do a TV show to try to surround myself with the funniest people possible and it was Scott's job to make that happen as well. So, John Cho playing my boss, Alison Miller playing my assistant. I mean, it's really great. Everywhere you look is just a funny, smart, talented, driven person, which makes the show even better.

On delving into the backgrounds of other characters
Perry: Throughout the life of the show we'll definitely find out all of these things. We have an episode where we deal pretty heavily with Owen and what he's going through coming up in a couple of weeks. So you know, the longer the show goes on, the more we can expand on those characters and find out exactly. I too am very curious as to what Mr. K.'s deal is and what he's doing in there. So I think it just promises to be even deeper and more fun, the more we get to explore these other characters and why they're there.

On his favorite characters that he's played
Perry: Oh I mean, I loved playing Chandler. I grew up sort of playing that part. I would say probably in all honesty it's Chandler and this character that I'm playing now, Ryan King. It's a very sort of deep, enriching character to play because he's going through so much and he's also being very funny about it.

On his own audience appeal and similarities between Chandler and Ryan King
Perry: Oh, I don't know. I think it's sort of a wearing his heart on his sleeve kind of people that I've played a lot and I think people can sort of relate to that journey. Maybe not that openness about it but that journey. I like to play people that say things that normally people don't say, that they're sort of feeling or thinking, but that they wouldn't say. And I think that both Chandler and Ryan King have that aspect. When I read Go On it was almost like this is Chandler like 10 years later if something really bad had happened to him. And, you know, hopefully both characters look the same, except one looks a little bit older.

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