Coupe and Wayans get makeup touch-ups during a break in filming. “I think comedies are doing well — it’s just hard to quantify what that means,” says Pally, speaking to the genre’s recent struggles on broadcast networks. “We don’t take any episode for granted. It’s fun to come to Paramount and shoot a show that’s funny and written by awesome writers. That opportunity doesn’t come along often.”
Wilson sheds her coat while the slightly bizarre safety pins affixed to her sweater are readjusted. “I like Penny’s apartment because it’s heated,” she says, referring to her character’s set. “I also like Jane [Eliza Coupe] and Brad’s [Damon Wayans Jr.] apartment because it’s fancy.”
Diner scenes at the Happy Endings set generally require an exhausting four different angles to show all of the castmembers at the table. “I hate the diner,” says Wilson, laughing. “The diner is awful.”
Set costumer Anni Speckheuer adjusts Pally’s cardigan and hair after another take of aggressively devouring a waffle leaves him disheveled.
Workaholics co-creator Newacheck (in cap), returning for his second of three turns in the Happy Endings director’s chair, explains to castmembers (from left) Coupe, Pally, Cuthbert and Knighton how he wants the off-camera Wayans to really destroy his breakfast when his character delivers a line about his friend Max (Pally) failing to school him in authentic Jewish bagel-cutting.
Knighton and his co-stars crowd around a space heater between takes on the cramped diner set. He, more than most, knows the difficulties of filming in a small space. his character, Dave Rose, spends the better part of many episodes holed up in a food truck: Steak Me Home Tonight.
Elisha Cuthbert and Casey Wilson
“We have this core group of fans that have proven that they’re there,” says Cuthbert (left), who plays Alex, talking about Happy Endings’ status bouncing around the ABC schedule. “if we’re on, they’ll watch it.” Wilson chimes in: “A lot of the people who have followed the show have been doing it from the beginning. It’s just getting harder to measure.”
Damon Wayans Jr. and Adam Pally
Wayans and Pally entertain themselves by discussing Wilson’s confused announcement that she’s been invited to LL Cool J’s Grammys party. “I bet his invitations lick their lips,” says Wayans. “The envelope had a skullcap on,” Pally snaps back.
“I never had sisters, and Elisha [Cuthbert] and Casey [Wilson] are the closest thing I have to that,” says Coupe, who plays Jane. “At first, I got along with the guys much better because I know how to have brothers. But it’s been great for me to get closer with them.”
Script supervisor Tracy Scott looks on as Newacheck engages the cast in a series of alternative takes. Today they’re revisiting the running gag of Pally’s character’s weight, and at one point Wayans grabs his co-star’s chest and calls his pectorals “Lena Dunhams.”
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