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'NCIS': Brian Dietzen and Larry Miller tease Christmas episode

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Ncis Brian Dietzen Larry Miller
Sonja Flemming/CBS

Jimmy Palmer has troubled headed his way. And his name is Larry Miller.

As EW first told you, the comedian will guest in tonight’s episode as Palmer’s (Brian Dietzen) father-in-law-to-be, and when we caught up with the pair to chat about the episode in a joint interview, the pair previewed an episode that’s Meet the Parents… with more murder.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So what can you tell me about the episode?

BRIAN DIETZEN: Jimmy Palmer, as everybody knows, is now engaged, and he’s going to be having a wedding by the end of the year, and in this episode, his wife-to-be’s father — his future father-in-law — is stopping by to see where Jimmy works and kind of vet him a little more before they actually get to the aisle. We’re really fortunate to have Larry Miller come in. He’s been just a joy to work with and play with and adding a heck of a lot of humor to what could be a really dour character and making it live and breath. And the two of us have been having a hell of a good time this whole week.

What can you tell me about your character, Larry?

LARRY MILLER: Well, Ed is the sexual center of the show, which is why it’s his presence really. Now, I understand it’s not written that way, but that’s the way I’m playing it. [Laughs] It’s great. The folks get to know you as an actor and know what you can bring to [a role]. I’ve come on and put a funny spin on a guy who’s really annoying to people. I love annoying characters. If I had a business card it would say “annoying characters, a specialty.” To comment, yeah, as Brian said, he’s vetting, as it were, his son-in-law. This guy is like, “I’m not a big fan of institutions like this. I’m not impressed at all this guys a secret agent.” I get to tease them with those phrases actually. I get chastened in a good way, and we’ll see what happens. If there’s a wedding and I come back, we’ll see. It would be fun to play the same guy, drinking.

BD: It’s been great too, because throughout this whole episode, we don’t often get to see Jimmy Palmer with his close personal relationships on the show, it’s mostly about the cases for Jimmy. So getting to see this other side of his life, we get to see different sides to this character that we’ve never seen before. We see him go through some different emotions that are a first for him on this show, and to be able to do that with Larry was really a blast and a real treat.

So what brings Ed to meet Gibbs?

LM: Well, I was in the office. Jimmy’s brought me along. By the way, that’s one of the nice premises of this script — what Jimmy has had to endure. For hours before this show even starts, they’re together. Apparently I’ve said to him “Look, I’m going with you. I’m coming to where you work and I want to check this place out and why are you doing this? You should come to work with me instead, I’ll give you part of the business.” So that’s what brings this guy to the office.

BD: And Jimmy’s really trying to do right by his future wife and say, “No, I’m going to take him to my work. I’m going to show him how hard I work. I’m going to show him what a great team of people that I work with.” I mean, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love going to see the real life folks of NCIS, especially if they are as colorful of characters as these people are? And he’s not sold by Gibbs, he’s not sold by Abby, Ducky, any of these wonderful characters that we’ve all fallen in love with. He’s a hardened individual, and it’s really little else to say besides, “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

Brian, you mention that we get to see a different side of Jimmy. Explain.

BD: It’s one of the situations where this man who comes into our world is not showing any respect to the alpha male of all of primetime television and the United States, who is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And he’s not showing any respect to Abby Shuto, or Dr. Donald Mallard. He’s not showing respect to any of these people and he’s also not showing respect in turn, Jimmy sees it, to their profession, which is very very important to him. So Jimmy is forced to stand up a little bit and say “Look, this is something that’s important. I don’t care if you don’t respect me but you have to respect this.” And there’s a forcefulness that I think we haven’t seen out of him and its going to be really fun for people to check out and the underdog finally kind of stands up for himself and stands up for his friends. And say this is what is right. And it’s been very fun to shoot as well with Larry

Well, we hope to see you back when the wedding comes around, Larry.

BD: Oh, we sure hope that we get Larry back to give away the bride, that’s for sure.

When are y’all filming that?

BD: We know it’s not the 200th. We’re shooting the 200th [shortly], but I have been told there will be an episode towards the end of the season which will be basically Jimmy’s bachelor party, so we have a lot of bets going to who will throw him a bachelor party. And then the season finale I believe will be the wedding, and there’s also bets going on who will be the best man. We have no idea so it’s gonna come from the NCIS world though, I would think it makes more sense. So it’s interesting, our writers are teasing ideas here and there, although they won’t let us in on a lot of it, which is kind of fun, keeping us in the dark because then it will be fresh and new.

LM: By the way, what’s funny, every guest actor is always saying, “Maybe Ed comes back and he becomes a surgeon and he works with Dr. Mallard,” and other preposterous reasons to come back, but the truth is, it would be very funny to have the father-in-law go to the bachelor party. If one of your friends throws it and [to get] drunk with Gibbs.

BD: It would be fun to have an I Love You, Man [moment]. That would be awesome, and awful. Let’s do it.

Anything else you can share about NCIS‘s answer to Meet the Parents?

BD: I think the thing that viewers are going to look forward to the most is this is the NCIS Christmas episode and you can’t watch a Christmas episode without walking away feeling better and feeling nice, like a warm feeling inside that things happen and it’s a celebration. It’s not entirely just slap-sticky Jimmy’s getting nervous type of stuff. There’s a warmth that comes, too.

Read more:

‘NCIS’: Guess who’ll play Jimmy Palmer’s dad? — EXCLUSIVE

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