The Happy Endings cast and showrunners reunited Sunday at the Vulture Festival for the first time since the show went off the air, and it was, as Penny would say, amahzing.
The ABC sitcom — starring Damon Wayans Jr., Eliza Coupe, Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert, Casey Wilson, and Adam Pally as a group of friends living in Chicago — ended after three seasons in 2013, and fans have been itching for a reboot of the fast-paced, lovably wacky show ever since. Although there aren’t any concrete plans for one yet, the Happy Endings crew said they’re all open to continuing the show in some form or another. Until that happens, read on for what we learned from their 90-minute panel.
They really do like each other as much as it seems
Pally said the show’s pilot is his favorite episode because “there was something special that happened right away.” “Like, it just felt awesome,” he said. “It was my first real job, so I was like, you just meet new best friends. That’s not always the case.” Coupe and Wayans, who played married couple Brad and Jane, had a particular spark: Wilson remembers those two dominating the blooper reel at their wrap party. “Literally 99.9 percent of the outtakes were Damon and Eliza just doing their weird language,” she said. Coupe’s explanation for their chemistry? “We had a lot of sex in our trailer together,” she deadpanned.
An Aaron Sorkin movie inspired their rapid-fire dialogue
“I remember [executive producer Joe Russo] being like, ‘I want you all to watch The Social Network this weekend, and I want you to talk 10 times faster,'” Pally said. “We all came to work on Monday ripping through lines…. I think even by episode 2, we had pulled out even shots of Chicago because we wanted to squeeze more jokes in…. I think that became one of the things we could hang our hats on was that we tried to have the most jokes per minute.” The more jokes the better, but not for some people: Caspe and co-showrunner Jonathan Groff noted that certain family members struggled to keep up with the show because of it. “My mom, literally, her friends watched it with the subtitles on,” Caspe said.
Some of the show’s catchiest lines came from the actors themselves
For example, ‘amahzing’ was all Wilson. “The word ‘amahzing’ was written as ‘amazing,'” Caspe, who married Wilson in 2014, said. “Everybody did stuff like that.” Later, Knighton praised the “symbiotic” relationship between them and the writers. “Everybody just wanted to be funny,” he said. “We would look to the writers way more than the directors that would come in. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’re the guy that’s gonna f— me tonight and leave me tomorrow…. Everybody’s comedy ego was always put aside. The best joke would win.”
Eliza Coupe almost didn’t do the show because of a mix-up
Coupe got two scripts for shows about friends, and misidentified the worse one as Happy Endings. “It was s—,” she said. “When they called me for it, I was like, I don’t want to do that. I finally read the right script, and I was like, ‘Oh. It’s not as s—.” Not as s— at all.
They had different reactions to that fake countdown…
In 2015, a Twitter account seemingly counting down to a Happy Endings reunion sprung up. It turned out to be an April Fools’ joke though, and Wilson, for one, was not happy about the account misleading everyone. Pally had a different stance: “I love it,” he said. “I think it’s funny. What’s funnier than a countdown clock to nothing?” A countdown clock to a new season of Happy Endings, maybe?
…but a reunion isn’t out of the cards
Caspe says they haven’t gotten any attractive opportunities yet — he joked about someone offering “six episodes shot on an iPhone or something” — but that they’re open to getting the gang back together. “I think if someone would actually let us do it the real way, that everybody would want to do that. But we have not gotten that offer.” For now, just being together is enough. “This is awesome,” Pally said of reuniting with the Happy Endings crew for the festival. “I feel like the legacy for me is more personal than I would even care about what happens with the show…. I would hope that there would be another chance personally to [be together], and if that was the show, then that would be great. I would love to be around these people more.” Us too, Pally. Us too.
Watch all three seasons of Happy Endings on Hulu here.