By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 23, 2010 at 06:32 PM EDT
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Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television/Jordin AlthausOn Sept. 7, Held Up, the 16-part web series starring It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Kaitlin Olson, The Wire‘s Cyrus Farmer, The Jon Dore Show‘s Jon Dore, and writer-producers Randy and Jason Sklar, premieres on Below, we’ve got your exclusive first look at the trailer. The story: Bored bank teller/standup comic Ray (Dore) gets his wish for some excitement when two teams of crazy robbers disguised as Rocky I (Farmer), Rocky II (Olson) and Batman and Robin (the Sklar brothers) hold up his branch. It’s a character piece, and one of things the Sklars are most proud of is the love story that develops between Ray and Rocky II. “In the same way that we really love the relationship, and who doesn’t, between Niles and Frasier Crane — that they made Niles even farther to the right than Frasier — we thought how great would it be if Jon is this total smartass, but we have Kaitlin, who is so strong comedically, and he falls in love with her from a comedy perspective,” Randy says.

“Jon says in a later episode, ‘I have a comedy boner for her,'” Jason continues. “The entire time throughout the series, Jon’s pulling the rug out from Jan, the bank manager played by Susan Nakamura. You get the sense that he’s been doing that forever, and now this woman comes in and pulls the rug out from under him and just completely, literally, sweeps him off his feet. So often in TV and movies, the guys get to be funny and the women are hot, and that’s the chemistry. But in this case, you got a funny guy and then an equal or funnier woman, and they connect on that, and he’s like, ‘I want that. That’s hot to me.'”

The concept for Held Up originated as a pilot for Comedy Central in 2008, created by Gene Hong. After the network passed, Sony Television didn’t want to give up on the idea, and approached Hong about filming it as series for Crackle. He happily passed the reins to the Sklars, who’d starred in the pilot and had experience online with Back On Topps, and they assembled their own cast and director (Paul Blart: Mall Cop‘s Steve Carr, who’d cut his teeth on music videos for Def Jam artists and knows how to make the most of one location). They cast Farmer, “a hardcore badass actor,” Jason says, “because we thought the more real the threat was, the funnier it would be for a guy like John Dore, or us, to play off of that.” They’d worked with Olson before on their web series Layers and guesting on It’s Always Sunny. Jason stumbled upon The Jon Dore Show one day on IFC while babysitting his infant son, called Randy who also became a fan, and then met Dore last November and promised they’d work together someday. When Held Up circled back around, he made good on it. Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television/Jordin Althaus

The production was shot over 10 days in March, and the budget made for some interesting creative choices: Like not being able to make the robbers look too much like the characters they were dressed as. “[The costume designer] was like, ‘What if we kinda made Batman’s bat look a little like a Jewish star?’ We were like ‘A little like a Jewish star? It should look a lot like a Jewish star,'” Randy says. And note the music used for a montage in episode 9. They couldn’t afford to license the song “You’re the Best” from The Karate Kid, so they wrote a new one, “You’re the One and You Know It,” with composer Matthew Puckett. “It sounds very similar, but obviously not so similar that we could get sued,” Jason says.


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