Fourteen years ago, a straight guy named David Kohan and a gay man named Max Mutchnick got together and created a groundbreaking sitcom for NBC called ''Will & Grace.'' Now the longtime buddies are back with ''Partners,'' a new CBS comedy about the friendship between — what do you know? — a straight guy (David Krumholtz's Joe) and a gay man (Michael Urie's Louis). EW chatted with Kohan and Mutchnick about their new take on the gay-straight comedy.
Whose idea was it to do a show based on your friendship?
David Kohan This relationship was something that CBS and Warner Brothers wanted, and that we understood. They came to us and said, ”There’s a dynamic between the two of you that has to do with history and the way you relate to each other and communicate.”
In the second episode there’s a joke about laser hair removal on an unmentionable area. Is there more raunch to come?
Kohan It’s not going to be any raunchier than that. Even Louis isn’t out about it in that scene — he would prefer that nothing was said about the laser hair removal.
That episode also finds Louis meddling in Joe’s sex life. Max, have you talked to David about his sex life before?
Max Mutchnick Like any other best friends, we talk about things that you talk about with your buddies. I’ll put it this way: I cringe at what Dave says as much as Dave cringes about what I talk about.
Why were Urie and Krumholtz the right guys to play your TV alter egos?
Mutchnick I liked Michael’s beauty; Dave really responded to David Krumholtz’s five-foot-nothing-ness! [Laughs]
Kohan David is just really good at what he does. He’s brilliantly funny. That, plus the chemistry he and Michael have together.
Do your own partners have any thoughts about the show?
Kohan Every now and then something will happen with my wife and she’ll say, ”Don’t make a story about that.” Then she thinks about it and says, ”If it’s funny, just do it.”
NBC’s The New Normal, about a gay couple trying to have a baby, has angered One Million Moms. Are you surprised Partners hasn’t been targeted?
Mutchnick We’re not politically motivated in any way. That doesn’t mean that it’s soft; that means we’re trying to keep it as real as we can. Because of that, there’s no bluster to write [about]. Gays are just like everybody else — but we don’t need to say we’re normal, because we’re beyond that.