New Girl cast celebrates 100 episodes: 'It's surreal'
New Girl is hitting a major milestone.
On Tuesday, the Liz Meriwether comedy will debut its 100th episode, “Goosebumps Walkaway,” which will see Jess (Zooey Deschanel) return from jury sequestration, and Reagan (guest star Megan Fox) beginning to move out of the loft, the end of a storyline initially put in place as an answer to Deschanel’s maternity leave.
The cast and crew celebrated the achievement last week in Los Angeles, and were feeling pretty nostalgic — and excited for what’s to come — while speaking with EW on the blue carpet.
Read on for what Lamorne Morris, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, and Deschanel had to say about their favorite memories from the set, what it means to make 100 episodes, what’s ahead for the show, and more. (Both Jake Johnson and Ferguson the cat were sadly unable to make it to the festivities.)
LAMORNE MORRIS (Winston): We goof around so much. It’s literally a fun place to be for all of us, so when I go to work — even though I have really early call times and it sometimes saddens me that I have to wake up at 5 in the morning, [which] is very brutal — I thank God every day I got the job. Back in season 1 — and this is going to sound very disgusting — we were stuck out in the middle of somewhere shooting the Christmas episode and my stomach started hurting so bad.
When I tell you so bad, I felt like something was trying to escape my body. We were in the back of the car and Max and Jake wouldn’t stop tickling me and making fun of me the whole time and I just got so pissed off and that was one of the points where I knew like, “Oh, these dudes are other-level idiots,” so that has not stopped. We make fun of each other for every single possible thing and it’s a great environment. It’s like having a second family.
MAX GREENFIELD (Schmidt): Damon [Wayans Jr., who played Coach] made such a memorable impression when he was there the first time and when he came back there was a lot of hilarity to it, but there was also something really nice because here he was coming back and I’m sure Lamorne was put in a position of, “What does this mean for me if he’s coming back?” and Damon was so great about coming in and being very specific about making it a foursome. It was a really nice experience and then to boot, he goofs around more than any of us and was just so funny. It was a fun two seasons.
HANNAH SIMONE (Cece): It’s so wonderful the way the audience responds to Schmidt and Cece and is so invested in their love affair and has rooted for them and supported them. That’s really great, but so many of my favorite moments are the Jess-Cece storylines. We have the most fun when just the two of us get to be together.
We have a female-toplined show and you really feel in those moments how girlfriends are sisters, not competitors. [That’s] reflected in our show constantly, which I really appreciate about it. We have a lot of [other] good flashbacks. Fat Schmidt’s great. I’ve never been in a scene with him because I wouldn’t be in those flashbacks, so it’s always a surprise to me when I watch the show. I’m like, he looks amazing. [Laughs]
ZOOEY DESCHANEL (Jess): There have been so many. It’s really hard to pick. The boob fight from season 2 comes to mind. Cece and Jess have had a lot of good episodes. The first True American was great, too.
MAKING 100 EPISODES
MORRIS: It means a lot for the show. It means that people love it. It’s developed a fanbase. Hopefully it will stick around for a while. I grew up watching shows like Martin, Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Cosby Show. That’s something that seems unattainable, but now here we are in that same realm, especially in an age where digital has taken over, so I feel great about it. One hundred episodes is amazing.
GREENFIELD: It’s extraordinary. To look at the landscape of TV and content in general right now, how many shows really last? We’re one of a very small handful, and to have been employed for this long is incredible for me and my family, our crew ,and everybody involved. We’ve had the luxury of not worrying whether we’re going to work every day.
SIMONE: It’s surreal. I never thought I would ever be here because it’s a crazy concept, especially in the environment that exists today for television to make 100 episodes of a TV show. It’s nice because you make episode after episode. When you’re on like 87, 88, you’re not counting. You don’t know that’s where you’re at, so it’s kind of nice that we have this kind of marker where they stop you and go like “Yo, you don’t know this, but you shot 100 episodes of TV,” and you go, “I did?” That’s amazing.
DESCHANEL: It’s crazy to have logged that many hours of shooting is my first thought, and it’s a huge accomplishment. I feel really proud and excited that we were able to make that much TV.
MORRIS: It’s been weird doing episodes without Zooey and without Damon, but it also gave me more responsibility. I took on more storylines and it’s been fun. I get to goof off even more, so there’s a lot of stuff coming up. With them being gone, we’ve had a lot more room for different guest stars to come in like Nasim Pedrad and Megan Fox, so my character gets to play a lot more with those characters as well. We’ve got Sam Richardson coming on the show from Veep.
When you see the episode that he’s in, it was one of my favorite times on set. He is insanely funny, like another level funny, and I always knew that from Second City in Chicago and from watching Veep, but being there it’s kind of like, “Oh, this guy’s a genius.”
SIMONE: This episode coming up, this 100th episode, Schmidt and Cece take a dance class together to prepare for their wedding. [Schmidt] can only do choreography and Cece wants him to be able to move and dance and it’s a massive phobia. So she’s trying to force him to come out of his comfort zone and he doesn’t know how to move unless someone’s told him the steps. It’s Schmidt, so he has like a mental breakdown.
DESCHANEL: No, [there won’t be any tension with Jess and Reagan following the Reagan-Nick kiss]. Jess wants to be best friends with Reagan because she actually wants to bond with her over their mutual affection for Nick.
The 100th episode of New Girl airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.