Interview with Tim Meadows and Dan Bucatinsky of "Marry Me" on NBC - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Tim Meadows and Dan Bucatinsky

Interview with Tim Meadows and Dan Bucatinsky of "Marry Me" on NBC 12/1/14

This was a very interesting call. I don't watch the show regularly, but these two guys are definitely the highlight of the show. I remember years ago when Tim Meadows was on "Saturday Night Live", so it was particularly great to speak with him! They were very nice and good to chat with.

Moderator: Leslie Schwartz
December 1, 2014
5:17 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Tim Meadows and Dan Bucatinsky Press and Media Conference Call. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen only mode. Afterwards we will have a question and answer session. At that time, if you have a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, please press star 0.

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Monday, December 1, 2014. I would now like to turn the conference over to Leslie Schwartz, Publicist for Marry Me. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Leslie Schwartz: Thank you for joining us today, and for your patience as Tim and Dan were still working, and they have just been broken and arrived at the phones. So thank you so much.

So as you know, we are joined by Tim Meadows and Dan Bucatinsky -- also known as our Kevins. And as you may have seen in the previous episode, the Kevins are now officially engaged. So now, as you know, we have two competing weddings in the works, and tomorrow night's episode airing at 9:00 p.m. will find the Kevins and their daughter Annie -- played by Casey Wilson -- competing for the attention of their cousin Scooby -- played by our guest star Nat Faxon. He is only able to attend one of their weddings, so we'll have to see how that shapes out.

Please note, we'll have a transcript available tomorrow morning for the call, so if you need that please feel free to email me or (Joanna Chin) if you need a copy. And now I'd like to go ahead and open it up for questions, and we'll take each of you one at a time with a couple of questions.

Operator: So ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register for a question, once again you may press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three toned prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. And if you're using a speakerphone, please lift your handset before entering your request.

Our first question comes from the line of - from Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Go ahead.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi, guys. It's a pleasure to get to speak with you. Thank you for fitting us in.

Dan Bucatinsky: Thanks.

Tim Meadows: Hey, thank you, Jamie.

Jamie Steinberg: Was there anything you guys added to your roles as Kevins that wasn't originally scripted for you?

Dan Bucatinsky: Good question.

Tim Meadows: Yes.

Dan Bucatinsky: You know, it's a very collaborative and playful environment to work on the shows -- and the scripts are so tight -- but there's always room for us to sort of throw in a riff and we adlib a lot. So I think over the episodes we've done a couple of things either from our life, or just funny details have worked their way in. I'm wondering if any actual...

Tim Meadows: Like character stuff?

Dan Bucatinsky: Character, you know, biographical stuff has worked its way in.

Tim Meadows: No, I don't - well, no. Nothing that we improvised from. You know, I mean there's been talk about figuring out what we do for a living. But that - because we were so wealthy. But we don't have any explanation for how wealthy we are.

Dan Bucatinsky: We own - together we own a stationary store. But who knows if we - that may be many - a chain of them is what's in my mind.

Tim Meadows: Yes.

Dan Bucatinsky: We've also all talked a lot about how given our ages, we probably met in high school and had Casey early on -- which in the 80s I think there was a line of dialog about how hard it was in the 80s to be two guys raising a daughter on our own. So I think we've made references to the fact that we were probably among the pioneers of two guys in the 80s raising a kid.

Tim Meadows: Raising a kid.

Jamie Steinberg: Well, you both are a part of social media. Are you enjoying that instant fan feedback you receive when the episodes premier?

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes, it's been really fun. You know, I mean because it's both coasts. So it's kind of fun to talk to people on the East Coast and then, you know, talk to people on the West Coast later. I don't know. I mean I've never done this before where it's like, you know, Tweeting while you're watching your own show.

Tim Meadows: Yes. It's - I was new to it until Scandal. And Scandal of course was a huge social media experience and responsibility. It was fun, but we really cast-wise live Tweets on both coasts became sort of standard. And it became a way of really interacting with an audience that honestly when I was growing up, if you even sent a letter to one of your stars and asked for a picture back you'd wait six months and maybe you'd get it.

And now you're watching the show live with your favorite actors and getting to talk to them directly -- which I think is an amazing - it's an amazing reason for people to watch and keep appointment television.

Jamie Steinberg: Agreed. Thank you guys so much again.

Tim Meadows: Thank you.

Dan Bucatinsky: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Paulette Khan) with American Profile. Your line is open. Please proceed.

Paulette Cohn: Thank you. Hi.

Dan Bucatinsky: Hi.

Paulette Cohn: Yes, I was watching last week's episode, and I was really struck by the fact that - God, I'm so bad at remembering names. I'm too old.

Dan Bucatinsky: That's all right.

Paulette Cohn: But I mean that there to be son-in-law...

Tim Meadows: Jake.

Paulette Cohn: Jake, thank you...

Tim Meadows: Sure.

Paulette Cohn: ...had to - it took him a while to figure out that they have the same emotions just like him. And he figured out why one of the Kevins was afraid to commit to a marriage. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of seeing the characters as real people?

Dan Bucatinsky: Well, I don't know. I guess I approach it - any kind of acting job is sort of like trying to find out - or, you know, what's real with that person, you know, no matter how crazy the storyline is. And I thought it was really cool that they wrote that scene that way where he, you know - my character wasn't even aware that he was afraid of being - afraid of making a commitment, or having to sign, you know, and become married and make it all legal. I think he was, you know, he just liked everything the way it was, and didn't want to ruin it.

And that's like a real thing that people, you know, go through. I remember - sure, I was married. I know I had second thoughts about it before I did it, and then after I did it.

Tim Meadows: Well, I think it's always a balance. It's always a fine line between, you know, especially in a comedy...

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes, right.

Tim Meadows: ...where the responsibility is really to deliver funny in a constant way. It's been kind of fun to see how -- the writers are amazing on the show -- but also the impulse to create these opportunities -- just the notion of an opportunity for their future son-in-law to get to know the two dads better -- and then that becomes a way into finding out a fear that one of them has, and then another fear that the other one has.

And that's the way life is. It's like one opportunity to talk to someone that's going to become family with you opens up a door, and we realize how similar we all are to each other -- which I think is ultimately what makes people want to relate to characters on a show -- so I think that balance of the funny and the outrageous, and the primary colors and all, and rooting it all in sort of real people.

Paulette Cohn: Okay, and...

Tim Meadows: And I also think - I also think they're wanting to - things we were trying to do with the last episode was, you know, was to connect these characters together. Because, you know, as soon as we did the pilot I think the actors, we were all getting - have gotten to know each other a little bit better, and we've all got - our timing with each other is a little bit better.

And so I think, you know, part of the thing they were trying to do with that script was, you know, having us connect with each other, you know, as it would be in real life.

Paulette Cohn: Okay. And we also - since this is a show about love, we're doing a round up for Valentine's Day. I was hoping that you might tell me your favorite Valentine memory.

Dan Bucatinsky: As characters or as human beings?

Paulette Cohn: As human beings.

Dan Bucatinsky: As real people.

Paulette Cohn: As real people.

Dan Bucatinsky: Favorite Valentine's memory. Well, I've been with my spouse for 22 years. So I remember the first Valentine's we went up to a ranch up in Santa Barbara together, and I will never forget it. It was really the first time I'd ever been with anybody where I went away with someone for Valentine's Day. And we wound up, you know, buying a house in Santa Barbara, and it became the thing that really bonded us for the next 20 years really.

Paulette Cohn: Okay.

Dan Bucatinsky: So that's one of my favorites.

Paulette Cohn: Okay.

Tim Meadows: I think that's a pretty beautiful story. No, it is. I'm serious. I'm not being sarcastic. Did you buy a house on Valentine's or you...

Dan Bucatinsky: No.

Tim Meadows: But eventually you went back up and got a place?

Dan Bucatinsky: I think while we were up there we - we had only been together for a half - less than a year.

Tim Meadows: Yes.

Dan Bucatinsky: And we started looking for fun. We didn't buy a house for 10 more years, but...

Tim Meadows: You know, what I used to do -- this is nothing for Valentine's Day -- but I used to date this girl. Every Saturday we used to go to open houses, and go make out in open houses.

Dan Bucatinsky: Oh, my God. That is - that's romantic.

Tim Meadows: It was sexy. It was really sexy.

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes. That was better than mine.

Tim Meadows: And she used to, like, want to. She go, "Are we going to go look at open houses this weekend?" I'm like, "Yeah. Are you kidding? You're going to make out with me." It was great.

Valentine's Day -- I don't really have a Valentine's Day story because I've never been really like much of a, you know, holiday person. But I think my favorite was the Saint Valentine's Day massacre. Would that count?

Dan Bucatinsky: Wow. You're dark.

Tim Meadows: No. I don't have any Valentine's Day stories.

Paulette Cohn: Okay, thank you.

Tim Meadows: Sure.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Jerry Nunn with Windy City Times. Your line is open. Please proceed.

Jerry Nunn: Hi, guys.

Tim Meadows: Hi, Windy City Times.

Jerry Nunn: Yes.

Tim Meadows: You're in Chicago. Chicago, right?

Jerry Nunn: Exactly.

Tim Meadows: I know your paper.

Jerry Nunn: I know you do. I was going to ask you guys...

Tim Meadows: How do you know I do?

Jerry Nunn: Well, I mean you spent a lot of time in Chicago, so I was hoping you would.

Tim Meadows: Yes. You're right. I know Boystown.

Jerry Nunn: So the show is set in Chicago. Did you guys spend some time filming there, or was it - were you shot in Chicago or in other places?

Tim Meadows: No. Everything we've done has been here in L.A. I would hope that if we do, you know, continue to do this show we would be able to do some exterior things in Chicago. That would be great, you know.

Dan Bucatinsky: I've only been once in my life, so I would love to go. But no, it's all here.

Jerry Nunn: Okay.

Tim Meadows: You'd like Boystown.

Jerry Nunn: Yes.

Tim Meadows: It's really cool there.

Jerry Nunn: Yes, I'd take you out for drinks -- the gay bars.

Tim Meadows: Yes. Promises, promises.

Jerry Nunn: And with the last episode, you know, you're seeing some differences with the characters. I know they seem very similar to each other -- the two Kevins. It's not like an opposites attract kind of thing. They seem kind of similar. Is that's what's going on in the future? Are you guys going to see the differences between them and how they're different?

Tim Meadows: Yes. Well, like, for the pilot one of the things that we - I was told was that - David Caspe said that the characters are like twins basically. And when they met - they found that, like, they were very happy that they found -- excuse me -- found each other because they're exactly alike.

And then as we started doing, you know, these episodes, Dan and I both - I think our personalities have definitely affected the way they write the characters. Dan's character is much more emotionally similar I would say, right?

Dan Bucatinsky: To me.

Tim Meadows: To Casey, and to you. And I think the writers kind of start playing on that more.

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes, I think that as time went on we - I think you're right. And I think at the beginning we were much more kind of interchangeable in terms of, like, you know, insert gay dad here, in a way. But I think that now we really are emerging as two very different characters.

Even in the last episode, just the notion of Kevin -- him -- you know, longing for his motorcycle days, and my Kevin being more the worrier, more of the anxious, nervous. And for lack of a better phrase, I think you're going to see us emerge more a real maternal side to the Kevin, too -- my character -- which is kind of true of me in life, too. But I do think that we're starting to find our differences. And it's been really fun to play those differences as well as the similarities.

Jerry Nunn: Awesome. Well, I look forward to seeing more, and come visit in Chicago. And congrats on the engagement.

Dan Bucatinsky: Thank you. Thank you.

Tim Meadows: Great. Thank you.

Jerry Nunn: Okay.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Your line is open. Please proceed.

Dan Bucatinsky: Hi. Hi, (Christie).

Suzanne Lanoue: Hello?

Dan Bucatinsky: Hi. Suzanne? Sorry. Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne Lanoue: Sorry, I accidentally hung up on you. Yes, Dan, I just read an article. It was actually a transcript of a speech you gave in September about coming out, and about when you used to play - be a gay actor playing a straight actor playing straight characters. And I was wondering, when you talk about the differences between the two Kevins and how you're sort of emerging as different, is that have anything to do with one of you being a straight person playing a gay person, and one of you being a gay person playing a gay person?

Dan Bucatinsky: That's a really good question. You know, part of what I was talking about in that speech was how if you really - I think as you become a better and better actor -- I'm not just talking about - I'm just talking in general, I'm not talking about myself necessarily -- but I certainly feel like the more authentic and the more honest I was with the kind of person I am in life, in my roles, the better I was as an actor.

So I feel like at a certain point, regardless of who you are -- and of course I feel like certainly straight actors can play gay roles, and gay actors can play straight roles, and we have for years, and years, and years -- but there is something about the essence of who you are that you cannot possibly extricate from the roles you're playing.

So in a kind of delightful way, I think Tim's straightness maybe has worked its way into the kind of gay character that he is, and my gayness has worked into the gay character that I'm playing. And I don't know, it kind of compliments, I think, each other.

And I found that - we've never met even before doing the show, and I feel like we instantly fell into a kind of chemistry that is one of those things that you can't really predict or count on, but it just happens. And I can't say for sure that that has anything to do with our true sexualities, but I don't think you can really extricate any of those things from who you are.

Just like I'm a white Jewish guy from New York, and Tim is black and from Detroit -- like, these are all parts of who we are, and they all work into playing sort of funny, authentic characters. So I don't know if that answers it, but I do think the more authentic you are as a person, and you bring that to your role, the better it winds up playing.

Suzanne Lanoue: Tim, comment?

Tim Meadows: Well, I - you know, I agree. That's a good question, and it's hard for me to answer. I'll do my best. I sort of just - I don't really - I don't know. When I took this part, I mean I never even thought of - I didn't think about this guy, he's a gay character and he is this lifestyle, and it's different from what I do or live my life.

But the things that I thought was, like, well, what things do I have in common with this guy? And I thought, well, I'm a father, I have kids, I know what that's like. I know what it's like to be in love with somebody, I know what it's like to live with somebody, and I know what it's like to really share your life with somebody.

And so I figured if I use those things as, like, the - as sort of a ground, you know, foundation for who my character is, then it wouldn't matter if he was gay or straight or black or white or whatever. I would just be playing a relationship basically by, you know, a relationship with two people who are - two people who are in love, and so much in love that they have, like, gone through a lot of obvious problems in their lives, because they were gay at a young age, and they adopted a kid at a young age.

So I kind of, you know, sort of just take stuff from my own life, and just try to make it, you know, adapt it to who this character is.

Dan Bucatinsky: But I think as funny as this show is, like, it's kind of ground breaking. This is the first time there's been a show, A, where three of the seven main characters are gay, B, where two of them are a married couple with a grown child, and it's an interracial couple, and it treats it like - as well it should in 2015 -- just two people who share their lives with each other. And we're not playing our attraction for the male form every week.

Tim Meadows: Right.

Dan Bucatinsky: We're playing being parents, and being funny, and, you know, Thanksgiving, and engagements, and weddings, and marriage. And I think you'll see in tomorrow's episode -- which is a bride war situation -- aspects of our relationship, and the upcoming engagement that are sort of unique to a gay couple, and ones that are absolutely relatable to anybody who has a kid getting married.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right, thanks very much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Ben Ly) with Spoiler TV. Your line is open. Please proceed.

Ben Ly: Goodness gracious. I'm so happy to be talking with you guys. And I've been a huge fan of you since Scandal. Thank you so much for doing this today.

Dan Bucatinsky: Sure.

Ben Ly: And Tim, I've been a huge fan of you since the 90s. Thank you so much for doing this.

Tim Meadows: Thank - yes, no problem. So you liked me longer than you liked Dan though, right?

Ben Ly: I love you guys very - both. I like everybody equally.

Tim Meadows: All right. I just want to clarify. We have a longer relationship than you and Dan though.

Dan Bucatinsky: But we have a more intense relationship, you and I, because you love Scandal.

Ben Ly: Okay, my - my question to both of you is how does it feel to work with two of the funniest stars on network TV -- Casey Wilson from Happy Endings, and Ken Marino?

Tim Meadows: That's who you're talking about?

Dan Bucatinsky: I thought you were...

Ben Ly: Two of the funniest.

Tim Meadows: How is it working with them?

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes.

Tim Meadows: Are you still there?

Ben Ly: Yes.

Tim Meadows: Okay. You go first, Dan.

Dan Bucatinsky: It's great. I mean, listen, I'm a fan - I'm a huge fan of David Caspe and his writing, but I'm also a huge fan of Casey Wilson and her unique, creative, comedic improvisational - like, she is one of the great, unique comedies - comediennes -- female comedians -- and I love working with her. I love watching her work.

Ken Marino and I were in acting class together 20 years ago, and it's been so lovely to -- A, to become friends with him again -- but to watch his brain working all the time. Casey is a screenwriter and a writer, and Tim's a writer and an actor, and I'm a writer and an actor, and Ken is too, and I learn so much watching the two of them constantly trying to up their game. And I feel like you're only as good as your co-stars, and they always make us better. So I love working with people who are that good.

Tim Meadows: Yes. I agree. I agree totally. And one of the things that I love about working on this show is that I've been in jobs in the past where I was the hardest working person on the set. And on this show, I'm probably the least hardest working person on the set.

Dan Bucatinsky: Absolutely.

Tim Meadows: Like everybody works really hard here.

Dan Bucatinsky: (unintelligible).

Tim Meadows: Except me. I'm the slowest...

Dan Bucatinsky: You never - you don't even - no, that's not true.

Tim Meadows: I'm always late.

Dan Bucatinsky: Not true. Not true.

Tim Meadows: But no, but it's really - and it's one things I really admire about Ken and Casey is that they both have - they carry a lot of the work on this show. They have a lot of scenes and it's a lot of dialog, and you know, they both do extremely well.

And I agree with Dan too, is like I enjoy watching them work because it's a different, you know, it's just fun to watch. Because I've seen the product before. Like, I've seen Ken's show. I actually did a show with Ken called Leap of Faith years ago, and I did - and I've done improv with Casey at Upright Citizens Brigade. And so I've got to work with them both, but I've never got to work with them like this where you see the whole machinery.

Dan Bucatinsky: And we all help each other too. Like, everybody being comedic writers -- at least in our brains -- and some of us are actually writers, if you come up with a line - it's like in this show everybody believes that funny wins regardless of who has the line.

Tim Meadows: Right.

Dan Bucatinsky: So I'll pitch a funny line to Ken, Ken will pitch a funny line to me, I'll pitch a line to Kevin - to Tim all the time, and vice versa. It really feels like a group of people that we all - we've become good friends, but good collaborators.

Tim Meadows: And even today, like, we were working and Dan gave me a very funny line that, you know, we were trying to think of something, and he gave me a line. And at one point earlier I gave Ken and Casey a joke.

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes.

Tim Meadows: And you know, and like most of the time you work with people it's like they come up with jokes for themselves. They're not going to give you any comedy.

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes.

Tim Meadows: You know, but in this show it's like people are generous, and like you said, funny is the number one thing, you know -- whatever is the funniest.

Ben Ly: Well, thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it.

Dan Bucatinsky: Of course.

Tim Meadows: Good. Thanks for coming.

Operator: As a reminder ladies and gentlemen, if you'd like to register for a question please press 1, 4.

Dan Bucatinsky: I have a question. Can I register for a question?

Leslie Schwartz: That may be it on our questions. If anyone else has a question we'll take one. Otherwise...

Tim Meadows: What about (Y.D. Grant)?

Dan Bucatinsky: What about (Barbara Ruben)?

Tim Meadows: Yes, and (Joshua Boet)?

Dan Bucatinsky: You've got to have something to ask us, (unintelligible).

Tim Meadows: Jerry Nunn?

Dan Bucatinsky: (Andy), I know you've got a question for us.

Leslie Schwartz: Jerry already hit us.

Tim Meadows: Okay.

Dan Bucatinsky: Yes. (Andy Paige)?

Leslie Schwartz: All right.

Tim Meadows: Listen guys, I don't do a lot of interviews, so you'd better come and get me. (unintelligible)?

Leslie Schwartz: All right. Well thank you everyone for joining us. And as I said, I will have a transcript for tomorrow if you need, and yes call me if you need anything else -- any images or artwork for your pieces.

Dan Bucatinsky: Thank you.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.

Leslie Schwartz: Thank you.

Tim Meadows: Thank you.

Dan Bucatinsky: Thank you, Leslie.


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