Happy St Patrick's Day everyone! What better or more authentic way is there to celebrate than by spending some quality time with the proprietors of Paddy's Pub? They sure know a thing or two about Irish tradition, after all.
Ah, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Our favourite messed-up comedy, seeing us through the bad times and the even worse times since 2005. The main characters, forming a demented but hilarious "gang", have complicated relationships with themselves, each other and the rest of the world. Luckily for us it's not all that different off screen.
During it's initial conception and a running total of 11 seasons, it's safe to say there has never been a dull moment for anyone involved in the making of this particular show. How's about we serve you some trivia 'Sunny'-side-up, then?
1. They Found Love in a Hopeless Place
It's Always Sunny in Philly has more than it's fair share of relationships amongst the cast, although things aren't always quite what they seem.
You may already know that Charlie (Charlie Day) and the Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) are married in real life, despite their love-hate relationship on screen (well, Charlie loves her and she hates him...).
Usually, on Sunny, he's either stalking her or somehow managing to ruin her life.
In real life though, they're more like...
But, before you go too gooey eyed, did you know that they first acted together in Reno 911! where they were playing...incestuous twins?!!
Charlie and the Waitress aren't the only unlikely pairing from the show. Tell me, do you remember the D.E.N.N.I.S system?
Well, despite Dennis (Glenn Howerton) running his system on an attractive pharmacist called Caylee (Jill Latiano) and it somehow going horribly wrong...
...Off screen he must have tried a different approach as they're also married with kids!
Now, Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) would probably be the most unlikely pairing out of the It’s Always Sunny characters.
For a start, Dee got with Charlie that time, after they realised shared a mutual love of poetry slamming.
And Mac, well...he likes boys but is a little afraid to admit it.
On top of all that, they don't really seem cut out for parenting.
But off screen Mac and Sweet Dee are as cute as can be and are loving and responsible parents!
Finally, they might not have been on screen together in It's Always Sunny, but it's certainly worth a mention that Catholic-Priest-to-homeless-crack-addict Rickety Cricket (David Hornsby) is married to Bones' Emily Deschanel in real life. I guess it’s about time that poor old Rickety had some luck after everything he’s been through at the hands of the Gang!
2. Snubbed by the Emmys
Despite being critically acclaimed and even known as the 'next' Seinfeld...
...It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has had a really hard time getting an Emmy!
It wasn't nominated until 2013, and even then in 2013 and 2014 it's only nomination was in the category 'Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program'.
The best way to handle an Emmy snub? Dedicate an episode to it, of course! In 'The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award' they try to establish why they never win any of the best local bar awards, filled with clever jibes that just might be metaphors aimed at certain comedy awards...
The show has won a couple of awards though. In 2011 it received a Satellite Award for 'Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical' and most recently in 2016 a People's Choice Award for 'Favorite Cable TV Comedy'. You'd think they might have been happy about this one, but apparently this happened...
Looks like it's become an Easter Egg on the bar at Paddy's Pub! And I'm not entirely sure if the gang are being trolled by the awards people or vice versa...maybe both?!
3. Big Mac and the Small Fries
You may or may not have noticed Mac piling on the pounds during IASIP...
When it comes to Season 7 he had gained around 60. In the episode 'How Mac Got Fat', he explains that when the Gang were replacing themselves with avatars to save themselves work in the bar and Mac’s avatar was a bodybuilder, Dee told him they didn't look alike because of their frames. So, obviously, he started “cultivating mass” to become a “muscle bound freak” instead of a “tiny twink”.
Kaitlin Olson (Dee) explains Rob McElhenney's reason for writing this into the show.
He was looking at shows that had been on the air for six or seven years and noticing how everyone, as opposed to what would happen in real life, was progressively getting more and more beautiful as the seasons go on...
Actually, he wanted us all to try and gain as much weight as possible, and to be fat, and he wanted Danny to get super skinny. And so, thank god, Charlie and Glenn were like, “Ooo, I don’t really know if I want to do that.” I had literally just had my second baby, and I was like “Uh, I just gained 30 pounds so, no.” So Rob was like, “Fine, I’ll do it myself."
4. Doing It for the Kids
Danny Devito's casting as Frank Reynolds was a saving grace for the show. Though it could no doubt survive without him now, and be almost as funny without his being there, it probably wouldn't have made it to the 11th season without him joining when he did. All the cast of this show are legendary in their own right but he kind of makes it, y'know? I guess you could say he brought the rum-ham!
And Danny's reason for joining IASIP?
The network told the show’s creators after Season 1, that without adding a big name to the cast the show couldn’t continue. As a last resort they agreed to this and Devito was suggested as a possibility. He already knew about the show because his kids were fans, so he joined for Season 2 as Frank Reynolds - Father of the twins, Dennis and Sweet Dee!
Also, apparently he's super proud and fatherly with the rest of the cast in their achievements and he even invites them into his trailer for lunch once a week, taking extra good care of Kaitlin when she's been pregnant. We love you Danny Devito!
5. You GOT It Going On!
After expressing their fandom of Sunny to Rob McElhenney, Game of Thrones were invited to write an episode, an offer which they gladly took up. They wrote 'Flowers for Charlie', referencing the novel 'Flowers for Algernon' where a mentally challenged man (also called Charlie) takes part in an experiment and is temporarily made smarter. You may also recognise this literary reference from the Simpson's episode 'HOMR'.
Apparently in exchange for guest-writing on Sunny, the GOT guys offered the Sunny cast the chance to appear in Game of Thrones but they just haven't had time yet. Here's hoping they do, because that would be BIG!
6. I'm Coming Out
After years of suppression as a Catholic-homophobic-gay man, Mac finally came out in a recent episode. And then quickly took it back.
Mac's struggle with his sexuality as a character is depicted as purely ridiculous. He is the only one in his group of friends that has a problem with it - the rest of the Gang would be indifferent, if not supportive, for him to be out and proud (a real achievement for such a self-absorbed group of a**holes).
It would certainly seem that Rob McElhenney has included this plot device social commentary, perhaps on the fact that no-one should have to justify their sexuality to anyone, let alone themselves or a religion that doesn't accept them as they are.
Rob was brought up by his mother and her lesbian partner and has plenty to say on LGBT rights.
7. The Arrival of Artemis Dubois
It wouldn't be right to do a Sunny article without even a brief mention of Artemis Dubois (played by the incredible Artemis Pebdani). She joined the show in a sexualised whirlwind of raucous comedy and is a force to be reckoned with, easily making her my favourite supporting character in the show.
She auditioned for the pilot as she was living with the Waitress, who was dating Charlie Day at the time. Pebdani describes the audition...
In that particular incarnation of the pilot, they sent out a “casting call”...but really they were just looking for hot girls. I was one of the auditioners who responded, but instead of showing up in a bikini, super serious actor, Artemis Dubois, performed the crap out of a dramatic monologue—cancer and wigs and bald caps and a surprise suicide twist all in about 2 minutes. Acting to win, anyone?
No wonder she was asked back!
And her best suggestion for ending her character in IASIP...
I think the best possible ending for Artemis would be to become a secret agent or spy of some sort. That would combine her loves of play-acting and dangerful living in a most satisfying way. If hallucinogens could find their way into the equation, that would be ideal.
8. Dee-al Breaker
Did you know that Kaitlin Olson almost turned down the role of Sweet Dee? Pretty hard to imagine, huh?
...because I was reading the scripts, and Dee was the voice of reason, and they all were really funny. I said, 'With all due respect, I just don't want to play that character. I don't want to be the voice of reason.' It just wasn't what I was interested in doing, They said to me, 'Look, we just haven't really written for women that much, but we'll figure it out.' My first thought was, 'Well, don't write for a woman. Just write another funny character.' I'll make it female just by not doing anything. I just am a woman. Don't think about it as male or female."
Since the first season Dee has become just as strong a character, if not more so, than her male counterparts. Gender doesn't even come into it, it's just about comedy and Kaitlin has taken - or even, created - this rare opportunity to prove herself as a stand-out comedienne, in a predominantly male cast, without being token.
And she does her own stunts.
9. Thank You For the Music
The sweet, sweet music of Charlie Day has been a big feature of It's Always Sunny (he has co-written or improvised a lot of the musical comedy in the show).
His mother was a piano teacher and his father a professor of music history and theory, so that must explain it. Although, I'd bet they never could have imagined their son would go on to help create The Nightman Cometh, Charlie Kelly and the Gangs' rock opera, including everyone's favourite ditty...
A song as intoxicating as aerosol abuse.
Not all Sunny merchandise is directly associated with Paddy's Bar, so as not to taint it's upstanding reputation...
But if you happen to want a d*ck towel from the episode 'Paddy’s Pub: Home Of The Original Kitten Mittens' then look no further than this genius website.
I'd probably rather buy this painting though...