'Happy Endings': 6 characters in search of funny

By Frazier Moore

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 7:50 a.m. MDT

The distinctive formula of "Happy Endings" is a blend of physical comedy, sight gags and comic cutaways with Mach-speed wordplay. ("Why are you using a travel agent?" Max asks Penny, who's planning a trip. "The only travel agent you need is a time-travel agent to take you back to a time when people still used travel agents.")

"Nobody on our show talks the way people talk in real life," Wayans readily acknowledged. "They don't talk that fast, or make so many pop-culture references. Sometimes when I get the script, I go, 'WHO is THIS?' and I have to Google to find out."

"'Happy Endings' lives in a world where everything is fast-paced. Everybody's up all the time," Pally said. "The hardest part of the job is keeping OUR energy up!"

"We have incredible writers," said Cuthbert, "so we don't improv too much. But we sometimes put our spin on things, and sometimes it sticks: The director will say, 'Hey, that riff: Let's keep it.'"

But the show seems to be shaping the actors as much as the other way around. One of last season's funniest episodes found the gang was worried about Dave and his addiction to V-neck shirts. Finally they staged an intervention (or "inter-Vee-ntion").

Now, here at this interview, Knighton — aka Dave — was sporting a blazer over his very own V-neck shirt.

And when the reporter laughed at this instance of life imitating art, Pally compounded the vision by pulling down the neckline of his sweater to reveal ... a V-neck T-shirt underneath.

"Everyone's so funny and weird in their own right!" declared Wilson. "Even weirder than their character."

"If you're a V-neck guy," said Pally with pride befitting a star of television's funniest show, "BE a V-neck guy!"

Online:

http://www.abc.com

EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier

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