With the new year looking to be a big one for FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and its stars Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Danny DeVito, things have been warming up around Paddy's as of late. As the show heads towards the start of filming on the record-setting 15th season hopefully sooner rather than later, the social media accounts have been particularly active. We also had "Charlie Week" to honor Day's birthday and 14 seasons' worth of Charlie Kelly's achievements as well as Olson and McElhenney exchanging some "uplifting" valentines. Now, the focus returns to the show as Howerton discusses how the show's been effective in highlighting bad behavior without endorsing or condoning it, and how being on for so long makes it easier for viewers to understand how the characters have evolved.
While promoting the third season of A.P. Bio in the UK, Howerton explained to The Guardian how the series works to show the characters' flaws in a manner that shows them as they truly are, allowing the characters to be a target for satire because of them. "Certainly we've become a little bit more careful to make it clear that, while the characters can be misogynistic and racist and horrible, we the writers are not racist, misogynistic, and horrible people. If we were to do some of those episodes for the first time now, people would be like: 'Well, wait a minute, who are these people?' But people now know who we are, and they know that our intentions are actually to skewer this sort of behavior, not to celebrate it."
As for the recent news that McElhenney and actor Ryan Reynolds are the new owners of Wrexham football club, let's just say it caught Howerton as much by surprise as it did most. With a "What the hell is that all about?," it was pretty clear Howerton didn't have a heads-up, either. "No, he's been scrambling to finish [Apple TV+ comedy] 'Mythic Quest,' so I haven't spoken to him. I don't know what the hell that's all about. He's not even a soccer fan." That said, Howerton knows that if McElhenney then he's going to give it his all- and maybe he is a soccer fan now. "Well, it's entirely possible that he was watching soccer and I didn't know about it," Howerton responded. "I mean, to Rob's credit, if he's diving into this, he's going to go at it full steam. I've never known that guy to half-ass a single thing in his life. If anything, he pushes himself so fucking hard I worry about his health sometimes."
Bleeding Cool had the opportunity to ask Howerton about the upcoming 15th season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia during our one-on-one interview ahead of A.P. Bio Season 3 here stateside. In the clip below, Howerton explains that the combination of pandemic-related delays and other projects that the cast is committed to (for example, the second season of McElhenney's Mythic Quest, Olson's upcoming Jean Smart-starring comedy, and the fourth season of A.P. Bio) has made it difficult to finalize a production ("at this point, it's more of a timing thing"). Though they may still be in the process of "trying to figure it out," Howerton expressed how excited and committed they are to a strong 15th run (saying "maybe even a sixteenth" at the time).
Heading into last summer, McElhenney revealed that writing was underway, though production timelines were in flux due to production shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. McElhenney was hopeful that they'll be able to "jump right into something new with 'Sunny'" soon. And he also made one thing clear: as long as the fans want it (and FX Networks wants to keep paying for it, which we now know they clearly do) then Paddy's will be keeping its doors open for some time to come. "How many years do I have on this planet? I'll do it forever. If people keep watching it and we keep having fun, why would we ever stop? It's my dream job. I never understand why people leave shows. I don't. I never understand that," McElhenney explained. "The show is what I dreamed of doing my entire life. I don't take it for granted. And if they keep paying me and the audience keeps watching it and I still love it… why would I ever stop?"