With season 14 set to premiere on Wednesday, September 25, FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is now tied with ABC's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as the longest-running live-action comedy series. Now that's a title Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), and Frank (Danny DeVito) would be more than happy to hang behind the bar – and one they're expected to hold on their vey own very soon. Safe to say things are pretty good for The Gang from Paddy's Pub – and from the sounds of FX CEO John Landgraf, the network would like things to keep going "pretty good" for two more seasons (at least).
While we keep our fingers, toes, and various other body parts crossed with the hope that a trailer drops very, very soon, McElhenney is back from vacation and in the "giving" mood – this time, giving us another clip from the upcoming season. Two biggest takeaways? We nearly pissed ourselves laughing at the facial expressions a choking Frank sees, and dinner conversation is going to get really awkward once Frank catches his breath – no thanks to the rest of The Gang and props to a very familiar face:
Last week, McElhenney posted a teaser that's clearly from the upcoming episode that finds The Gang putting up their apartments as AirBnB options – of course, to better their love lives (more on that below). What makes this episode particularly special? It's also one of two episodes Howerton is set to direct this season.
Our two favorite parts? They make sure everyone knows where the the "shitter" is located prior to arrival – Frank's email address (which we tried sending a message to but it didn't work):
McElhenney also gave us a look inside the editing room at a scene he referred to "as Sunny as it gets." Without spoiling what you're about to see, here are a few things to keep in mind: Mac is still way too submissive to Dennis, Frank's behind on getting his teeth sharpened, Dee finds herself on the losing end of a comment once again – and a familar face returns:
Previously, McElhenney confirmed filming on the season was complete (trailer soon?!?). But better than that, in the video below we see that even after 14 seasons-and-counting, McElhenney, Howerton, Day, Olson, and DeVito still find ways to make each other laugh – and that speaks volumes for the show's incredible success:
Here are some highlights from the show's Television Critics Association (TCA) set visit from earlier this month, offering some clues to what fans can expect:
● For McElhenney, one of the reasons the show has lasted this long is that the fanbase knows the series isn't a "how to" guide to life:
"Our audience knows where we're coming from. We very rarely get blowback because our audience is savvy enough to know we're not advocating bad behavior, we're satirizing it."
●While the show isn't afraid to tackle some major social issues – Olson believes their approach to the topics creates a unique character for the television landscape: a woman who not only recognizes the misogyny around her but is willing to get angry – very angry: "We're showing how ridiculous is to talk to someone like that."
● So what can fans expect this season? Well, we know Dolph Lundgren… but as John Thundergun?!? We are getting a "film noir" episode – as well as episodes dealing with global warming, a Waiting for Godot-themed outing set in the middle of a laser tag game, and The Gang putting up their apartments as AirBnB options to better their love lives (with Howerton set to direct this episode and an additional one).
● As for Mac getting a boyfriend at some point next season, McElhenney only response? "Maybe." As for Mac being a changed, better person after last season? Don't hold your breath:
"He's pretty much exactly the same. Our characters might change — but they don't evolve. He's not a better person."
● One thing that bothers Day? That people still see the show as "dirty" – even after over a decade on the air:
"There's a fundamental misunderstanding of what our show is. I hate that our show is dismissed as filthy. I don't think we're dirty…We are trying to say something about us as Americans."
DeVito put it much more bluntly when it comes to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "It's not a dirty f***ing show!"
Developed by McElhenney and Howerton, and written/executive produced by McElhenney, Howerton, and Day, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was FX's first comedy hit before moving over to FXX – a fact that FX CEO John Landgraf does not take lightly when he explained at the Television Critics Association (TCA) why the series has been so successful for so long – even after all this time: "It was the fist successful deconstruction and reconstruction of a sitcom," praising the leads as "five really hilarious degenerates who are most active schemers" as well as the main reason for the show's success – while also acknowledging the various "social issues" that the series addressed so effectively in the past.
With It's Always Sunny in Philadephia back in production, that means scripts are being written – which means spoilers. Of course, "The Spoiler Game" gets a whole lot easier when McElhenney posts on social media an image of Day tapping away on an upcoming scene. If you zoom in close enough, it becomes pretty clear it's not Dolph Lundgren's super-powered nose that Day's writing about…
Charlie's leaving?!? Dennis and Mac are in love?!?
Wow! I can't be-… hold on. Keep reading. "Frank" has the biggest revelation of them all:
I can't believe you zoomed in to see what was on this screen and actually think that we'd give away anything we're doing this season. Don't you have better things to do? Just kidding. Thanks for caring. Happy Fourth of July.
Have to admit – they have a point. Which is why your friends at Bleeding Cool are more than happy to do the zooming and squinting for you as we pick over ever single fiber of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia news possible.
Though wouldn't it be funny if it turned out to be true, and they got us with a double-swerve. Wild card!