Space Force Co-Creator Greg Daniels Shares Touching Fred Willard Story

As excited as the cast and crew behind Steve Carell (The Office) and Greg Daniels' upcoming Netflix comedy Space Force is for its May 29 premiere, they were also dealt a major blow this week with the passing of legendary comedy actor Fred Willard. Carell admired Willard's ability to be funny by not even realizing he was being as funny as he was, elevating his humor even more. For his part, Daniels shared a touching on-set moment during the filming of the first episode – one that not only demonstrates Willard's keen improvisational skills but also the appreciation people still had for his comedic gifts.

The late Fred Willard appears in Space Force, courtesy of Netflix.
The late Fred Willard appears in Space Force, courtesy of Netflix.

In Space Force, Carell's decorated pilot and four-star General Mark R. Naird had dreams of running the Air Force until he was tapped to lead the newly-formed sixth branch of the military: Space Force. Moving his family to a remote Colorado base, Naird and his team of scientists and "spacemen" are charged with fulfilling The White House's goal of getting American boots back on the moon by 2024 and the U.S. to win the race to dominate space.

Now, Naird finds himself trying to make the most out of a project everyone else around him seems invested in seeing fail while getting to know his family again (and possibly forging a new one). Thankfully, there's nothing The Beach Boys can't help him solve. Because if Naird isn't careful, he and his team of dreamers might just turn what was once thought of a joke into something special

Netflix's Space Force also stars John Malkovich (The New Pope), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Diana Silvers (Glass), Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley), Tawny Newsome (Sherman's Showcase), Alex Sparrow (unREAL), Don Lake (NCIS), Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Fred Willard (Modern Family), and Jessica St. Clair (Playing House). Series co-creator Carell is also set to executive produce, with Daniels serving as showrunner and executive producer. Joining them for their take on Donald Trump's Space Force initiative as executive producer is 3 Arts' Howard Klein (The Office). Paul King (Paddington) is on board to direct two episodes, including the pilot.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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