The Always Sunny Podcast: Our Episode S01E01 Thoughts & Takeaways

Earlier this week, we reported how FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton & Rob McElhenney were rolling out The "Always Sunny" Podcast to offer the kind of creative and personal perspectives that fans have been asking for, starting with the first episode and covering every episode over the series' 14-season run as it heads into Season 15 next month. With the first three episodes now live ("The Gang Gets Racist," "Charlie Wants An Abortion" & "Underage Drinking: A National Concern"- you can find them here), we checked out the first episode to see if it lived up to its promise. Spoiler? It does.

always sunny
Image: Simplecast

As the first episode of a podcast goes, it was rough in all of the right ways to the point where I hope they decide not to get too structured. To bookend a discussion about the series premiere between conversations about cheese issues and the well-being of a very old cat is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for and expecting, so I wasn't disappointed. I also appreciated that the trio doesn't hesitate to address some moments from the episode that may not stand up as well through a 2021 lens as they did back in 2005 (a move we're expecting them to return to for a number of other episodes). While never apologizing (because they shouldn't) and not wanting to turn the podcast into the "'Sunny' Podcast Apology Tour," I respected how Day, Howerton & McElhenney acknowledge that there are things they did back then that they would've approached differently if they had to do it over today. That said, it's still weird listening to them discuss a time in "Always Sunny" lore when Danny DeVito wasn't a part of The Gang yet. So if you're a fan of the record-setting series, it's a no-brainer for you to be checking out this podcast. But just in case you need a bit more convincing, here's a look at our takeaways from just the first episode…

always sunny
Image: Screencap

Day and his on-screen persona share the same love-hate relationship with cheese. They both love it enough to keep coming back to it even though it runs roughshod on his system like an odd, food-based abusive relationship (we feel his pain because we have the same issue with heavy cream).

S01E01 "The Gang Gets Racist" (originally "The Gang Gets Hip") wasn't intended to be the first episode and wasn't the first episode written for the season. The network went with the episode that kicked off the series because they felt it "would be more accessible." Hmmm…

McElhenney revealed that he was "scared" of how Howerton acted drunk because of how good he was at it, though Howerton admitted that he was very "uncomfortable" with his acting in the first two seasons.

Day and Malcolm Barrett (The Boys, Timeless) aka Terrell met on the set of Luis Guzmán's short-lived 2003 FOX sitcom Luis.

GREAT MOMENTS IN CIGARETTE SMOKING: McElhenney has the honor of smoking a cigarette "near" director Paul Thomas Anderson, while Howerton shared some quality time (and a smoke) with Curtis Armstrong aka Booger from the "Revenge of the Nerds" franchise and Moonlighting when Howerton was working on 2002's That '80s Show.

With the series set in a bar, Anheuser-Busch signed on early as the show's sponsor for the season. But after the first episode aired, they hit up FX Networks to have the deal terminated and their advertising blurred in the remaining episodes. Howerton raises the important point that the brewing company was aware of the scripts before signing the deal.

INTERVENTION TIME! Day, Howerton & McElhenney need to stop beating themselves up over the first season because as first seasons go it's pretty damn impressive. I'm not saying it ranks at the top of my list, but there are shows out there that would give anything to have an opening season as strong as "Sunny." Look, I'm a diehard The Walking Dead fan and even I'll admit that the first run of episodes is pretty tough to objectively go back and watch.

During the first season, The Gang didn't have a trailer or even an office. Instead, their entire base of operations one a single room that they all shared. For a bit more perspective, Day wrote "Charlie Wants An Abortion" on yellow legal notepads.

One episode idea for the first season that was abandoned was one where Dee (Kaitlin Olson) would begin dating a Middle Eastern man. Charlie, Mac & Dennis would become suspicious of his motives, convinced he's a terrorist.

Day and Howerton almost became castmates on FOX's That '80s Show when they both auditioned but for different roles. Howerton would go on to lock in the role of struggling musician Corey Howard.

Howerton has an "old as shit" 19-year-old cat who meows loudly in either pain or ecstasy when she poops.

Season 15 Episode 1: "2020: A Year In Review": The Gang looks back on 2020 to justify their numerous PPE loans. In doing so, it is revealed that they contributed to the chaos of the past political year way more than anyone could have imagined. Written by Rob McElhenney & Charlie Day & Glenn Howerton and directed by Todd Biermann.

Season 15 Episode 2: "The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 7": Upon discovering that their self-made "Lethal Weapon" sequels have been pulled from the local library, the Gang decides to address their political incorrectness by making another film — "Lethal Weapon 7." Written by Keyonna Taylor & Katie McElhenney & Rob McElhenney & Charlie Day and directed by Pete Chatmon.

The Always Sunny Podcast Episode S01E01 "The Gang Gets Racist"

always sunny
Review by Ray Flook

9/10
Earlier this week, we reported how FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton & Rob McElhenney were rolling out The "Always Sunny" Podcast to offer the kind of creative and personal perspectives that fans have been asking for, starting with the first episode and covering every episode over the series' 14-season run as it heads into Season 15 next month. With the first three episodes now live ("The Gang Gets Racist," "Charlie Wants An Abortion" & "Underage Drinking: A National Concern"- you can find them here), we checked out the first episode to see if it lived up to its promise. Spoiler? It does.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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