The FXX sitcom It’s Always sunny In Philadelphia has been running for 13 seasons—that’s two more than the classic comedy Cheers and four more than Seinfeld. Like Cheers, it’s about a gang of people who frequent a pub-style bar, Paddy’s; as in Seinfeld, the friends never grow or learn anything. Intentionally cheap and anarchic, the show (sometimes called Seinfeld on crack) features a group of sociopathic alcoholics: volatile Mac (co-creator Rob Mcelhenney), illiterate Charlie (Charlie Day), degenerate patriarch Frank (Danny Devito) and his delusional twins, Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson). Since its debut in 2005, the shameless Dee has dabbled in blackface, lured her friend into cocaine addiction for her own financial gain and held a funeral for her fake baby to get out of an IRS audit. It’s the sort of behavior that turns a sitcom, and a character, into a cult phenomenon. “When we started, we were doing things that nobody else was,” Olson tells Newsweek, “and the show is still completely unapologetic and brave.”
One fan theory explains the characters thusly: a carbon monoxide leak at Paddy’s is causing severe brain damage.
Oh, I like that, and it would be easy to work in. I’m just going to go ahead and say yes, that’s true.
Is there another character on the show you’d like to play?
Every single one! But there’s something wonderful about Dennis’s rage. When Glenn goes off, and it’s clear he’s a psychopath, those are the only times I ever break. I can’t take it.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened on set?
Anytime Danny Devito gets naked— like when he was slimed up and squishing out of the couch—is pretty amazing. And alarming.
Any guest star wishes?
Last season had an actual moment of sweetness, when Mac—played by your real-life husband, Rob— admits he’s gay.
That was the result of overwhelming feedback on social media when Mac first came out [in Season 11]. We were on a sinking boat, but once we survived he took it back. The LGBTQ community was so happy a gay character was going to be on the show, then legitimately bummed when Mac went back into the closet. Rob paid attention and was like, “Why not just let him come out?”
“Anytime Danny Devito gets naked is pretty amazing. And alarming.”