The whole "Sunny" gang is back and smiling this season (FX)
You'll be seeing a lot more of Mac this year
So you may have heard "Sunny" star Rob McElhenney (who plays Mac) has put on a few pounds for this season. About fifty of them, to be exact. McElhenney intentionally packed on the weight, transforming himself into a roly-poly Zach Galifianakis type in the name of comedy. "I was watching a very popular sitcom and noticing how the characters got better-looking as the seasons progressed," he explains. "But I'd never seen a sitcom where the characters got progressively worse-looking -- which is, I think, truer to life. So I thought it'd be an interesting experiment."
"It's been disgusting to watch him pursue this venture," adds star Charlie Day (Charlie), "but it's definitely made Mac a lot funnier." And we agree: It's undeniably hilarious to see the formerly buff Mac sporting a serious beer gut and rocking roomy Tommy Bahama shirts. Don't look for that gut next season, though. When asked if he'll carry the weight beyond this year, McElhenney's co-star and real-life wife Kaitlin Olson (Dee) answered for him with an emphatic "No!" Well, that settles that.
Behold Mac's newfound girth in this "Sunny" promo clip:
The gang pumps their fists at the Jersey shore
The Jersey shore may seem like an easy target for the "Sunny" writers, but the cast insists they're offering an alternative to reality TV's guido-heavy version. "It'll be a refreshing, different look at the Jersey shore," says Day, who quickly adds, "I'm not saying there won't be some fake-tanning going on."
The gang heads to the shore to revisit Dennis and Dee's pleasant childhood memories, but things go awry in a hurry: The beach is shut down because of a toxic spill, the gang witnesses unspeakable things underneath the boardwalk, and Mac and Frank (Danny DeVito) drift out to sea in a tiny raft. But it's nothing a little fist-pumping with the locals can't fix.
A "Little Miss Sunny" gets crowned
Yes, the Paddy's Pub gang finds itself hosting a thoroughly creepy kids' beauty pageant after Frank gets roped into sponsoring it. Charlie, for one, supports child pageants as an act of patriotism: "In America, we can show toddlers in tiny bikinis. We can make them tan because that's our right as Americans!" He composes a grandiose "Night Man"-esque theme for the pageant while Dee tangles with a snotty pre-teen contestant.
Then, later this season, look for the gang to throw the funniest baby funeral you've ever seen. (Don't worry, it's fake; Dee stages it to get out of an IRS audit.) Star Glenn Howerton (Dennis) says the writers see this kind of pitch-black material as a challenge: "How can we throw a baby funeral and actually have that be funny?" Sounds like we'll find out.
Check out an exclusive deleted scene from the "Sunny" Season 6 DVD:
More stars pull up a stool at Paddy's Pub
It takes a certain kind of actor to submit themselves to the twisted insanity that is "Sunny," but familiar names are already lining up to guest star this season. "SNL" cast member Jason Sudeikis will reprise his role as the gang's old chum, Schmitty. Character actor Jon Polito ("Miller's Crossing") will play Frank's brother -- and we definitely see the resemblance.
Arena rockers Kings of Leon (big "Sunny" fans, by the way) stop by Paddy's this season as well. But a plan to welcome the cast of MTV's "Jackass" was postponed when the episode got too expensive -- and now, in light of the death of "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn, it may be scrapped entirely. (Note to FX: We would still love to see that.)
Charlie Day is still a comedy god
"Sunny" fans have known for years that Day is one of TV's unsung comic geniuses. And now the rest of Hollywood is starting to catch on, thanks to his much-buzzed-about role as Jennifer Aniston's sexually harassed dental assistant in this summer's big-screen hit "Horrible Bosses." But we're happy to report he's still the same old Charlie we know and love this season, whether he's vomiting blood on a potential love interest, berating little girls while choreographing a big pageant number, or chugging sunscreen straight out of the bottle. Never change, buddy.
Get a sneak peek at the new season of "Sunny" right here:
Season 7 of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" premieres Thursday, 9/15 at 10pm on FX.
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