The Phil Klemmer Interview

Episode Report Card
"Mr. And Mrs. Smith Meets The Office"

CB: Tell me about the show. How would you describe it?

PK: Well, I was sort of pitching it to my parents as Mr. And Mrs. Smith meets The Office. And I showed it to them, and they both told me it was going to be a hit, and I couldn't tell if that was a good thing or a bad thing in their minds. [both laugh] I think they found it, like, very flashy and commercial and young, which, um, they're not. But they have very good taste, they like fine film, but they're not television fans. But you know, the thing that really appealed to me from the page, and now, is it's got, you know, a pair of guy friends at the center of the show, Chuck and Morgan, and that's a dynamic that's always been a huge part of my life, from actual adolescent relationships with my friends, to sort of, now that I'm an adult, maintaining the adolescent quality of those, that sort of humor, and certain levels of interaction, even though I get slowed down by the wife and kids and everything. [laughs] I really am sort of touched by the Morgan-Chuck thing, and I knew that I could write it, and thought that it was really well-written by people who shared my way of thinking. And Veronica Mars wasn't that way -- when I read it I was like, holy shit, this is so well-written, Rob's such a talented guy, and what on earth possessed him to write about a girl who just got raped and is tumbling through social classes in a fictional city? That struck me as odd, but I came around to it.

CB: So you found that more of a challenge, then.

PK: I guess…his voice is so strong, it's also easily imitated -- not easily equaled, necessarily, but you can get the ring of the show. There would be nothing worse than writing a show that's neither here nor there, where you come in and you go, "I just don't even know where this is coming from." Whereas Chuck, love it or hate it, has the same quality -- I read it and felt like I'd be ready to jump in with an episode, and I just finished shooting my first episode, and I'm hoping my read is right! [laughs] I'm hoping I'll have scenes like the pilot, and it was really, really fun to write.

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