"I Realized I Was Eric"
JA: ...Yeah, everything Jason Segel ever does. All the phone calls with Lizzie are improvised. Everything Will Ferrell did was improv.
JM: We wanted each of those Jason Segel phone calls to run for half an hour.
Lew Morton: Amy Poehler did a lot of improvising.
Ali Rushfield: Sometimes there would be scenes written and the actors would improvise with them, and we'd listen to it and rewrite the scene.
H: How is it working with the high-profile guest stars? For example, how involved was Adam Sandler in his episode?
JA: That story was his idea. He saw the show and said, "We should do an episode where I come and have sex with one of the girls." ["I would love to be that powerful. 'Hey, Judd, let's finally do that episode where the four guys are my love slaves. We'll have some nudity. Great. I'll send along my notes.' Sigh." -- Heathen] So we wrote it quickly, then once we had outlines, we told him on the phone; he'd tell me what he thought would work, and then we wrote a script. Then he called and gave us more notes about it. We improvised a lot. The phone calls with him and Jonathan Loughran are improvised. Everything in the elevator was improvised. We shot all that in half a day, just trying to get as much as we could very quickly. Everything with Will Ferrell was shot in one day.
H: He was so good.
LM: These are all actors that are great at improv.
H: Were they hard to get?
JA: It actually hasn't been too hard to get them. I think we'd get more if we were on the air more. As soon as we have some credibility that you'll look good [if you guest-star], the doors swing open. When we did The Larry Sanders Show, it was so hard to get anyone to play a guest -- we'd only get people from Garry Shandling's management company. But by the end of it, Sean Penn was coming on, and Warren Beatty. Here, we started pretty high, so hopefully we can get some more people at that level.
H: You have a good group of secondary characters, too. I actually met Jarrett Grode [who plays Perry]. [General laughter].
JA: Where does someone meet Jarrett? Does he leave his apartment?