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The <i>It’s Always Sunny</i> Gang Discuss Their Feelings on Christmas, the Music of Nightman and Fighting the FCC It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is really the little cult show that could, going from a bizarro blip on FX's roster when it began to a certified hit five seasons later, and it couldn't have happened to a more deserved show. It's one of the most consistently funny shows on TV right now (second only to 30 Rock for me personally), and one that makes tremendous efforts to incorporate payoffs and inside jokes for its long-term fans, and it just keeps getting better. To promote the gang's upcoming insane holiday DVD It's a Very Sunny Christmas, Rob McElhenney (Mac) and Glenn Howerton (Dennis) participated in a media call to discuss Dick Towels and Santa. Enjoy the highlights after the jump.

How do you guys attribute the ratings being so big now?
Glenn Howerton: There are a lot of guys on the show. It's a very 'guy heavy' cast. And men just continue to get more and more handsome as the years progress. And I think that it might have something to do with that. Certainly, I know I've gotten more handsome, and I'm looking at Rob right now and I feel like he's definitely gotten more handsome.

In all seriousness, I think it's a show that has a real word-of-mouth quality and I think like anything that grows by word-of-mouth, it's grown exponentially. I think people really champion this show because they almost feel like the mass media has not done that, and they feel like it's their job to do it themselves. Because you don't see us on the covers of magazines all over the place, and people have really taken it upon themselves to spread the word themselves. So people don't feel like it's being shoved down their throats; they really take ownership of it.

Did you ever expect the show to become such a big hit?
Rob McElhenney: Yes. Personally, I definitely saw this happening at some point. I think it was just a matter of time. The show is definitely an acquired taste, and that is certainly by design. We wanted to do something that was completely different; something that you're not seeing everywhere else, and often times, upon first viewing -- and I hear this a lot from people -- they don't know quite what to make of it. They think that it's a little bit strange, it's a little bit out there, and the characters are like nothing they've ever seen before. And as I said, that was by design. So we knew that it would take a little bit of time to catch on, and I think because of what Glenn had just touched upon, things have grown at an exponential rate, but I certainly definitely expected it at some point.

Have you gotten any flack over the last few years over any of the subjects you've tackled from anyone?
GH: Not really, no. That might be more of a question for the guys over at FX, in terms of what the advertisers have done. But no, I think people get it. I think people understand that we're not doing anything different than any other good comedy has done through the history of time, or good comedian. We're in hot-topic issues. That's what good comedies do.

What was your inspiration for the holiday special?
GH: We were definitely influenced by those great old Christmas specials that we all grew up watching on television as kids. That was one major aspect of it, and I think we liked the idea of doing our own version of that. But I think with the Mac and Charlie storyline, we also liked the idea of creating our own brand-new, never-done-before sort of Christmas special. So in a way, we like the idea of doing both. One storyline is basically a callback to one of the most famous Christmas tales of all time, A Christmas Carol, and then the Mac and Charlie storyline, which is really original to us.

Will you be releasing a Christmas CD with it?
RM: We've been talking a lot about releasing all the Sunny music. And it's something we're going to be talking about this year. Just in terms of all the Nightman stuff, the Dayman stuff and the Birds of War from this year. There's been a lot of demand from the fans to release those CDs, so we'll see.

In terms of the Christmas episode, every year we come up with a lot of different things that we know we're never going to get past the FCC, just in terms of the censorship of being on at 10:00 on cable television. So we usually just bank those and say, 'Well, maybe one day we'll be able to get away with it.'

And then we saw an opportunity. In fact, it was brought to us by the people at FX, and they said, 'Hey, would you ever want to do a direct to DVD episode where you put all that stuff on it?' And we felt that was a great idea and we've been knocking around the idea of putting these characters into a holiday situation into a holiday special for a few years now. So as we knock that around and thought, "Well, it could be really interesting as a stocking stuffer to put all that stuff that we've been talking about for years into an episode, and so we can get away with whatever we want."

Is there any cool merchandising stuff you guys are working on coming up?
GH: Dicktowel.com, bro. Check it out.

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