Joshua Dalton’s great piece, “The Showrunner,” is from the February Issue.
1. Who is going to play you in the made-for-cable movie? What network do you hope picks it up?
I’d love to say Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but Philip Seymour Hoffman would probably be more true to life.Â I’d definitely want it to air on HBO.
2. What would be your catchphrase?
“I’m worried that . . .”
3. How much truth is in “The Showrunner”?
Unfortunately, I too am unemployed and still living with my parents, but, while I’d love to be a showrunner, my dream show would hopefully be more like Six Feet Under than a regular network sitcom.Â Also, when I daydream like Marshall, it’s usually about being interviewed by Brad Listi or Terry Gross, not executives at a pitch meeting.
4. What question would be crossing the line?
I’m very hard to offend, so I can’t think of any question that would be crossing the line.Â I’ll answer pretty much anything, because I love feeling like someone’s actually interested.Â (Which is why I was initially so thrilled to do this, although now I’ve been agonizing over how not-clever I’m going to sound.)
5. What standard sitcom stunt do you hate the most? How would you change it?
I hate when shows introduce siblings, relatives, best friends, etc., that are seen in one episode and then vanish.Â I get that it’s hard to have every actor available for everything, but still.Â It’s even worse when shows have big parties or weddings, and, not only are the family members from prior episodes missing without explanation, there are all these extras we’ll never see again, all these alleged friends.Â If I were a showrunner, I’d make an insanely detailed series bible to keep track of all the relatives, and I would only portray social functions if all the needed actors were available.
6. What stereotype in a sitcom best resembles you?
I guess I’m like Ross Geller or Will Truman, a neurotic male character who mostly serves as the straight man for the other wackier and far more lovable characters on the show.Â Although even Ross and Will were way more successful romantically and professionally than I am, so . . . maybe I’m more like a stereotypical extra.