The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Kevin McDonald (“Who Gets the Last Laugh”)

Kevin McDonald may not maintain as high a profile as some of his fellow Kids in the Hall, like Scott Thompson, who’s on NBC’s “Hannibal,” or Dave Foley, who’s on everything, but that’s because he spends at least as much time as a writer or in a recording booth for some cartoon or other as he does in front of the camera. Tonight, however, McDonald steps back in front of the camera as a guest prankster on TBS’s “Who Gets the Last Laugh?”, and he spoke to Bullz-Eye about his experience on the show while also discussing guest-writing for “Saturday Night Live,” playing Pastor Dave on “That ’70s Show,” and ongoing attempts to get the Kids back together again.

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Bullz-Eye: So how did you find yourself involved in TBS’s “Who Gets the Last Laugh?” Did they reach out to you?

Kevin McDonald: They reached out to me! Yes! I was in my nice blue house in Winnipeg, and I got the email from them, saying, “Would you like to do this?” And I thought at first that I’d be too Canadian to do this. Like, too polite. I thought I’d be too nice to pull pranks on people. That’s what I thought in my blue house in Winnipeg. But as it turned out, I could do it!

BE: Did you have to fight your every Canadian instinct to do it?

KM: Yes. [Laughs.] At first I did. Because we’re too polite and too nice, and we feel guilty. But then you get into it, and…it’s not even like the cruel part of me kicked in or anything…until it did. But it wasn’t even that. It was just, y’know, “It’s a job.” And once I started getting into it, it sort of became like a sketch, only with one of the people not knowing what the script was. And that was sort of the challenge, but I got really into it. I really enjoyed it.

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The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Danny Masterston (“Men at Work”)

After 200 episodes of “That ’70s Show,” Danny Masterson would be well within his rights to stay away from sitcom work for the rest of his life, reasonably claiming, “I’ve done my time,” but to hear him talk about the experience of doing TBS’s “Men at Work,” which returns for its second season tomorrow night at 10pm, there’s no question that he’s doing something that makes him very happy, indeed. Bullz-Eye talked to Masterson in conjunction with the start of the show’s new season, and he chatted about how his character, Milo, has changed a bit, which guest stars he’s most enjoyed, and why he prefers sitcom gigs over hour-long dramas.

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Bullz-Eye: Just the fact that “Men at Work” has gotten a second season, period, has got to be pretty thrilling in and of itself, but how was it to go back to work for season two?

Danny Masterson: You know, it’s funny: we actually only took about six weeks off, so we didn’t feel like we had a whole summer hiatus. We just took six weeks, and then we kept going with the same director and same crew, so it just feels like a really long first season that we’ve shot. We just had a lot of excellent new guest stars, I guess.

BE: Yeah, the list is pretty impressive.

DM: Thanks! I think it’s sort of a benefit of having both Breckin (Meyer) and I both working since we were little kids. We’ve worked with a lot of people who are known actors, so it’s fun to sort of bring those friends in to work with you for a bit.

BE: When you guys came onto the series, how well-defined were the characters on the page versus what they became once they were actually cast?

DM: You know, I think they were pretty well defined. Breckin sort of based them off…well, he based my character, Milo, off himself. [Laughs.] And the three friends are based off of his three best friends. So pretty much everybody knew exactly who they were in the beginning. And then, obviously, as you’re going through the episodes, you sort of change your characters a little bit to make them suited towards you a little bit, just in terms of everyone’s own personalities. But I’d say 95% is exactly how Breckin wrote it to begin with.

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BE: Did the cast bond pretty quickly?

DM: Yeah, I’d say so. I’ve known James Lesure for…I dunno, maybe 10 years. I hadn’t met Adam (Busch) or (Michael) Cassidy before, but, y’know, right from the table read everyone was really excited to have a really cool job, so… I get along with everybody, and they’re all really great people. Three totally different personalities, but we’ve never had a single fight. I mean, it’s only been two years, obviously, so we’ll probably wrestle at some point. [Laughs.] But they’re really fun. Everyone’s really stoked to have a good job, we all enjoy it, and as long as the writing stays good – and the writing’s been really good – I think we’ll all stay really happy.

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