Will Forte learned a lot in the first two seasons of his Fox comedy, “Last Man on Earth.” And he’s still learning.
“There is so much that I didn’t know about going into when we started Season 1. I had no idea the time commitment. There was just so much stuff to learn,” Forte says during an interview on the Fox studio lot where the series is filmed.
He’s joined by Kristen Schaal, who also plays a person left on Earth (despite the show title). Technically, the title says “Last Man” and Schaal could claim to be the “Last Woman,” but neither is really the last of any gender.
That’s been the case so far, including on Sunday night’s season opener.
Adding people hasn’t been the only change. During the first season, the writers danced around what kind of event resulted in a “Last Man” (or woman, or people) on Earth. The second season featured some body bags.
Part of the reason for putting off any type of reality in the show came from the network. The show is a comedy, and the network wanted to make sure that came across.
Forte has learned enough about where the show is going to say it’s unlikely an exact reason for decimating the planet’s population will ever be revealed. Schaal jokes that even if the reason had been revealed, they probably would change it every year just to capitalize on what health threat was big in the news.
Another thing Forte hasn’t learned is whether or not this series will eventually get a proper ending when that time comes.
“I have no idea. I always get surprised when they bring it back each year. But I think that at some point, if we’re lucky enough to be in a situation where we get do it for long enough, that we’d feel like it’s time to end it, I don’t know how we would do that,” Forte says. “We have a lot of great writers, so we could probably figure something out.
“But I have a feeling we’ll go out with some weird cliffhanger that never gets resolved.”
As long as they don’t have Tina Fey wake up and find Forte’s character in a shower in his dressing room on the stages of “Saturday Night Live,” then it will be good. “Dallas” never recovered from that gimmick.
‘Transparent’ offers vision
Jeffrey Tambor made a passionate speech during the recent Emmy Awards presentation after picking up the trophy for outstanding actor in a comedy for his work in “Transparent.” He took the opportunity to push executives to hire more transgender actors.
Tambor’s award comes from playing a transgender person on the Amazon series.
The third season debuted on Amazon Prime on Friday, Sept. 23.
Alexander Billings, who is a transgender actor on “Transparent,” has nothing but praise for Tambor.
“And as one of the transpeople who is lucky enough to act with him and as a transperson myself, this thing that’s happening to him is not about putting anything on,” Billings says. “It is coming from the inside of him in a way that’s about revelation and release and surrender, and it is a representation of our community that is very, very rare and that is truly blessed in some kind of divine intervention.
“This isn’t about an actor who puts on a wig. This is about somebody who holds our community with great care and respect. So I think it deserves to be said that what Jeffrey does cannot be hung up in a closet, that he reveals a part of himself that is so true and is affecting a part of society in such a way that it’s changing the political climate when we talk about gender.”
Billings adds that Tambor has made “Transparent” more than a TV show. It is more of a movement that is building strength.
Birds of a feather
One of the funniest jokes in the new animated film “Storks” didn’t survive the final cut. There was a scene where the head stork, voiced by Kelsey Grammer, reveals, “I’m not a stork but a crane.”
The filmmakers loved the joke that referred to Grammer’s days playing Dr. Frasier Crane on “Cheers” and “Frasier,” but test audiences didn’t get it so the line was cut.