Interview: Megan Mullally and Ken Marino

Megan Mullally and Ken Marino star in Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital. The show, which was just renewed for another season, features Marino as Dr. Glenn Richie and Mullally as Chief in the medical drama parody. 

Megan got on most of our radars playing Karen on Will & Grace but she’s also been on Broadway (Grease, How To Succeed, Young Frankenstein) and other hit shows like Party Down and plays a recurring character on Parks and Recreation.

Ken has been involved in so many great comedies over his career; The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Party Down and Role Models to name a small few.

This was the first time I’ve talked to either of them and they were probably my favorite interview at Comic-Con. Both were just flat-out funny and just really warm, nice people.

We talked about Children’s Hospital, a Party Down movie, female body parts and more! Check out the full audio interview, because it’s hilarious!

Children’s Hospital airs on Midnight, Thursdays on Adult Swim. 

For the full interview, click onto the audio link above or download from iTunes.

Before we talk about Children’s Hospital, is the Party Down movie going to be the new Arrested Development movie or do you think that it’s actually going to come together as the point?

Ken Marino: The script for the Party Down movie is basically, it feels, it read like the next episode of Arrested Development, so yeah, we’re going to do the Party Down movie we will be playing…

Megan Mullally: I’m playing Maybe.

Ken Marino: Yeah and I’m doing [Jeffrey] Tambor’s part.  So, it’ll be good. 

Going back to Children’s Hospital, because the comedy is so out there, are you still ever surprised what they come up with, and that you get away with it?

Megan Mullally: I know.  I guess at this point, I’m not really surprised.

Ken Marino: I guess for me, I feel like I don’t even think about how offensive the show is. I just think it’s funny and so like….

Megan Mullally: I think when I read a script and there is something really crazy in it and/or offensive, I think “Oh, this is going to be a good one.” If there’s not one of those, I’m like, “hmm, maybe they need to go back to the table.”

Ken Marino: Yeah, I guess I just feel like we’re so immersed in it that I can’t, I don’t see how other people perceive it, you know?  I guess it is slightly edgy in that sense. But for us, I think it’s just kind of a fun, ridiculous show and it’s harmless because it’s so ridiculous.

Megan, are we going to see you on Parks and Recreation?

Megan Mullally: Yes, soon. And then I think I’m going to do a few episodes of Happy Endings.

Ken Marino: How did they get away with that?

Megan Mullally: With what?

Ken Marino: Calling a TV show Happy Endings?

Megan Mullally: Because not everybody… children, tiny children, don’t know that it has a double meaning. So they can get away with it.

Ken Marino: Oh, so the show is for tiny children?

Megan Mullally: You know, on ABC you can say penis but you can’t say vagina?  Why is that? I that’s discriminatory. 

Ken Marino: You can say penis but you can’t say vagina?

Megan Mullally: I’m gonna put that in my contract the next show I do. “I’m going to say vagina or I’m walking.”

Ken Marino: If penis is said, I have to say vagina on the same show. Even if it doesn’t have anything to do with the story.

Megan Mullally: Equal rights for body parts.

Ken Marino: Wouldn’t that be great if you had like your new show you did and you’re character was like… you know how Norm would walk into the bar, you’d have some sort of like a comment and every time you walked in, you just say “vagina” because that was in your contract.  I guess it wouldn’t be that great.

Megan Mullally: It doesn’t sound funny to me.

Ken Marino: Once it came out of my mouth…I didn’t know how to abandon skit, you know what I mean?

Megan, do you have any desire or plans to return to Broadway again soon?

Megan Mullally: I don’t know.  I mean, you know, to do a musical, you have to commit for a year but it’s really more than a year because you go out of town. And so I’m not sure if I want to give that much time to something.  It would depend on the thing.  I mean, it’s sort of a case by case. I had a bad experience with Lips Together, Teeth Apart, so I don’t know.  I’m kind of like loving Los Angeles right now.

I mean to me, they always talk about, “Oh Hollywood, it’s so, you know, vicious.”  To me Hollywood is like an ashram compared to Broadway.  Really, because I think Broadway is too small and here, I just feel like everybody is much more supportive and creative, and I don’t know, especially in the comedy community.  There’s just a real genuine, sincere feeling of community and support, and everybody, it’s kind of like, if one of us is working, its’ great for all of us. And everybody brings other people into their projects and… caring and sharing.

Ken Marino: It’s all about caring and sharing in the comedy community.

What would your advice be to actors?

Megan Mullally: I would say learn how to follow… learn how to listen to your own instincts rather than trying to like… when I was younger, I had a problem of trying to emulate people that I really like and so it didn’t work as well.  So now, I just do what I think is funny. But also just in general, don’t listen to anybody who says there’s too much competition, you’ll never get an agent, all that stuff because really, if you’re talented and you have a passionate drive to do it, then there’s room for everyone. And it doesn’t always happen in the timing that you would like, like if you’re not a superstar by the time you’re 22, don’t worry about it, you know. Persevere.

Ken Marino: Yup.

Megan Mullally: But you have to have a genuine passion and drive to do it.  It has to be like a burning desire.

Ken Marino: I guess I would say for comedians, I would say surround yourself with people who you think are creative and funny, and who you appreciate and make you laugh, and try to make them laugh and create things with them.

Megan Mullally: Yeah, yeah, now it’s different.  When I was younger and starting out, this did not exist, like you couldn’t create your own thing.  You weren’t allowed to. 

But now, you can drum up your own anything.  I mean, you can write your own movie or you can get together with your friends and come up with an idea, pitch it to a network. You can do all that stuff now. You can put a web-series together for very little money that can be spun off to a television series.  None of that stuff existed 20 years ago.

Ken Marino: And I would say there’s no secret to it.  It’s just basically like hard work.

Megan Mullally: Yeah.

Ken Marino: And trying to put yourself out there again and again, and again, and again.

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