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FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia made its return to Comic-Con International after a two-year absence. The long-running comedy shared a two-hour block in an almost-full Hall H with Sons of Anarchy on the final day of the convention.
Before the cast took the stage, fans were treated to an advanced screening of an episode titled “The Gang Broke Dee,” in which Sweet Dee (played by Kaitlin Olson) is deep in depression. The others realize it’s their fault because, well, they treat her horribly, so they decide to cheer her up by taking her to a comedy club. She gets on stage, and her sad-sack persona (a la Steven Wright) ends up being a hit with the audience. She soon becomes one of the hottest stand-up comedians in the country. We won’t spoil what happens next.
After the episode concluded, Olson took a seat on stage along with co-stars Danny DeVito (Frank), Glenn Howerton (Dennis), Charlie Day (Charlie) and Rob McElhenney (Mac) for a discussion moderated by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook.
With the show moving in September to FX’s sister channel FXX for its ninth season, Holbrook asked how the panelists felts about launching a new network.
“It’s a huge honor,” Howerton said. “It’s a huge undertaking for them and for us to be the cornerstone of that network is a huge honor.”
Holbrook asked what we viewers can expect in the new season.
“If you liked the episode you just saw, there will be a lot more like it,” Day replied, “and we’ll continue to surprise the audience. Hopefully you didn’t see that ending coming.”
“That episode was really cruel,” DeVito added.
Howerton said Season 9 will consist of a mix of high-concept and smaller, self-contained episodes. “We’re going to be doing a Lethal Weapon 6, spending more time on the actual film — if you can call it a film,” he said. “We have a more contained episode where there’s a big flu epidemic happening in Philadelphia and we quarantine ourselves in the bar.”
McElhenney said Game of Thrones writers/producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss wrote an episode for this season. “David and Dan pitched me an idea for an episode and I thought it was funny. It’s called ‘Flowers for Charlie.’”
“It’s kind of like the movie Limitless, where Charlie takes a pill to be more smarter,” Day interjected.
Holbrook mentioned he’s noticed DeVito’s character always seems to be the one doing the most disgusting stuff.
“I bare it all,” DeVito replied.
Howerton joked that DeVito is a disgusting man, and they’re just giving the audience what it wants.
“I didn’t take my clothes off this season, did I?” DeVito asked. “Oh, yeah, I did.”
Day said DeVito has earned the right to take his clothes off because he’s a “seasoned guy” and the rest of the cast isn’t seasoned enough yet.
“I think every year I should get to take my clothes off,” DeVito said, eliciting applause from the audience.
A fan asked if they’ve ever had ideas that FX has shot down. Howerton said not really, but they want to do an episode in which the gang appears on Family Feud. The game show’s producers seem to be on board, but they can’t get the network to approve it – and not for content reasons.
McElhenney was asked how much weight he gained for Season 7, and how he did it. “It was 60 pounds,” he replied. “I figured out the secret of weight gain: Eat. A lot. And don’t exercise. I ate about 5,000 calories a day and I was also doing a lot of power lifting because I noticed that when I just ate, it settled in my gut, and I wanted to create a nice backside and fill out. I made sure I walked very slowly from location to location.”
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns Sept. 4 on FXX.