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Ron Funches and David Flynn Talk About the NBC Undateable Live Episode

NBC Undateable Cast

Last week, we had the opportunity to visit the set of the new NBC show Undateable to talk to discuss their upcoming live episode. Being a show that is usually prerecorded, putting on a one hour live special is a pretty major undertaking. We sat down with Ron Funches, Rick Gassman, and David Flynn to discuss the process of preparing for the live episode, thriving on pressure, and tripping over gold bricks.

Ron Funches

What do you guys hope happens on the show?
Ron Funches: I hope, that a lot of people watch. Like, a million.

Rick Glassman: No, that’s not enough. More than a million.

Ron Funches: Like a billion.

Rick Glassman: I think an expectation like that is going to lead to disappointment. You need something more realistic, like 500-700 million.

Ron Funches: 700 million people watch, they like it. Steven Spielberg watches it, he says “woo – who’s this Shelly guy? Let me get him in some movies.” Then I leave out the studio, and I hurt myself, and I say “what’s this?” and I look down, and I tripped over a gold brick. Then I take that home, and then my girlfriend’s there, and we take a jetpack and we fly out. I think that’s what I mostly hope for.

David Flynn NBC Undateable

Are you guys excited to do a live show?
David Flynn: Yes. I think the excitement comes from terror. It’s like standing on a train track and then jumping out of the way at the last minute.

Do you think you’ll enjoy doing the show live without the stop/start nature of a regular show?
Rick Glassman: Yeah! It’s like when you’re playing basketball – you don’t ever want to stop, but at the same time, you get a little out of breath. I think we’ll be able to ride that wave, but we’re all going to be sweating and breathing heavy by the fourth pitch.

Ron Funches: Yeah, I think it’ll be a fun rush…I think it’ll be nice to do it twice. We’ll do it for two hours, then it’ll be done by 10:00 and we’ll probably just pass out for a whole day.

Why do you think this show is good as a live show?
David Flynn: I think from watching it, it’s clear that there’s an element of spontaneity. There’s moments where you can tell that people are genuinely laughing at their friends being stupid. It gives us a warmth that you might not find in other shows. I think that kind of makes the show more accessible for the audience, and kind of draws them in a bit more.

Rick Glassman: 4 of us are stand up comedians. We kind of thrive in pressure situations, and this is an adrenaline rush. That energy gets you into it and makes you go further with it.

Ron Funches: It’s just about certain kind of people. There are certain kind of people that when you put a camera in their face, they kind of freak out. Then there’s other people who [love it]. Knowing that it’s live, there’s this kind of pressure that either makes diamonds or bursts pipes, and I feel like we’re a bunch of diamonds. [laughs] It’s just fun for us.

NBC Undateable table read

What’s been the biggest adjustment to doing this show as opposed to the other shows?
Rick Glassman: Getting ready for it, really. The rehearsal process has been different. Instead of focusing on the blocking, primarily, we’re performing more in rehearsal. The repetition of rehearsal has been the biggest difference.

Ron Funches: It’s more like a play with transitions – we never had to learn transitioning or anything like that before.

Have either of you guys ever been in a play before?
Ron Funches: David has..

David Flynn: I have. I went to theater school, and then I did all the National Theater and the Donmar, and the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and stuff, so yeah. The thing with doing a play is that you get about 6 weeks to rehearse it. With this, we’ve had about 6 days.

Rick Glassman: I have. I did a bunch of roles when I was in college. They were all written by students, and I’ve always loved it, and I always thought the multicam would be the same kind of thing. Then I got this show and I didn’t connect the same way, it didn’t feel the same. This feels so much like a play, with how everyone is on the same team at the same time. I love it.

Undateable cast table read

Do you still feel the adrenaline leading up to the night of a show that you felt in college?
Rick Glassman: No, in college, it was before I was doing standup, and it was all nerves, and what’s gonna happen? Now, I’m much more comfortable, and I don’t have any expectations of what could happen when doing it. I’ve got some nervous energy, but I can’t wait.

Are you going to do much improv?
Ron Funches: Yeah! They built in some spots for us to do it, and we’ve been doing it a lot in rehearsal. It’s gonna be a little bit less than normal, but I think the script itself is gonna [feature] more contributions from us, in general.

David Flynn: I think it’s gonna be more structured, but there will be places to do it. I think it’d be kind of silly…with this cast especially, to kind of tie us up. People like Chris [D’Elia] and Brent [Morin] who can go off. They’re not going to do a 4 minute bit like they sometimes do, but there’s going to be moments, for sure.

Don’t miss the Undateable live episode tonight (May 5th) at 9pm on the East Coast and 9pm on the West Coast (they’re doing it live twice), and we’re going to be in the audience! Head over to @chubstr as we live tweet the whole thing!