I talked with Adam Pally as he was driving around Baton Rouge where he is currently filming Search Party, a movie starring Adam, T.J. Miller and Thomas Middleditch, along with a stellar cast. Pally is straight up one of my favorite people. When you look at past, current and future work, who he collaborates with, how scene-stealing he is in everything, and the fact that he’s just a truly kind and rad guy, it all adds up to him being not just a talented performer, but a person you instantly and will always root for. “Happy Endings,” was one of my favorite shows of the past few years, and his character “Max” was one of the best on television. Even though the show is no more (but will live forever in my heart and my iTunes!), it doesn’t mean any less of Adam. You all saw him in the small indie film Iron Man 3 that kicked off summer right? He’s also in the super anticipated film The To Do List that comes out in July. And Search Party. Guy is busy, which is good for him, and great for us. I talk about it all in a fun interview with Adam, so read on, smile on, and get your Adam Pally lovin’ on.
Serial Optimist: First of all thank you so much for taking the time to cat with me. I’m a big fan and we’ve been wanting to get you on Serial Optimist for some time and I know you’re a super busy guy so I just want to tell you how much I appreciate this.
Adam Pally: Oh, not at all. And thank you for assuming that I’m busy.
SO: A modest man you are, Pally. I’ve been reading about you and seeing what’s going on. You’re a busy guy. It seems like you’ve got a lot going on lately; movie shoots after movie shoots.
Adam: Yes. Once again thank you for stating it like that, [laughing] I appreciate it.
SO: Well when I talk about you I refer to you as “Superstar Adam Pally” to everyone so I’ll just try to get that going around. So I kind of want to start off with being a little bit serious and I hate to bring this up. I know Casey Wilson is probably a little bit sad about this and you’re probably bummed as well but how are you all dealing with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’s relationship problems?
Adam: Oh um you know um I’m… is she legal?
SO: I think she is legal now. Yes. If you saw the movie Spring Breakers she was in a bikini the whole time.
Adam: Yeah. You know it’s a tough thing. Relationships are hard and you know, those two kids, I hope they get into therapy and figure it out.
SO: Yeah I hope so too.
Adam: The truth of the matter is… is that I don’t care. And they’re both probably human garbage so it’s ok.
SO: I was hoping you would think I was going toward the “Happy Endings” thing and then..
Adam: No I got your joke, I got your joke.
SO: That’s why I could never be a comedian because I would have to clarify after every joke to make sure that people understand that it was actually a joke.
Adam: I would stick to your day job of whatever this is.
SO: No doubt! So tell me when was the last time that you laughed really hard and why?
Adam: I’ve laughed every day pretty much on this movie that I’m doing because I’m doing a lot of my stuff with T.J. Miller and T.J.’s one of the funniest dudes on the planet. So I’ve been laughing a lot. The other day he made me laugh when he came down to work. It was like 5 in the morning and he came down to work wearing legit 16-carat gold grills that he bought. For real. Like not as a dick. He enjoys wearing them. And they cost a lot of money. And I found that out.
SO: That’s very funny. See that’s the kind of thing that I love about T.J., he has been such a supporter Serial Optimist and he’s probably my favorite person that I have emailed back and forth with because everything he says is crazy even when he’s not being crazy. He’s always just completely out there.
Adam: Yeah. He’s a funny dude.
SO: So who do you think has a better shot of making the finals next year? The Heat, the Knicks, the Bulls?
Adam: Uh the Heat. And that kills me to say.
SO: Yeah I was gonna say.
Adam: But I’m honest and a realist. Why do you have to ask that? It’s so depressing.
SO: I don’t even want to watch the finals this year at all.
Adam: I’m rooting for San Antonio. Which feels really weird.
SO: Exactly. I’ve never ever wanted to root for them but I don’t want the Heat to win at all and I’m really hoping the Knicks will get something together so they cannot be the hot mess that they eventually turn into.
Adam: We are going to have to have a creative off-season. But we’ll see.
SO: So on a serious note, I do want to bring this up just because I really can’t even tell you how big of a fan of “Happy Endings” that I have been since it started. It’s truly “Parks & Recreation” and “Happy Endings” that are the two of my favorite comedies in recent years. ABC wouldn’t pick it up and I want to get your thoughts on that, and I don’t want to get into it too much because I’m sure that’s not something you want to talk about.
Adam: That’s ok.
SO: So what are your thoughts on being canceled and did you have an idea that it might happen? Did you have hopes that it might be moving to a different network and is that still a possibility?
Adam: I wasn’t ignoring the ratings and what everyone was saying. I just felt, you know, I really had a great time working on the show and maybe I was blindly optimistic but I thought there was a place for it. But moving forward I am just so insanely proud of it and so insanely proud of the work that everyone did, and had such a good time working with those people. I only have positive memories and positive things to share about it and it was a great experience. I think it will live on in whatever way it does. I’m proud of it.
SO: I’m not an industry person and I don’t know how things like this happen, but with such a stellar cast and crew, I mean every single person is so great. Casey is one of the sweetest girls and everyone in the cast is so funny and so good. How does something like this happen? Is it just ABC being completely whack or is it all about ratings? How does a show that is so beloved get canceled?
Adam: I don’t know. I don’t know the ins and outs of it too well and at this point, and from this perspective, a lot of things can be looked at as bitter so I don’t really know, and I can’t really say. What I can say is that these things happen all the time and you know it doesn’t always matter if people like it or not. So just the fact that we got to do it for three years with those people and I’ve made just amazing friends and working partnerships that I really—even with the way that it went down—I can’t say a bad thing about it or the network. I can’t really say bad things about ABC. A lot of people there really fought for the show so it was a positive all the way around.
SO: Iron Man 3! What was that experience like? Seems pretty crazy and especially seeing you in the trailers and the movie—it was rad. How was it being involved in such a mega blockbuster? That had to be a trip.
Adam: Iron Man 3 was super, super fun. I was so lucky to get to do it. It came about in a really just walking around about way. I kind of knew Robert [Downey Jr.] for a little bit and then the part came up, and I think the coolest part is that it’s amazing to be able to say that I got to work with Shane Black and it made over a zillion dollars. It was just an awesome experience and I’m so lucky to have had it. And now I can tell people that Robert and I are close friends and some of them will believe it.
SO: [Laughs] Absolutely.
Adam: But we’re not. We’re not. We’re not. [Laughs]
SO: I’m going to go ahead and tell people that as well. I’m just gonna start a ton of rumors about you that are all positive. So we’ll see if some of them stick.
Adam: Do it up, man. [Laughs]
SO: We’re huge fans of UCB, which has been a huge part of your career. I love everything that you’ve done with that and I feel like you could write a novel about all of your experiences with Hot Sauce and everything else. But I wanted to see if you could share a story with us, be it with Hot Sauce or something else that just audience and fans and people wouldn’t know.
Adam: Yeah. I’m trying to think what a funny story about UCB coming up that people wouldn’t know… I would say one time I had to go with Gil Ozeri and Bobby Moynihan to a comedy festival and we had to drive, and Gil was like an hour late meeting us at the car rental place. Bobby and I were getting really pissed. When he finally showed up he was like, “I’m sorry it just like took me forever to pack.” And he had this duffel bag with him. And we were like; “It’s fine but dude you’re like an hour late.” He was like, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” And so we get in the car, we’re driving and it’s a long drive. We’re about an hour into the drive and someone asked, “Did anyone bring anything to do or listen to or watch?” And Gil says, “Yeah I brought a copy of a CD of Eddie Murphy Raw. It’s in my bag. That’s part of the reason why I was so late, I was looking through all of this stuff.” And we were like, “Oh, OK. Grab it out.” And Bobby was in the backseat near the luggage and so Bobby grabbed Gil’s bag and opened it up and the only thing that was in there was a copy of Eddie Murphy Raw and like, thirty avocados.
SO: [Laughs] That’s all he packed?
Adam: Yeah and he was all set. It was actually a shitty thing to do when you think about it because we were really late but it was really funny.
SO: Yeah that’s awesome. I love that. I will forever associate Gil with thirty avocados and Raw. Really excited about Search Party, which you are currently filming with the aforementioned T.J. Miller, and also with Alison Brie, Krysten Ritter and one of my favorites—Jon Glaser—and others. So where are you shooting now?
Adam: We’re in Baton Rouge. I’m actually in the car right now hanging out with my buddy Brian Huskey who’s in the movie. We’re driving around looking at weird, sad stuff in Baton Rouge. [chuckle]
SO: How’s the atmosphere? Is this your first time to be in that area?
Adam: It’s my first time spending this much time in Louisiana, yeah. And I don’t love it.
SO: How’s the heat?
Adam: The heat is hot and wet.
SO: And sticky.
Adam: It’s not great for a jail.
SO: Can you tell us a little bit about the basic premise of Search Party and what the movie’s about?
Adam: Yeah it’s a movie about these two guys who kind of disapprove of their third friend’s fiancé and then kind of screw up the wedding and go on a journey to make sure that he actually does get back together with his fiancé. It’s written and directed by Scot Armstrong, who was Scott Phillips partner during all of the Old School and Road Trip days and everyone in it is so funny and has a similar vibe from the UCB days, it’s just been great. I hope it comes out as good as it feels as we’re doing it.
SO: It sounds like it’s going to be just a blast of a movie. I was curious with Scot directing it, is it kind of in the same kind of style as the Road Trip, The Hangover, Old School kind of concept? Is it along those lines of humor or is he kind of branching out a little bit with this movie?
Adam: It’s so shitty to do a this meets this like thing. But it’s almost like Superbad meets Reality Bites in a kind of way. It’s got a lot to do with growing up and moving on from the stage where you’re living with your buddies, but it’s also this really fun action comedy, so I think it’s somewhere in the middle.
The To Do List
SO: You also have The To Do List coming out this summer. Again, working with a stellar cast of people. I just recently posted a short feature about the movie, very much looking forward to it. Are you excited about the movie? And that’s coming out, I think July 26th? That had to be super fun to work on.
Adam: I’m super psyched about it. It was really fun. Aubrey Plaza (who stars) is supper nice and funny and talented. I think it’s going to be really funny. I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t really say if it’s good or not, so I’ll just say it’s going to be the best movie ever.
SO: It honestly does look so, so funny. I am excited about everything that you are a part of right now. You and T.J., you’re never hitting and missing. You’re spot on.
Adam: Again, T.J. and I have been saying we’re the next Chris Farley and Chris Farley.
SO: Yeah. I can see it.
Adam: And that comes from T.J. Make sure that quote comes from T.J. so I don’t sound like a dick.
SO: DISCLAIMER: The above quote came from T.J. Miller. You’re off the hook! Is there a release date for Search Party yet?
Adam: There’s no release date yet but I think it will come once the studio decides how they’re gonna market it and other things.
SO: Awesome. Adam thank you again so, so much.
Adam: Thank you so much for writing about the movie, I really appreciate it!