'Happy Endings' cast happy to push the envelope
October 12th, 2011
05:39 PM ET

'Happy Endings' cast happy to push the envelope

Elisha Cuthbert will never forget the time she was tased.

The actress, best known for "24," had that memorable moment (or at least her character, Alex, did) on ABC's comedy "Happy Endings" last season. Cuthbert told CNN that was her favorite moment that has aired on the show so far (but look out for the upcoming Halloween episode, for another one).

“I’m just in a place where I’m just ready to give it my all," she said. "So when the writers come up to me and say, ‘We want to tase you next week,’ I say, ‘Bring it! Let’s do it!’"

Despite having a plum spot on ABC's Wednesday night comedy lineup, there was still a good possibility that the show's first season this past spring would be its last.

“It was a little bit stressful for a lot of the cast last year, feeling that it wasn’t the best situation to be a mid-season replacement," she said. "I was in a place where I was thrilled to be doing comedy, and I knew what we were doing was great work."

It turns out that the show was able to build enough buzz for a last-minute renewal back in May. Now that they are back (in the post-"Modern Family" timeslot), they're not about to rest on their laurels.

"Knowing that we have 13 episodes ready to go is great, but we still want a full season like everybody else," said Cuthbert. "We’re still not across the finish line yet. The problem with TV now is that there’s so much competition, that you’re always on the chopping block."

The cast has even taken it upon themselves to "borrow" other billboards (well, at least tweeting their photo-manipulated creations) to promote the show.

Cuthbert described the conversation with the network in this way: “How come we don’t have any billboards? ‘You don’t need them, you’re after “Modern Family.”’ Okay we’ll take it!"

One way the show has gotten attention is because of the edginess of the humor.

"[Co-star] Damon Wayans, Jr. came up with ‘sex nose’ [to describe a part of the male anatomy], which is sort of on the cusp of, ‘Is that gonna work?’" Cuthbert said. "But it cracked everyone up and it stayed [in the show]...Sometimes it’s too much, but sometimes it’s right on the line and I think that’s what audiences are looking for – to always be on the cusp of [something] new, edgy and fast-paced, and that’s what we’re all about."

Wayans (also recently seen in the premiere episode of "New Girl") recently told reporters that the freedom to improvise in that way is a big reason why he loves playing the character of Brad on "Happy Endings."

"We probably shoot an R-rated show. We shoot takes that are written on the script, but then we do our own stuff almost all the time," he said. "And so we get a whole different show, so they just pick and choose what they want. But it’s definitely nowhere near what we actually shoot. We shoot crazy things."

Eliza Coupe, who plays Wayans' wife, Jane, chimed in, "we might be in jail if we [left] what we wanted to have air, air."

She also tries "every single episode to show up at rehearsal naked and they’re not into it. And I’m like, 'I feel like Jane wants to be naked.' And they don’t seem to go with that. But you know what, I’m going to just keep trying because I think one of these days ABC is going to say, 'Yes, yes, you can do full frontal.'”

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  2. Kooz

    I have Happy Endings in my top 5 network sitcoms of 2011, which is great considering how many good shows are on. Didn't realize how much ad-libbing they do–it helps with shows like The League and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia too. Anyway, top 5 sitcoms here: http://kooztop5.blogspot.com/2011/12/top-5-funniest-sitcoms-of-2011-on.html

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