Talking with Damon Wayans Jr. and Eliza Coupe about ‘Happy Endings’, Writing a Movie Together, and Why Babies Are Unfunny
After six long months off the air, ABC’s Happy Endings is finally back tonight at 9 with the premiere of its brand new third season. I recently had the chance to visit the set of the show, and from everything I saw and heard, the writers and cast have a lot of nutty, amazing stuff in store for us in the new season. I sat down for a roundtable chat with stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Eliza Coupe, who play weirdo married couple Brad and Jane. Wayans and Coupe, myself, and the other reports all had a civilized discourse about the new season, the movie Wayans and Coupe are writing together, why Brad and Jane won’t be having a kid any time soon (“babies aren’t funny”), and the importance of tight wet posture.
Journalist: New season! What are you excited about?
Damon Wayans Jr.: I like the fact that Brad is unemployed right now because he gets to have a lot more fun, gets to wear a lot less suits, and he’s having a grand old time.
Journalist: So what do the early unemployed adventures look like this season?
Wayans: A lot of hanging out with Max. They’ve had me do a lot of physical stuff this season, and I am not upset about that.
Eliza Coupe: Neither is Jane… Eliza doesn’t hate it either. I just have to live through her. Get things through her. It goes through her to me.
Journalist: How does Jane feel about the fact that Brad’s out of work?
Coupe: She gets to go work now, do her thing. She gets to go do the whole A-type personality thing, which is just work and be in control and think that she is ruling the roost. She’s not.
Journalist: So you have a new job this season. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Coupe: I deal cars with Rob Corddry…
Wayans: …who I’m a very big fan of. He’s very funny.
Coupe: Me too, big fan.
Wayans: Love his hair.
Journalist: Is Rob around for several episodes or just the one that gets you into that world?
Coupe: He’s done two so far, and we’re hoping for many more. In fact, if he wants to take Jane’s place, and I’ll come on as a guest star, I would not be okay with it, but I would learn to like it.
Wayans: I wouldn’t be okay with it… to be married to Rob.
Coupe: I think spooning would be wonderful for you two. I’d like to see that. Noo.
Journalist: So we’ve met Brad’s dad. Are we going to meet any other relatives this season?
Wayans: That’s related to me in real life? [Laughter]… I don’t know, it would be cool. I think it’d be cool to meet my mom or some weird older brother and just use one of my uncles.
Coupe: And my real mother will play his mother.
Wayans: We look just alike. It’s weird.
Coupe: Yeah. Kate Coupe from New Hampshire looks just like you.
Journalist: Just like a black man.
Coupe: My mother looks just like a black man.
Wayans: Same mustache…
Coupe: You know? She does. Because when I kiss her, I feel it. [Laughter] You know what, we’re from New Hampshire.
Wayans: Different customs.
Journalist: Now that we’re going into season three, do you find the writers writing a lot more toward who you guys are as people and actors? Since they know you so much better now?
Wayans: They’re definitely writing a lot more for our characters this season.
Coupe: And more of the kind of what we’ve always brought to it, which was this sexually charged and kind of wacky…
Wayans: We always like get into a fight halfway through, and then we make up at the end of the episode, so fast. It’s like so not a real relationship. [Laughter] I wish it was like that. That’d be awesome.
Journalist: You guys always have really great guest stars. Is there anyone that you’re really campaigning to get onto the show?
Wayans: I’m not campaigning [for] anyone, but I would like to see Whoopi Goldberg. She’d be like my aunt or my mom or something. It’d be pretty cool. But she just sits and talks on the show.
Coupe: Perfect, perfect.
Wayans: She sits there, and [Whoopi Goldberg voice] just does Whoopi.
Coupe: She walks in and then we cut away for a second, and all of a sudden there’s a couch and a chair and a table, and she has a mug.
Wayans: Four white women are around here.
Coupe: “Who let them in here?”
Coupe: Oh Peter Dinklage! I think Peter Dinklage needs to come on to the show.
Wayans: Whoa, hey, “Come on to the show.”
Coupe: Yeahhh. “Show” meaning “me.”
Coupe: I am also someone who will always say, and it will never in a million years happen, but I want Jim Carrey to be on the show. But it’ll never happen.
Journalist: What would you like him to play on the show?
Coupe: Maybe an ex-lover of some sort… An ex-lover of Peter Dinklage. So, we have to set that up first and establish it, so… Yeah.
Wayans: It’d be cool if maybe Liam Neeson comes on, and we have his dog or something. And he goes [Liam Neeson voice] “Now, I don’t know what you want…”[Laughter] We think it’s a stray but it’s really a murderer’s dog.
Journalist: The show is in a different timeslot this year. Do you guys put much thought into that – the competition – you’re up against New Girl, or do you not think about those things?
Wayans: Yeah, we think about it, but what are you going to do?
Coupe: There’s nothing we can do about it.
Wayans: Just have fun.
Coupe: It’s out of our hands.
Wayans: We just get some promo goin’.
Journalist: You guys play one of the rare interracial couples on TV. Does that impact at all on how you play your characters?
Wayans: No. It’s just fun. I just like that she’s funny, and we have the same sense of humor. It doesn’t matter what the race [is] when you’re funny and you’ve got a good…
Wayans/Coupe [simultaneously/slowly]: … posture.
Wayans/Coupe: Good wet posture.
Coupe: That’s what people say about me. “You stand so upright, you must have a wet posture. A real tight wet posture.”
Wayans: Yo, lemme get some posture.
Coupe: Lemme just touch your posture!
Journalist: So the last time you guys were teasing that you might be writing a film together. Is this what we can expect from this project?
Coupe: Yep. Wet posture.
Wayans: Yeah, we’re still going strong with it. We just need a little more star power, that’s all. Then, it’s just like whatever we want will happen. And I’ll just be touching postures left and right.
Coupe: Oh God. I’m gonna just put my posture all over you. Put it right up in your face.
Wayans: Put your posture in my face!
Coupe: Put your posture in my face! Let me just feel that posture with my tongue. What? I don’t know who said that!
Wayans: You said that. It was you. It was you.
Coupe: No, no, no. Someone is a ventriloquist.
Journalist: Now, how much of this is allowed on the set?
Coupe: They never say no to us, but we do it every day. We do something, we add something.
Wayans: Every day, and they edit it out. Not everything, but stuff like this when it gets a little too risky…
Coupe: And we are the ones that take it the furthest. I think some of our castmates are always like [afraid].
Wayans: No, Adam [Pally]’s pretty…
Coupe: Yeah, Adam’s there with us. Elisha [Cuthbert] can throw down too.
Wayans: Elisha can. When she’s in the mood, she can get real weird. You look at her like, “You’re so pretty and cute…”
Coupe: “…But you have a posture too.”
Wayans: “A dirty little posture.”
Coupe: “Dirty little posture!”
Journalist: Since Brad and Jane like posture a lot…
Coupe: Good segue.
Journalist: … do you guys possibly want to see that posture turn into a little baby?
Wayans: I think babies aren’t funny.
Coupe: I don’t think they’re funny.
Wayans: I think they’re cute, and then they get old.
Coupe: Then they have personalities and ick.
Wayans: And then you have to have like stupid storylines for them, and they have to act like they’re not kids. Have you ever noticed television kids always act like they’re smarter than they are?
Wayans: Like, “Dude you’re a fucking kid.” [Laughter] Kid’s like, “Dad I don’t know the element…” [Laughter] “Climate? Shut your ass up.” [Laughter]
Season 3 of Happy Endings premieres tonight at 9pm (8 central) on ABC.