Entertainment Weekly is doing a series of posts titled Emmy Watch to gear up for the 2012 awards, and today they have an interview with “Happy Endings” creator David Caspe and executive producer Jonathan Groff. The interview touches on a wide range of topics, from the development of Casey Wilson’s character, Penny, to mild spoilers about next season, but the most interesting part for me was the revelation that Max’s band was almost called Sex Pants None the Richer in the finale instead of Mandonna.
GROFF: Josh Bycel, who cowrote the finale with Leila Strachan, actually knew four straight guys who were in an all-male Madonna cover band called Mandonna. He actually called them and said, “Hey, we’re gonna use your guys’ name,” and they were flattered…. Getting Madonna and her publishers and representatives to agree to let us use “Like a Prayer” was a long process, and we were so grateful to them and to her and our music supervisors. We called in every favor. We got agents who know people at CAA, who know her people, and so on. We didn’t really find out until a few days before we were gonna shoot that we were gonna get to use that song. So we had to simultaneously prepare for Max being in another cover band. Max was gonna have been in a Sixpence None the Richer cover band and perform “Kiss Me.”
CASPE: The name was gonna be Sex Pants None the Richer.
GROFF: We had all these parallel scenes written about Max’s sex pants. “Max, you have to put on the sex pants again! Come on! Sex pants! Sex pants!” All those chants of “Mandonna!” were gonna be “Sex Pants!” if Madonna and her people had said, “No thanks.” That shows you how harrowing and last-minute stuff can be. [EW]
As someone who had “Kiss Me” stuck in his head for a huge chunk of the late ’90s and wanted to throw his radio off a bridge because of it, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the Material Girl for allowing “Happy Endings” to use her song in this episode. Is “Sex Pants None the Richer” a funnier thing to say out loud than “Mandonna”? Yes, very much so. But if Max and his band had climbed up on stage and started singing about bearded barley and green, green grass, it could have led to the song leaking out into popular culture again, and we simply can’t have that. Absolutely not. That song needs to be sealed up in an airtight container and deposited at the bottom of the ocean like Megatron. In that way, if in no other, Madonna has done the Lord’s work here.