There are several reasons to be really excited about the debut of Marry Me tomorrow night at 9 PM ET on NBC. For starters, it is the latest effort of writer David Caspe, who previously brought us the wonderful and very sadly-short-lived Happy Endings, which is a series that I still watch daily on YouTube, while hoping that another network comes to its senses and somehow gets the cast back together for 10 more seasons. Additionally, Caspe’s wife and Saturday Night Live alum Casey Wilson, who also starred on Happy Endings, is the female lead, and she’s usually pretty great (although I know plenty of people who disagree :( ). But most of all, at least for me, it’s the presence of her male co-star and friend of UPROXX Ken Marino, who has long been one of the funniest and most underrated actors in the industry, and so very well-deserving of this chance to be a leading man.
While there are also a few red flags with Marry Me – Caspe also wrote That’s My Boy, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, and his other upcoming series is called Cuz-Bros, about cousins who are bros, NATCH – I’m very willing to give Marry Me the benefit of the doubt based on Marino’s presence alone. As he has proven time and again in supporting roles and even minor cameos, he’s a very rare package of hilarious, charming and handsome, as I’m not afraid to admit that he’s a pretty good-looking dude, and he could date my mom if he’s into older women.
If you’re not familiar with Marino’s best work from the last 20 years, then consider this a crash course to prepare you for Marry Me. If you’re already a fan, consider this a reminder, as if you’d honestly feel burdened by watching these awesome moments again. Please remember that this isn’t a definitive list either, just some favorites and must-watch moments, so feel free to remind me what I forgot, preferably with a mean tone.
1995 – Louie, The State
If you’re a fan of Marino and you don’t still occasionally shout, “I want to dip my balls in it!” then you need to investigate the exact time that you grew up and stopped loving the dumber things from our younger years. That The State isn’t somehow at least on late night Comedy Central or one of those networks that you only occasionally watch because it airs Parks and Recreation reruns at random hours is beyond me, but getting to see this cast of amazing comics at their best in the early-90s is something we should regularly enjoy.
2001 – Victor Kulak, Wet Hot American Summer
It just hit me the other day that Netflix removed this from streaming, and that’s just mean. Sure, I own WHAS on DVD and can watch it whenever I want, but having it a click away on a bad day can really turn things around. I won’t lie and say that I have a clear cut favorite scene – I’m always partial to Chris Meloni’s character – but Victor’s chase with Neil (Joe Lo Truglio) is fantastic. Also, I love when Abby lifts Victor up by the crotch, because it reminds me of how the one year I went to summer camp, I was still too young to understand the late night hookups, but I loved hearing the older kids talk about boobs.
Bonus: Here’s Marino singing “Danny’s Song” in character at the film’s 10th anniversary:
2002 – Professor David Wilder, Dawson’s Creek
Marino had made us laugh plenty of times prior to his Season 5 run on Dawson’s Creek as Professor David “Jailbate” Wilder, but this time he was in it to be a hunky thief of hearts. Of course, he had a lot of nerve showing up to college and stealing Joey’s heart and that taboo kiss on a Friday night coffee stroll, only to let her down softly while teaching her how to write the perfect love story. Or maybe she was the one who let him down. I guess the heart is a book that writes its own endings, or some other such cornball nonsense set to a Duncan Sheik song, while wearing an Abercrombie sweater.
Also, shoutout to this YouTuber who put together the entire Joey and Professor Wilder storyline, which by itself is way better than that sucky Season 5.
2005 – Various roles, Reno 911!
I don’t know what’s worse – that Marino didn’t have a greater role on this wonderful Comedy Central cop series or that there aren’t more Reno 911! videos available online. What a strange world that we live in when this series isn’t readily available to celebrate on a regular basis.
2005 – Vinnie Van Lowe, Veronica Mars
I wasn’t a routine viewer of Veronica Mars, but I’ve watched some of it on the request of others over the last few years, and it was a fun enough show. But you know how you win me over? Take an actor that I really like, in this case it’s Marino, and have him sing a Hall & Oates song like, “Private Eyes.” Boom, you’ve succeeded in pressing two of my good buttons and I will forever say nice things about your show, even if I’m not a fan.
2007 – Dr. Glenn Richie, The Ten
The Ten isn’t necessarily the funniest movie from start to finish, as it has its highs and lows, but “The Goof” is pretty wonderful. I just love when the judge, who played Tracy Jordan’s fake mom on 30 Rock, says, “Um, not to be a dick…” because she’s the best judge in movie history.
2007 – Gordon, Wainy Days
If you’re bored and need a pleasant way to waste an afternoon at work or whatever else you might do, Wainy Days is a fun web series that you can kill some time with. Marino didn’t have much of a role in this particular sketch, but it’s one of my favorites and he’s in it, so it counts. Watch it.
2008 – Dr. Glenn Richie, Childrens Hospital
Not to be all controversial and in-your-face, but Childrens Hospital is easily one of the funniest shows on TV and it should have the highest ratings of any comedy, because everyone should be watching it. Like most great ensemble comedies, the success comes from teamwork and everyone being awesome in each role, but Marino, once again as Dr. Glenn Richie, is just as wonderful as the rest of the cast, and I cannot possibly begin to rank them. (Just kidding, Megan Mullally is the best, Marino is second.)
2009 – Ron Donald, Party Down
Party Down is one of those awesome shows that I was late to the party on and I hate myself for not being in on the ground floor. Sometimes I like to rewatch old episodes and pretend that I’m the first person to watch the series, and then I brag about it to all of the stuffed animals in my room, because they’re beneath me.
2012 – Richard Rickman, Happy Endings
Have I mentioned that I miss Happy Endings? Because I miss Happy Endings. I know it wasn’t the most popular show, hence the cancelation and lack of a network willing to air it, but a more charming cast of characters has been hard to find. Especially Jane, because she was the best. Marino played Dave’s therapist and Penny’s eventual boyfriend, Dr. Richard Rickman. I included the entire episode here because it’s available on YouTube and I want people to watch it and feel bad for not watching Happy Endings when it was on ABC.
2012 – Donny, The League
Andre revealed that he was being cyberbullied by Donny “The Seed” Sedowski after he friended him on Facebook, and of course stupid, poorly-dressed Andre kept feeding him information about where he could find him to make good on his threats to punch his teeth in. The Seed was the worst, which makes him, in turn, the best, because Andre deserves to be harassed by a guy who works out with jizz.
2013 – Flute Cop, Axe Cop
Everything about Axe Cop is awesome, because it has Nick Offerman, which immediately makes me love it, and Patton Oswalt, Jonathan Banks, Tyler the Creator and the always wonderful Deborah Ann Woll also provided voices for this bizarre cartoon. Marino was the man behind Flute Cop, and it’s actually impossible to even attempt to describe the absurd awesomeness of Axe Cop. Find it somewhere now and watch it.
2013 – Guy Young, Eastbound & Down
When it comes to the final season of Eastbound & Down, I’m still not sure if it was necessary or if they should have just ended with Kenny Powers walking off the mound in Texas. However, between the final episode’s insanely wonderful ending and the friendship-turned-bitter-feud between KP and Guy Young, I’m glad we were able to watch one more season. Looking back, I didn’t think that Marino could effectively pull off the role of a former athlete turned sports shouter, but he was wonderful.
2013 – Harry Houdini, Drunk History
I’ve already admitted that we don’t talk about Drunk History nearly enough, but I’ll say it again – we don’t talk about Drunk History nearly enough. It’s always very impressive how the show’s actors manage to deliver on the impaired ramblings of comics, and I loved Marino as Harry Houdini in the above routine.
With a little hope, luck and good TV writing, hopefully I’ll update this list with a clip or 10 from Marry Me in the coming months. Otherwise, let’s get to work on that Party Down movie and a Wet Hot American Summer sequel. PRONTO.