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Wild Card, Kitten Mittens, Green Man, Milk Steak, And F*ck Yeah Tumblrs: An Interview With Charlie Day

As part of Always Sunny Week here at UPROXX Charlie Day was awesome enough to spend a few minutes talking with me about the show, its remarkable following on the internet, and the odd, random, and sometimes off-putting Sunny trivia my buddies and I have spent years debating over beers. He’s as friendly, accessible, and easy to chat with as you’d imagine, and he didn’t even seem to notice how awkward and inarticulate I am over the phone, which makes him even more of a national treasure in my eyes.

Since we dedicate the majority of our time here at UPROXX to the intersection of web culture and entertainment, we kicked things off by discussing the internet’s obsession with Sunny, Charlie Kelly, and the soon-to-be unveiled Fat Mac. We then transitioned into some quick fire questions that I think you’ll enjoy even if you’ve never seen the show.

Do you guys actively discuss the internet, what will work, and things that will be embraced by the internet? Are you ever in the middle of taping a bit and like, “This is going to kill!”?

Mmm, no not really. I mean, first and foremost we’re just trying to make the best product we can and the internet becomes sort of a secondary thing. If a certain joke or scene picks up on the internet and takes off that’s great. Although we never want someone to just get one scene or joke out of context. But sometimes we’ll do a little short video or something for the internet hoping that that goes around just to stir up a little buzz for the show. But you know the internet is just a nice bonus to getting the show out.

Is there any place in particular like Twitter or Tumblr or any certain sites that you like to personally check out for reactions or coverage?

I’m on Twitter and I’ll hop on every now and then although I use it primarily so someone else can’t use it and pretend to be me. I like that little “verified” check. I’m only vaguely aware of what a Tumblr is.

Because there are all these “F*ck Yeah” Tumblrs dedicated to “F*ck Yeah Charlie Day” or “F*ck Yeah Always Sunny” there are just so many animated GIFs of you out there it’s kind of amazing. We actually did a GIF wall feature because there are so many out there. Thoughts?

All I can say to that is f*ck yeah!

The Green Man phenomenon has taken off at sporting events. When did you first become aware of how big that had become?

I think shortly after we did that episode we started to see Green Man popping up at a sporting event or two. At first just in Philly and we thought it was cool. Someone’s out there doing it. I think by then the guy was following Tiger Woods around and then obviously the two guys in Canada have taken it to a whole other level.

It’s sort of been a growing phenomenon. I’m still surprised to this day that people are willing to do it.

Is there a certain phrase or saying that you get most often in public when someone sees you somewhere? That they come up and scream at you or yell at you?

It’s usually “Wild Card.”

That was my #1 vote.

That’s usually the #1. That or Day Man or Green Man.

I was just scrolling through one of the F*ck Yeah Tumblrs and there’s the “Wild Card” Obama-style election graphic. Don’t know if you’ve seen that.

Really? I have not seen that.

 

Are there any new musicals on the horizon we can look forward to?

It’s definitely something you can look forward to. We don’t have a full musical episode planned out. Although we are doing a kids pageant episode this season and in it there are a few song and dance numbers.

Were you guys prepared for how much buzz Fat Mac would create? I remember just seeing a headline and it piqued my interest. And then the first picture hit the web and I feel like everyone’s been talking about it ever since, counting down to the premiere. Did you guys take that into account?

Well, yeah. We knew it would be good publicity for the season. We have a young audience and if you’re young and you live in America you’re probably online a lot. So most of our fans are probably fairly active on the computer. Facebook, on Twitter, whatever else. So anytime we do anything that is a conversation piece I think we’re always slightly aware of that. Hopefully it will get talked about and passed around and be a good way to drum up interest for the next season.

Did you see Rob regularly when he was gaining the weight?

On a daily basis.

 

So you got to see the whole thing?

Yeah, you know when you’re close to it it’s less drastic. It’s just the way someone can gain fifty pounds and you’re like, “Really? It’s not that fat.” (Laughs) But if you haven’t seen him for months you’re like, “Alright, that guy really packed it on.” Because we were in there writing with him everyday I kept thinking, “Oh gosh, he’s not getting big enough, it’s not going to work.” And then when were able to step outside and sort of compare and contrast what he looks like now versus what he looked like then. That’s when we got the full impact.

Did you have any cool dares? Like, (telling Rob) you can’t eat all of that? Or you can’t take this many down? Anything like that?

(Laughs) Uh, no. I mean this was his own sort of soul-searching journey so you have to let a man take that alone.

FX released the filthy language video the other day about the creative stuff you guys do as far as bending the rules of profanity. Is there anything in particular, any one term or phrase you enjoy most as far as ones you guys sort of made up? Like all the different “d*ck” variations?

I understand the effectiveness of that campaign and I think it is mildly amusing, but I tell you what, I hesitate to talk about the show in that manner because we never really set out to say, “Oh, how many different ways can we refer to a penis?” or whatever. These things just sort of come up in the language of the characters and the context of what they’re getting involved in in that episode. You know, maybe people improvise variations on it but it’s never really our intention to be more filthy than any other show. I think it’s just somehow come across like that because it’s a fairly unfiltered and uncensored show, but I think unless you’re living in Pleasantville somewhere most people talk like that.

There aren’t a ton of boundaries (when it comes to profanity) you guys have to work around but you keep things different and fresh. Some of them are definitely fun and maybe people haven’t heard them before and end up repeating them.

Oh right, that’s right. We were talking about the “balls to the chin” thing. Right, every now and then there’s a few just very vague boundaries but you get more creative when you’re faced with limitations.

Do you own a cat and if you own a cat does it wear kitten mittens?

(Laughs) I do not own a cat. I have a dog. And he’s not fond of wearing anything and anytime you dress him in anything he’s sure to urinate on it at some point.

 

Oh my gosh. You’re a dog person. People are going to be mortified to hear that.

Well, I had a cat growing up. So I can relate to cats.

People just really like quoting the kitten mitten pitch.

Yeah, certain things. Kitten Mittens, the Day Man episode, Green Man, Wild Card. Certain things really stick with people. You never really know which it’s going to be or what it’s going to be but you’re happy that they’re entertained.

If you had to pick one to do for a year, Charlie Kelly’s diet or Charlie work?

Oh, definitely Charlie work. That man eats strange things.

 

Speaking of which, my friends have an ongoing debate over what milk steak actually is and what it consists of. Do you have any idea about that?

(Laughs) Milk steak is a joke. But I would assume it consists of both milk and steak. I hope someone cracks the code. Maybe they’ll invent a new recipe.

I think the “Charlie Day Recipe Book” could be pretty successful.

We’ve talked about that before. We thought that could be pretty funny.

Have you ever bashed a rat in real life?

Well, I don’t want to get into any trouble with any animal rights organizations but I did live in many a crappy apartment in New York City. Let’s just say there were rodents.

Who would win in a fight, Fat Mac or Skinny Mac?

Oh, Fat Mac. Fat Mac. He’d be so hungry he’d want to get the fight over quickly and I think he’d just snap.

If you had to choose between being a master of karate or friendship which would it be?

Definitely karate. Anyone can handle friendship.

Do you own or shower with a dick towel?

I don’t own one. I don’t know why I don’t own one. I should own one.

On a 1-10 scale, how much fun is salting the snail? Because it looks unbelievably fun.

(Laughs) Look, it’s about a 5. It’s amusing but then you have the regret of having just salted someone.

 

On Independence Day does everyone expect you to go America all over everyone’s asses?

It’s a given.

Do you have a favorite costume out of all the different costumes Charlie has worn over the years?

I think my favorite was designed by one of our costume designers and he did an amazing job and I always get a chuckle out of those Birds of War outfits.

Oh man. Those are tremendous.

Those are pretty good.

Charlie Day went on that evening to headline Conan’s guest list. I watched and it was enjoyable, although I could tell he was wondering what happened to all the milk steak questions.

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