How did Rescue Me co-creator and executive producer Peter Tolan celebrate the show's final panel at the Television Critics Association fall TV previews? He dropped his pants, of course.
Rescue Me's final season: Can Tommy Gavin survive?
In typical Rescue Me fashion, the panel began as a semi-serious discussion of the show's final season and its legacy before turning crazy. Part of that legacy, Tolan said, was being one of the few pieces of popular entertainment to deal with the 9/11 terrorist attacks that actually ran for several years. "It's the only one that was accepted and lasted, and I think the real reason is because we always approached it with humor," Tolan said.
And almost immediately after, that humor hit the stage, where Tolan was joined by stars Denis Leary, Steven Pasquale and Callie Thorne. Noting that rival cable channel USA had stolen all three of the other panelists — Thorne currently stars in USA's Necessary Roughness, while Leary is co-writing a pilot for the network and Pasquale is starring in another — Tolan kick-started a raucous round of profanity-fueled jokes from the panel. "[I'll be doing] very mild janitorial work [at USA]," Tolan said. "And working for just a few weeks as [USA co-president] Jeff Wachtel's fluffer."
As the craziness escalated, Tolan, seemingly without reason, stood and dropped his pants, revealing turquoise-and-black-striped briefs. Tolan kept the comedy coming when a reporter asked Leary if he felt his most-remembered character would be Rescue Me's Tommy Gavin. "I think you're forgetting Operation Dumbo Drop," Tolan quipped.
Check out photos of the Rescue Me cast
When things settled back down, Leary and Tolan seemed pleased with how they were able to end their story. Tolan even revealed a couple of the rejected endings, one of which included Tommy sacrificing himself in a fire to ensure his family would be taken care of and another that involved him walking out into the ocean to drown. "It was just a very negative message," said Tolan. "So we decided to go with something a little more hopeful."
Viewers will see how it ultimately ends next month, but Tolan and Leary may be back working on TV together sooner than you think. They told TVGuide.com after the panel that they are already working on another half-hour comedy project together. "I've just got to get some underwear that matches his," Leary joked.
Rescue Me's series finale airs Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 10/9c on FX.