is mad about cars. Or, more specifically, a car dealership. OK, even more to the point, he's mad about a sitcom pilot he's currently developing for CBS about a guy who sells cars for a living. At the same time, the Mad About You
alum is happy to be bringing The Thing About My Folks
— which he wrote and produced, and in which he plays son to one of his idols, Peter Falk
— to DVD. Reiser found a few minutes to speak with TVGuide.com about his new TV foray (including whether there's a role in it for Falk), and the very special "extra" included in the Folks
TVGuide.com: I just wanted to amend the story that I wrote a few months ago for The Thing About My Folks' theatrical release....
Paul Reiser: Whatever I said three months ago, same thing.
TVGuide.com: .... And ask a few questions about your new pilot. Should I assume that you know someone whose family is in the car business?
Reiser: No, you shouldn't. I don't.
TVGuide.com: So where did this idea come from?
Reiser: I don't know. This one came out of no reason. [The central character] just struck me as a funny guy.
TVGuide.com: Perhaps an auto dealership is the only workplace comedy setting left uncharted?
Reiser: Probably not even that. I'm sure there's been plenty of [shows set in] car dealerships. No, I just had this character in mind, I had a deal with CBS and I owed these guys a script. I came up with an idea and said, "Let me go write this," because it struck me as funny. So we're casting now, looking for "the funny guy."
TVGuide.com: Is there any casting news to report yet?
Reiser: No, we don't have any casting news yet. We want to find the guy.
TVGuide.com: Is he a twentysomething?
Reiser: "Somebody between 20 and 50. Funny." Shouldn't be that hard.
TVGuide.com: I guess that with this concept, you're going to have to come up with a fictitious automobile brand? Like "Kwikly Motors" or something?
Reiser: You know what? You are nothing but problems, Matt! I'm already on that. I'm hoping that we can get somebody to [allow the use of their name]. It's a lot of commercial time for somebody, to have a show based in a Cadillac dealership or a Ford dealership. Just don't force me to make it "Joe's Cars."
TVGuide.com: Hey, you've got The Office doing scenes in Hooters and Friday's....
Reiser: And why not?
TVGuide.com: You only have to make the occasional script compromise, like not having someone throw up in there.
Reiser: You're right. [The dealership name] is an issue to be determined.
TVGuide.com: How about casting Folks' Peter Falk as a crusty old veteran salesman? This is what I'm thinking.
Reiser: [Laughs] I like it. He comes back and tries to return the 1940 Ford from the movie. [Doing an uncanny Falk impression] "Uh, look, I have trouble getting parts...."
TVGuide.com: When I spoke to him about Folks, he said he'd love to get back into regular series television if it was the right show.
Reiser: I think Peter would do Columbo for the rest of his life if they could keep coming up with good scripts.
TVGuide.com: Now Folks is out on DVD....
Reiser: The one thing I'm happy about is that for those people who said, "It was such a personal movie, we sat there crying in the theater. I've got to show this to my mother and father," you've got your wish. You can watch us in the privacy of your own home. I'm hoping the film really finds its way. In theaters, you have about a weekend to prove yourself, and on DVD, hopefully it can stay there and people can hear it from their friends and slowly get around to seeing it.
TVGuide.com: Can we expect any fishing scene or billiard-room-brawl outtakes?
Reiser: No. You know, it was a lean production, so everything we shot is in there. The only bonus is that you get a free plastic little box when you buy the DVD. Not everybody gives you that!