Career janitor Eugene Gerkin and his pals have a plan: Let's rob Mick Jagger! That'd make for a nifty sitcom title, you say. And it did... for a minute. Now named after Eugene's "criminal organization," ABC's The Knights of Prosperity (airing Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET) must "steal itself" for the return of Idol. Do the crafty Knights have a countermeasure in place? TVGuide.com asked ringleader Donal Logue for an overview of what's ahead.
TVGuide.com: You must feel like you've been doing press for Knights of Prosperity forever.
Donal Logue: Yeah. [Laughs] There's been a lot of it!
TVGuide.com: I have to say, you got me with the tag in the pilot, where we see that beyond the keyhole in Mick Jagger's door is fortress-like, multilayered security.
Logue: Oh, there's a lot more coming down the pike, absolutely.
TVGuide.com: Last week, the crew tried "seducing" the keypad code out of Reiko Aylesworth. Are they going to just keep chipping away at the assorted barriers to entry to Jagger's place, or are they going to give up at some point?
Logue: No, we keep going. There is no stopping this organization.
TVGuide.com: I don't know how they can fool the thumbprint scan, though.
Logue: Oh, you'll see.... It's good.
TVGuide.com: There's some irony in the brouhaha surrounding the show's oft-changed title in that for all practical purposes, it could have been, like, "Let's Rob Troy McClure." You know, make up your own celebrity.
Logue: Right. We wanted a celebrity playing themselves, although I always like fake celebrities, because that's funny, too. Like in The Party with Peter Sellers — "Oh, my god, it's Hrundi V. Bakshi!" It just needed to [facilitate our story of] the haves and the have-nots. It could be Danny Masterson or Wilmer Valderrama, anyone you have ever seen on MTV flaunting that they have stuff.
TVGuide.com: Now even though we may not see any more of Mick Jagger, other celebrities will be appearing as themselves?
Logue: Yes. Ray Romano is in it, and then Ed Burns shows up, and Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin.... I can't really talk about the story lines too much, but....
TVGuide.com: What kind of spin does Kelly, for example, put on her real-life self?
Logue: What's great is she just plays someone who is sweet and kind of confused by the group. She kind of plays herself as she would be, exhibiting a lot of patience with this group of odd goobers who enter her life. She's very gracious.
TVGuide.com: What I like about the overall casting is that Eugene and his crew — Sofia Vergara excepted, of course — look like regular schlubs. You truly feel these guys are scraping for their piece of the American dream.
Logue: I think there are two things at play. One, we wanted to do this à la the "Jimmy the Cabdriver" stuff I used to do for MTV a long time ago, where he seems like a real guy and looks like just one of those guys. On the other hand, the show plays like a live-action cartoon, with these Scooby-Doo characters on their weird adventures. I like the juxtaposition of the two.
TVGuide.com: The "live-action cartoon" thing is what my wife doesn't "get," though. She's like, "These guys are so stupid."
Logue: My kids, who are 5 and 7, find it funny in that regard, and comedy writers get it, too. But it's not so obtuse that it's like Arrested Development, where it's kind of written for comedy writers.
TVGuide.com: What's the big, huge plan to maintain The Knights of Prosperity's profile once that "singing people" show starts up?
Logue: To just hang in there. You know a tsunami is hitting, so you just do your work and hope that the group of people who like you stay with you. The hard thing with the Nielsens is that clearly they have to have a way of determining who watches what, but the problem is that people watch the show at different times. Probably 70 percent of people don't necessarily watch the shows they like at the time they air initially, so who knows.
TVGuide.com: I enjoyed your role in Ed Burns' The Groomsmen. Your character, as annoying as he is at the beginning, winds up being the heart of the film.
Logue: Yeah, his thinking is obviously, "If I hate myself, I will make you hate me, too." Yeah, I liked that project a lot.
TVGuide.com: Any upcoming films you'd like to talk up?
Logue: Well, there's Ghost Rider [a comic-book adaptation starring Nicolas Cage]. I play his best friend, a mechanic. There's a movie that my friend Jesse [Peretz] directed called Fast Track, with Zach Braff, Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman, [Saturday Night Live's] Fred Armisen and Amy Poehler. I don't have a huge part in that, but it's a lot of fun. There's Zodiac, the David Fincher movie about the Zodiac killer. And I did a couple of indies that I like a lot: Almost Heaven, with Tom Conti, and one at Sundance called The Good Life, starring Mark Webber and Zooey Deschanel.
TVGuide.com: Your Ghost Rider mechanic, is he in the loop regarding Nicolas Cage's secret identity?
Logue: No, no. He doesn't know about that side of his life. In the crudest of terms, hopefully he's the guy who, when he's in danger, you're like, "Oh, no! Not good-hearted Mack!"
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.