Crowded into a corner booth at the Happy Ending bar in Hollywood, the stars of ABC's Happy Endings can't stop ribbing Adam Pally. "Are you dipping a nacho in ranch dressing?!" asks Damon Wayans Jr. "It's blue cheese, my man!" replies Pally as he stuffs a chip into his mouth. Pally, who plays immature Max, and Wayans, aka married metrosexual Brad — along with cast mates Eliza Coupe (Type-A Jane), Elisha Cuthbert (airhead Alex), Zachary Knighton (food trucker Dave) and Casey Wilson (perky but perpetually single Penny) — are currently feasting on success, as they've taken the failed-relationship sitcom and turned it into one of TV's quirkiest comedies. We grilled the close-knit cast about their costars, characters and overcoming the underdog label.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you know each other before the show?
Wilson: I knew Adam a little from New York.
Knighton: Actually, Adam started a fake Twitter account as me before we even met, which was pretty awesome.
Pally: No, we had met once. At the table read.
Wilson: And Zach was like, "I hope somebody isn't Tweeting as me." And Adam said, "No one is...but I am now!" [Laughs]
Pally: Then I gave it over to him. Damon and I met the first day we were cast at the test.
Wayans: I was sitting outside waiting to go back in and I heard him doing his lines through the door. He was making me laugh.
Wilson: He's funny even behind closed doors!
TV Guide Magazine: What real-life traits do you bring to your roles?
Coupe: There's a goofy side of me that I channel into Jane, in a nice W.A.S.P.-y package.
Wayans: For me, the black part. [Laughs] No, I'm a pretty positive guy and Brad's a positive dude.
Wilson: You can take this personality quiz online that tells you which Happy Endings character you are. I am obviously Brad. [Laughs]
Pally: I want to take that. I wonder what kind of answers you have to give to end up being Max.
Wilson: It's like, "When you wake up in the morning, do you: A) want to kill yourself, B) don't give a f---."
TV Guide Magazine: This show has the fastest dialogue on TV!
Pally: Don't tell that to the old people.
Wilson: Yeah, my dad is always like, "I mean, I've got to tell you, it's really fast."
TV Guide Magazine: How much is written and how much is improv?
Coupe: We take the main structure and then, if a moment arises that works, we'll tweak that.
TV Guide Magazine: What have you learned from working together?
Wayans: The best thing I learned from Damon is to bring it. [Laughs] He always brings it.
Cuthbert: When you get on certain projects, it's every man for himself. But here, any one of these guys will come up to me and give me a joke. Putting out your material to another actor and letting them win, that's a huge testament to having faith and confidence and love for one another. It's dynamite chemistry.
Pally: Dynamite! That's so Canadian. [Laughs]
Cuthbert: Yeah, eh.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell us something we might not know about one of your costars....
Pally: If you're doing a scene with Casey, she will grab your arm as if she's got something important to tell you. She gets your attention and then she will do her line in your face. So there is at least a three-second delay where you think, "Do you need something from me?"
Knighton: There's also a weird feeling when she does it that she just might get inside of you.
Pally: It pierces your soul!
Wilson: To that I say this: Excuse me for trying to be a great actor.
Pally: But I wonder if great actors try that hard.
Cuthbert: The makeup trailer is Adam's safe haven for personal hygiene. He has a contraption that he shaves his nostril hair [with] and it's so funny.
Pally: It makes my eyes water and I cry, but it brings us closer. And Elisha loves "coshtumes."
Cuthbert: What? When do I say that?
Wayans: When you say it, you say "coshtumes."
Wilson: It's so annoying! I've got one about Zach: He is obsessed with fruit snacks.
Knighton: I've got to get my vitamin C. It's the only way, otherwise I'll get scurvy.
TV Guide Magazine: With the full-season pickup and growing buzz, do you guys still feel like underdogs?
Pally: It still feels that way, like we're railing against something. I don't know what it is, but I hope that we always keep that [hunger].
Coupe: We're all fighting together.
Cuthbert: Cheers to that! It's dynamite with all those coshtumes!