Kyle Bornheimer Kyle Bornheimer

It's hard to find a more hapless guy on TV than Worst Week's (Mondays 9:30 pm/ET, CBS) Sam Briggs these days. In eight episodes, the fortune's fool has crashed into his own wedding cake, smeared a dirty diaper on his future mother-in-law's wedding dress, mistook his fiancée's black brother for a burglar and was caught red-handed in hot pink panties — all in the name of love. It all leads up to this week's wedding, where, naturally, more disaster awaits our blunder-full protagonist. Newbie Kyle Bornheimer — who knows a thing or two about uncomfortable situations from his classic T-Mobile commercials (Watch one here) — took a gag breather to chat with about his "awkward" TV nuptials, his favorite stunt so far and why spaz-tastic Sam is like a baby. This week's the wedding. I'm curious, but also scared. What's gonna happen?
Kyle Bornheimer:
Well, we don't want Sam to ruin this wedding! The writers have really tapped into a very sweet sensibility, not only with my character, but with all of them. That's fun now because we know we can do the craziness and take in the sweetness. But he's...boy...he physically and verbally offends a few people. [Laughs] That's all I'm going to say. It's going to be awkward. This is worse [than crashing into the cake last week]. Definitely worse! But Sam and Melanie do end up married, right?
Bornehimer: I can't tell you that. But there were a lot of different ideas about what we were going to do during the wedding, and now that we have a pick-up of more episodes, stuff regarding the wedding and the baby and all that stuff, our options are even more open. We have more room to play with. Some of this stuff is so cringe-worthy, but it's funny. Why do people love watching other people suffer and mess up?
Bornheimer: Yeah, what is that word? "Schadenfreude" — that weird German word about delighting in other people's misery. There's something a little different, I guess. I've always likened him to a little baby who's learning how to walk and is trying run across the room to join all the other kids, and he falls five times on the way. But he just gets right back up, and it's hilarious to watch. Sometimes he'll get frustrated and other times he'll think it's funny or he'll end up crawling — that's Sam to me. He just wants to live life and have it be wonderful and sweet and make plans, but life throws stuff at him and he's sometimes ill-equipped to deal with it. We're kinda celebrating that. What's your favorite stunt so far?
Bornheimer: I liked swinging on the chandelier in last week's episode. That was fun. I was swinging around like a mad man. That was fun too because he was just supposed to jump, and the door opens and he kicks everyone and falls, and at the last moment we thought, "What if he just stays on the chandelier?" So a lot of the fun is in-the-moment stuff building on the gag that's already been written and enhancing it. My favorite was when you wore the panties.
Bornheimer: Ah, yes! I apologize — or you're welcome, whatever you want! That was pretty ballsy — no pun intended. Is there anything you'd hesitate to do?
[Laughs] Clearly not yet! You're always kinda asking those questions, but so far, I've been readily willing to make a jackass outta myself! How does Sam have the guts to face Dick and Nancy every day after all these mishaps?
You know, that's a good question, and I think that's another thing we're kinda working out. I think A) You're stuck with your family, and he's their family now. He's in love with Mel and there's no way around it. B) I think it's in his nature to see the upside of things. I think he recognizes the personality clashes between himself and Dick and Angela, but also respects that they're who they are and just wants them to respect him. A lot of it is just his sense of goodness — I'm in love with their daughter and this is her family, so I'll make this work. He wants to do that and he's willing to please them...he just messes up a lot! I think they see that he's trying. Will he ever have an average week, or would there be no show then?
Bornheimer: I think humor can come out of anything, even averageness, so I'm open to anything. I don't find that I subscribe or believe in many rules about what comedy is and what makes it funny. I think we can probably make a whole episode funny with him not having bad luck too. And if the audience likes it and the show is long, I hope we continue to find interesting ways to tell stories. I'm not unlike Sam. I'm a bit of a spaz, but I also have my good days. Have you ever made an ass outta yourself to impress a date's parents?
In high school, I tried to cook dinner for a girl and it was horrific. It was at her house. I was trying to make pork chops with my mom's recipe, just trying to be Mr. Awesome, like, "Yeah, I cook too." But I just burned everything. There was smoke everywhere. Her mom came in, like, "Are you kidding me?!" How embarrassing is that, trying to be, like, a man and just completely messing it up in front of her parents? I think we literally went out and got fast food. I've been through a lot of awkward situations, especially in my teens and twenties. I have a very good relationship with my in-laws now, but there are always awkward moments. I do remember making a light ageist joke when I first met her parents that didn't go over too well, but I think it was because they didn't know my sense of humor yet, not because I was a complete jerk...but who knows! Mel's pregnant, and with his reputation, I'm slightly worried about Sam becoming a dad.
[Laughs] I have no worries about Sam as a dad except about how comedically we're gonna do it without making it look incredibly dangerous. That's gonna be fun too to have Sam deal with a baby. My dad was as perfect as you were gonna get when we were younger, but he'd have these hilarious freak-out moments that a lot of times revolved around wanting something for the kid. I remember one time being at an amusement park and I just a little bit too short to ride the go-karts or something and my dad went, "Screw this! I'll just put him in my lap!" And this poor 16-year-old worker, like crying, "Sir, you can't take your son on this!" I can see Sam doing that.