Call it kismet. Call it the meeting of two great comedic forces. Call it a show not resting on its first-season laurels (as creator Greg Garcia does: "We want to keep that momentum going").Will & Grace Emmy winner Sean Hayes joins off-screen buddy Will Arnett (Nathan) as a series regular on Season 2 of The Millers, and the results are unsurprisingly amusing. He plays Kip Finkle, newly divorced roommate to Nathan's mom, Carol (Margo Martindale), and foil to her TV reporter son. "Kip considers Nathan and his career kind of dumb," Garcia says, which leads to plenty of funny friction. Hayes and Arnett called us up for a slightly loopy chat before the Oct. 20 premiere.
TV Guide Magazine: Will, you're just getting back from Berlin...
What are you, my travel agent?
TV Guide Magazine: You tweeted about your trip.
Ich bin ein tired.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you pick up that German while you were there?
I picked up a couple Germans.
TV Guide Magazine: Sean, did you give him some advice on that?
Oh, yeah, I do really well over there. Like Hasselhoff.
Arnett: It's funny, Sean and I went on this trip not long ago to Istanbul — on a lark, just to goof around — and a few weeks later, Greg [Garcia] called me up to say, "I'm writing this new character, and I'm thinking about Sean Hayes for him. What do you think?" I thought at first he was punking me, but I really don't think he knew Sean and I were good friends.
Hayes: For me, it was the easiest yes I've ever given. I had done some episodes with Will on Up All Night as well, but to get to work with one of your good friends every day and get paid for it? Dream come true.
Arnett: I was like, "LOL, that would be awesome." No, not really.
TV Guide Magazine: So what was the beginning of this beautiful friendship? Was the first time you met on Will & Grace when Jack and Will's character, Artemis Johnson, had a dance-off?
We had met before, just around town, but it wasn't until he came on Will & Grace that we became friends. And he's sitting right next to me, so I can make him really uncomfortable, but I did an interview shortly after that episode where I was asked who the funniest person I knew was, and I said, "Hands down, Will Arnett."
Arnett: Wait, what about hands up, though?
TV Guide Magazine: Is Will blushing?
Actually, he's in his underwear, and I have a headdress on.
Arnett: It's more like a Speedo, really.
TV Guide Magazine: After being on a few shows that didn't quite take off, is it nice to land somewhere stable, with a good amount of support from the network?
It's always nice to have any kind of support, but we don't really know what goes on behind closed doors, and we don't really need to know.
Arnett: Though not as a reflection of what any other network does, but we do feel pretty fortunate here.
TV Guide Magazine: The director of The Millers, James Burrows, also directed most of Will & Grace's episodes.
And Beau Bridges, who plays Will's father, played my stepfather on Will & Grace! So it really was like coming home.
TV Guide Magazine: Who's the funniest person on set, beside your own selves?
Arnett: Everyone's so hilarious.
Hayes: Everybody's funny in their own unique way. That's what makes the show so great. You need different types of spices to make any dish taste great.
Arnett: Even the Colonel needed 11 herbs and spices to make his famous chicken, you know.
TV Guide Magazine: Sean, it seems like you ad-lib a bit on the show. Do you guys do a lot of that?
Hayes: The writers do such a great job at creating the exact beats and rhythms and words, so not a lot of work is required on our part. But during rehearsal we do have fun. We play around.
Arnett: The rehearsal process is really the discovery process of what works and doesn't. Maybe you have an idea you pitch. So there's always that collaborative experience leading up to the taping.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the most outrageous ad-lib the writers let you do?
Hayes: Molly Shannon's a guest star in a couple episodes, so I farted in her general direction. I think that made it in.
Arnett: When I cut the brakes on Sean's car this morning, that's gotta be the most outrageous thing.
The Millers airs Mondays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.