Where To Catch Him: On the final season of THE GOOD PLACE on NBC, which premieres tonight.
You got your start on NBC with THE DOCTORS and SOMERSET. Then, there was that little show called CHEERS and now you’re wrapping THE GOOD PLACE. Do you feel like you’ve come full circle on the Peacock Network? “Ha! I was about to correct you because SOMERSET came first but you did your homework. It’s funny that I started out in drama because most of my experience with NBC has been comedy. They really do go out of their way to nurture writers. Obviously there’s a lot of good stuff out there, but look at what they’ve done with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. It’s [been] astounding over the years.”
What do you remember most about your soap days? “What I remember was I’ve never been so scared in all my life. It was the most terrifying form of acting because you could not mess up. Back then, it was almost live. You had a 30-minute slot to do 24 minutes in the computer, and that was all you’ve got.”
Do you ever cross paths with anyone from those days? “JoBeth Williams [ex-Carrie, SOMERSET; ex-Brandy, GUIDING LIGHT] I see periodically, yes.”
You’ve gotten emotional in the past talking about the final season of THE GOOD PLACE. How are you feeling now? “Yes, I did. These are incredibly sweet people and it’s dawning on us that our excuse to be around such smart, bright, genuine people is gone. Now, we’re going to have to work very hard to find each other in life. Things move on, as they should, but this show touches me, and it touches me to talk in a bright, smart, clever, silly way about what it’s like to be ethical. It moves me that I got to be a part of that.”
Where does Michael fit in with the other characters you’ve played in your career? “I don’t know, but here’s what I love about him: I love his innocence. I love that he’s in over his head, that he thinks he’s in charge and Kristen Bell [as Eleanor] so has him beat at every turn. I love playing that kind of pompous superiority that is so off base. That’s fun to play. He so loves humanity. He wants to be human so badly. I love that puffy eagerness.”
What’s next? “I’m going to try Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. I’m going to crawl into their brain. They’re doing a show for NBC that I believe is called THE MAYOR. I really know nothing else about it other than I’m playing the mayor of Los Angeles. I can’t wait to be a part of that. I feel very lucky.”