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My mother Molly had a nervous breakdown after my father Chic died, aged 50. He was a very generous man who ran a shop in Dundee giving a lot of people tick. When he died, a lot of people hadn't paid their bills, so he died with a lot of debt. After he died, my mother went doolally.
When I was in high school I was a really huge 'SNL' fan. I remember the cast around the time I started watching it - Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Cheri O'Teri, Tracy Morgan. I did research to find out how people got on the show. Their bios always said they came from an improv team, so I started taking classes.
I come from a working-class family in Pittsburgh, whereas 'Mike & Molly' deals with the working class in Chicago. I swear a little, but I pretty much talk the same. It's not like when you see someone like Tim Allen and he's a lot bluer onstage.
Yeah, I've done Jim Breuer's radio show a couple times, and I heard from Larry the Cable Guy when I got 'Mike & Molly,' wishing me congratulations. I'm always the last one to the party, man. But that's okay. I got there.
I started watching 'SNL' when I was thirteen or so; those were the Molly Shannon/Ana Gasteyer/Cheri Oteri years.
I play the unsinkable Molly Brown, which is where she got her name from, because she survived.
I've never gotten money from most of those records. And I made those records: In the studio, they'd just give me a bunch of words, I'd make up a song! The rhythm and everything. 'Good Golly Miss Molly'! And I didn't get a dime for it.
Molly Shannon and I used to always talk about that we really felt strongly that we were comedic actors, that we weren't comedians. You just played things real and the comedy came out of the context.
Molly Shannon, for example, is someone I've always really looked up to, because her comedy is so physical and wild and unembarrassed and brave.
My mom grew up in Idaho, went to Brigham Young University: they're very Molly Mormon. And my father is, like, first generation Albanian, and his parents lived in Southey and grew up in downtown Boston. My parents are complete opposites.
My twin in the show is Molly Stanton who is so sweet and great and she is totally different from me.
Well, I am not really a conventional mom at all. Like, I had my kids really young. I had Danny when I was 18 or 19 and then Liam when I was 23 and Molly, I had when I was a little older.
Many of the writers who have inspired me most are outside the genre: Humorists like Robert Benchley and James Thurber, screenwriters like Ben Hecht and William Goldman, and journalists/columnists like H.L. Mencken, Mike Royko and Molly Ivins.
The more she rejected us the more convinced I was that she was another version of the real Molly, her disdain for authority, her scepticism that she had to do what the white man told her because it was good for her... She is Molly.
And what's great is, you know, while 'Mike and Molly' are working on their health, that's their flaw, the people that surround them are actually- that's the mess. Those two have it together the most.
I love nothing more than taking my dog, Molly, for a long walk on Sunday morning. Then I'll indulge in some Bikram yoga or something fun like reflexology.
I recently saw the movie about Ray Charles, and there's a scene where he falls down and the mother doesn't help him. She says, I don't want anyone to treat you like a cripple. I've fallen down before, and Molly will say, get up and just go.
'Mike & Molly' exists in a world where we don't just say a snarky line, make a crazy face, and walk out of the room. There's actually some tender moments here, too.
I haven't given any thought to collaborating with my sisters. It would be great fun. My daughter Molly is a wonderful writer - someday I'd love to collaborate with her.
I had this job at Hollywood Video, and during my worst audition ever, I forgot all of my lines in front of Chuck Lorre at the callback for the 'Mike and Molly' pilot.
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