Legendary television director James Burrows was honored by the Television Academy in Hollywood this week. The event brought out some of the biggest comedic names in sitcoms over the last two decades. Some of the stars who came to honor Burrows were Jennifer Aniston, Swoozie Kurtz, Debra Messing, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd and many more. Classic TV Examiner was on hand and chatted with many of the celebrities who shared their thoughts and warm wishes to Burrows, a man that many credit for the success of their shows.
One such actor who chatted with Examiner was “Mike & Molly” star Billy Gardell. “Mike & Molly,” originally expected to return mid-season, is now scheduled to return in November following the cancellation of “We Are Men.” Now in its third season, the series stars Billy Gardell, Melissa McCarthy, Swoosie Kurtz, Katy Mixon, Reno Wilson and Louis Mustillo. Check out the interview with Billy below.
(Note: at the time of this interview, the November return for “Mike & Molly” was not announced. )
Billy Gardell Interview:
Phyllis: You’ve been under the helm of James Burrows on “Mike & Molly.” What is it like working with him?
Billy Gardell: You trust that someone that good knows what they're talking about all the time, and he does it with kindness. It really makes me respect him heavily. It’s a pleasure to have been in his presence for 2 years.
Phyllis: He’s well known in the television industry. What was your reaction when you found out that you were going to be working with him?
Billy Gardell: I was in awe. Actually, I was very, very nervous. I told him I was grateful that he took on our show that year because he had a choice of many like he always does. And he said (mimicking Jim) “Don't screw it up.” He’s been a sweet wonderful leader. The first two years of “Mike & Molly” wouldn't have been the same without him.
Phyllis: “Mike & Molly,” it seemed like the show would focus on just Mike and Molly but its turned into a great ensemble show…
Billy Gardell: It's a wonderful ensemble. We have beautiful characters and a beautiful cast. This year they've taken the show in a direction that I think is very smart, that kind of puts Melissa in the center of it. Molly's kind of having a midlife crisis and so we’re all around that. We got the best comedienne in 20 years so let her run. It's really going to make for some fun episodes this year.
Phyllis: I know you do stand-up. Do you still go out there and keep that fresh?
Billy: I absolutely do. I was in Reno Saturday night doing a benefit and I'll be in Nebraska October 18th. it's still my first love. There's nothing like telling people jokes. There's nothing like it.
Check out the video on this page for the complete interview with Billy Gardell.
“Mike & Molly” returns Mondays starting in November on CBS.
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