Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenny, actors and creators of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” sat down with the Emerald to talk about having sex in the car, Myspace-stalking and how Eugene and UO have changed in the past 16 years.
Are you guys nervous to be interviewed by the Emerald?
Kaitlin Olson: “Yes. We put new deodorant on the way over.
When was the last time you were here?
K.O. “He’s actually been here … ”
Rob McElhenny: “I’ve been here a few times. We drove up to see them (Olson’s parents) in Portland, maybe a little less than a year ago. We stopped in, stayed here for the night.”
K.O. “We got pregnant on the — I got pregnant. We did it together but I was the one who ended up getting pregnant on a road trip to Eugene.”
R.M. “It may have happened here.”
K.O. (Pointing over to her parents seated off to the side) “That’s my mom and dad, everybody. We had sex.”
Gross. In the car it sounds like.
R.M. “So, what do you got?”
K.O. “What do you got, you guys? Have we started?”
So as an official opener, thank you so much for letting us speak to you guys.
K.O. “I’m honored. It’s the Emerald. Are ya kidding? I still feel like I’m about 21, maybe 22. Or not.”
Well, besides the fact that you look like a bird.
K.O. “Thank you. A baby bird.”
Why did you choose the University of Oregon?
K.O. “My dad went here! That was a big reason. I also was a very shy kid and I didn’t really want to leave home. But I kinda wanted to and this was only two hours away (I grew up in Portland) and they had a good theatre program. And it’s a beautiful campus and a great college.”
R.M. “Your freshman year, weren’t you coming back and forth most weekends?”
K.O. “Yeah yeah, most weekends I went home.”
K.O. “Not laundry, just I had a little homesick. Yeah, I really love my mom and dad.”
R.M. “Every weekend?”
K.O. “No. Not every weekend. You always say that. Uh, you know. A couple times I went home to see my parents because I missed them. It’s not weird. I didn’t have Skype back then.”
K.O. “We don’t have to keep throwing out the year … ”
And your age is … Being born on August 18, 1975 …
K.O. “Woo, you really are gonna do that to me. Okay.”
Funny enough, not to sound like a nerdy fan, but I watched the first episode when it aired on FX all those years ago. Like these were the Myspace days.
K.O. “How old were you?”
Too young to be watching this show … So thank you for the abrasive language. I was watching the show and this was when I had a Myspace and I’m like, ‘Oh how neat.’ So I actually Myspace-stalked you guys with your actual profiles and that’s how I found out that Charlie and the Waitress are married in real life.
R.M. “That was back when we were on social media. I had a Myspace account, like very early on.”
K.O. “Yeah, he and Glenn (Howerton) used it to find ladies. That’s what you did.”
Now we have this thing called Tinder. Which just bypasses all the ‘hey can I meet you’ kind of thing.
K.O. “You just know what that’s for.”
So during your time here at the University of Oregon, do you have any awesome stories or anecdotes that would rival Sweet Dee?
K.O. “Oh … c’mon. When we were driving up to this building, I looked down and there’s this really big hill outside. (In reference to the hill in between Deady Hall and Lillis) “And I remembered rollerblading for the first time thinking, ‘I don’t know how to rollerblade but that’s cool.’ I can probably do anything because I’m 19 or 20.’”
R.M. “So coordinated.”
K.O. “I’ve never been coordinated. And it rains a lot here, I don’t know if you guys know that, and the grass is always wet and muddy. So we were rollerblading and I was going way too fast, just way too fast. And down at the bottom was a building and I was like, “I’m going to crash into that so I’ve gotta go over into the grass. And, thinking that the grass would stop me — the grass was mud so I Supermanned for probably the entire rest of the way down to the building. And I had to get home, I’m telling you, when I say covered in mud — Like blackface mud. Mud everywhere.
So Kaitlin, how do you keep up with these guys? I mean you’ve got Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton and this motherfucker who are such a boy’s club. Sweet D is constantly being put down. So in real life, you guys obviously have fantastic chemistry with each other but how do you do it in real life?
K.O. “Yeah, I don’t know that they’re not striving to keep up with me? (In real life.) I’ve never really thought about it. It’s easy.
R.M. “We’re slower than you think.”
K.O. “Do you want a real answer? Or do you want me to be funny?”
R.M. “It’s the newspaper. They want a real answer.”
K.O. “Listen, we’ve been working with each other for nine years now, which is crazy. And I think that they are three of the smartest, most talented people I’ve ever met in my life. And that’s true. And I just feel really lucky to have found them because they’re wonderful people. And I knew in the audition that we had the same sense of humor. We were just joking around together and I knew I got the part right away (which never happens) and, it’s just easy. It’s very easy on our set. We’re really fortunate that we like each other and that we’re doing something that’s funny and makes us laugh and entertaining and keeps us going. Otherwise it would be miserable.”
One thing I’m really interested in is that you graduated in 1997. Which is such an interesting year for Eugene and the University of Oregon. And the next year in 1998, that’s when that quarterback football player Joey Harrington arrived and he propelled the Ducks into the Ducks of today. And Phil Knight gave all the money and with that came national spotlight. And all these students started coming and then Eugene started to change. And now, as you’ve probably noticed, all these dumb apartment buildings are sprouting up. And I think it sucks—
R.M. “I have a question for you: why do you think it sucks?”
K.O. “It used to be this cute little town. It was like our college town. There was nothing else going on except for the college so you had that and it’s kind of like we owned the town. Now it’s idiots in stupid apartment buildings. Gross.”
My question for you, Kaitlin, continue on that thought. Since you’re a celebrity, people will think you have a much more interesting answer versus the crazy cat lady who writes into the Eugene Weekly and goes, ‘the town is changing!’ So how do you feel about it since you’ve come back sporadically?
K.O. “I think everybody loves being from their school when their school’s football team is doing well. So that’s kind of cool. I totally get it, it was definitely a life of we’ve got this cool little campus and just beyond the walls of the campus is a completely different kind of town and they stayed there and we’re cool here. So I see that that would be a weird thing but you know, who cares? C’mon. Time goes by. It’s progress. Draw attention to yourselves. Embrace it. Get over yourself, Silas. That’s what I’m saying.”