Q&A: Ken Marino Talks About Romcom Role in ‘Marry Me’

Funnyman Ken Marino, who’s been cracking up audiences on “Party Down” and “Childrens Hospital,” finally gets to play the leading man in NBC’s romantic sitcom “Marry Me.”

How did you get the part?

Well, I’d been saving up a lot of money. So I just liquidated everything, brought it to (exec producer) David Caspe’s house, left it at his front door and said, “I’d love for you to consider me as the part of Jake.” Long story short, I got the offer a day later.

What do you have in common with Jake?

I like chicken. But he likes white meat; I like dark meat. It’s a challenge, but I’ve gotten some coaches to come on set to get me into kind of a white meat frame of mind. Oh, and he snores. I can’t imagine that I snore. I haven’t asked my wife.

“Childrens Hospital” is coming back in March. How does it compare to “Marry Me”?

With “Marry Me,” we’re trying to both have jokes and also have some heart. Whereas with “Childrens Hospital,” it’s simply jokes. The characters are pretty despicable. They’re just awful people.

What’s on your DVR?

I saw the pilot of “Transparent,” and thought it was phenomenal. The one thing I didn’t like about the show, to be honest, is that I’m not in it.

You’re launching behind “The Voice.” Can we expect a crossover?

What happens is, as soon as “The Voice” ends, our show starts with us singing for two to four minutes, and then we just start to talk. And that’s so we can blend into “The Voice,” so people don’t even realize they’ve stopped watching “The Voice” and they’re watching “Marry Me.” That’s our way to try to hold onto “The Voice” viewers. And then all the top people at NBC are sending us gifts: “Thank you so much, you’re picked up for 200 episodes.”

But do you have spinning chairs?

We couldn’t afford spinning chairs, so we just had to put regular chairs on roller skates.

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