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Shop talk: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock

The link between underwear and emotional arcs, and other musings

Shop Talk with Showrunners
Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse | Tina Fey and Robert Carlock | Brad Falchuk | Jeff Schaffer | Alan Ball | Vince Gilligan | Steven Levitan | Greg Daniels | Robert King | Clyde Phillips

Your favorite moment as a showrunner?
TF: Any time we get to tell the crew we’re picked up.

What’s your reaction when you’re recognized by a fan of the show?
RC: I politely explain that I am not, in fact, a sickly-looking Jon Cryer, but I’m glad they like “Two and a Half Men.” Sorry, was this question meant for Tina?

Your favorite “happy accident” in writing or producing the show?
TF: Casting Dean Winters as Dennis Duffy has been the gift that keeps on giving.

Your best collaborative moment on the set or with a network?
RC: Alec (Baldwin) calling me into his dressing room to suggest that he not wear pants in the next set-up, and my being able to realize he was right. His pantslessness actually served both ends of his emotional arc in the scene. Also, underwear is funny.

“I wanted to give up when …”
TF: It was almost the end of season one, and none of us had had more than four hours sleep for a couple weeks.

Which shows have influenced your show?
TF: “The Muppet Show.” But we didn’t realize it ’til somebody else pointed it out.

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