“Time warp” was the phrase on everyone’s mind Wednesday night at the premiere of “The Comeback” at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.
The Lisa Kudrow-starrer officially returns on Sunday, but the cast and creators of the comedy series gathered to celebrate Valerie Cherish’s return to the spotlight, still amazed at “The Comeback’s”… comeback.
“It feels like a welcome return and a great opportunity and a dream come true,” said Dan Bucatinsky, who not only produces the series but also stars.
“It was almost like we stepped back into the same screen,” said Robert Michael Morris. Morris added that he was taken aback when the call came in about doing a season two, nearly ten years out from being cancelled, but came around the instant creator Michael Patrick King asked if he would be on-board.
“The biggest reaction was down in the parking lot,” explained Lisa Kudrow. After meeting with HBO to officially discuss continuing the series she said that she and King “just sort of stared at each other with our eyes filling up, and just looked at each other and went ‘Who gets this?’”
King said that while he and Kudrow would occasionally talk about the show over the past nine years, it had all been in fun — never serious. “We would every now and then have lunch and I’d say to Lisa, ‘What if Valerie was here? What would she say?’ just as a parlor game.”
“We never thought it was real,” he said of the chance that there would one day be more. They didn’t grab onto HBO’s offer right away, King said, wanting to give the idea serious thought.
“We said we wanted to think about what we could do. We really thought about do we have enough story to make it be exciting for us?” he said.
— The Comeback (@TheComebackHBO) November 6, 2014
A smart decision, according to the cast.
“I think this is really better than the first 13,” said Morris. “It’s just so clever and a credit to the writers and to Lisa.”
“Anyone who was a fan of the first show is going to be thrilled,” said Lance Barber.
So thrilled was Vanya Asher, new to the series’ cast. Asher had been a fan of the original series and admitted to binge-watching it numerous times. “This is good enough — just to try out to be a part of her world. She’s just a rolling ball and you’ve got to follow her along – she’s like the terminator,” he commented before pausing to laugh, realizing that he complimented both Kudrow and her alter-ego Valerie Cherish.
“We all knew we were uniquely blessed back when we were a part of this,” said Robert Bagnell, describing the joy of working on “The Comeback,” now compounded with the “surreal whirlwind” of diving back in.
“It was a blast,” exclaimed Laura Silverman. “’The Comeback’ was my first series, so I had been really nervous and insecure. How often do you get to relive your first job, ten years later when you have more experience?”
The cast acknowledged the rumor mill that buzzed on and off since the show’s cancellation in 2005, and said that while they took notice, it was hard to get truly excited.
“I think I had been prepared for it to maybe happen,” said Silverman, stressing the “maybe.” “But when it actually happened, it happened so fast I was just thinking, ‘Who’s going to watch my dog?’ Just logistics.”
“We all got excited, but not too excited. I knew the odds were pretty small,” said Barber, who described his reaction to the revival as “flabbergasted.”
“I totally didn’t believe it,” said Damian Young. It wasn’t even the official call that made him buy into the news, but “when wardrobe called me up for my sizes, I knew.”
“The first time around we were trying something brand new,” said Bucatinsky. “It was hard to explain and the only way we could prove what we were was to do it. This time around we were asked to come and tell a story – we weren’t asked to audition it.”
While the excitement of returning for a second season was thrilling, King said that he doesn’t think about the idea of a season three.
“We don’t talk like that,” he laughed. “Last time we thought we’d do a second sason and that didn’t happen. We have no idea how this is going to be received,” he said of the second season, still in post-production, “but we had a complete creative amusement.”
Fans can expect Valerie Cherish to make her triumphant return in no fashion short of bold, especially if the evening’s poolside-bash was any indication. The star’s name was spelled out in lights outside of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as guests enjoyed printing “The Comeback” tote bags,” sipped drinks aptly named “The Valerie Cherish,” and enjoyed a photo-op with wigs in Cherish’s signature look.
— Shelli Weinstein (@shellidw) November 6, 2014
(Pictured: Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky at “The Comeback” premiere)