You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Last O.G.’ and ‘Search Party’ Stars Talk Hopes for New Seasons

Brooklyn, New York was well represented at TBS’ FYC event in Burbank, Calif. Sunday.

The cabler held a joint screening and panel for its comedies “The Last O.G.” and “Search Party,” both of which film in the Big Apple and use its setting as a way to inform the characters’ worlds. On “The Last O.G.,” Tray (Tracey Morgan) gets out of prison after 15 years to barely recognize his gentrified borough neighborhood, while on “Search Party,” the characters are representations of the new residents post-gentrification.

“People want to say gentrification is all bad, but no, it’s good. Clean the place up. I’ve got grandparents, I’ve got people that work and walk there, and they’re safer,” Morgan said to Variety. “I’m not going to get too into politics. Politics is a pile of tricks!”

Moderated by Jack McBrayer, the panel featured “The Last O.G.” stars Morgan and Tiffany Haddish, as well as “Search Party’s” Alia Shawkat and John Early. “The Last O.G.” cast member Allen Maldonado was in the audience and even took his turn at the microphone during the audience Q&A to ask his co-stars what they loved about working with him.

“We all know these people — these are real people. It doesn’t matter what color you are, you know these people. You know women who’s got a man locked up and are trying to get back in the kids’ lives. Why do you think people are identifying and relating to this? Why do you think people gravitate to this? These are real stories,” Morgan said.

While “Search Party” screened its second season opener, “The Last O.G.” went with its fifth episode that featured the funeral of Shannon’s (Haddish) mother and the introduction of Tray’s prison girlfriend (played by guest star Chrissy Metz), who Morgan and Haddish referred to as his “transition chick.”

“I was a transition chick, and I bet those guys are pissed they didn’t keep me around!” Haddish said.

The power of the ensemble casts of these very tonally different comedies was a powerful topic of conversation. McBrayer pointed out there is a “30 Rock” reunion on “The Last O.G.” because Dante Hoagland, who plays Morgan and Haddish’s onscreen son, previously played Tina Fey’s son at the end of the NBC comedy. Meanwhile, “Search Party’s” Early shared that he’s just happy “they don’t have a Kim Cattrall” on the set.

“I deeply respect Kim Cattrall as an actress, but everyone saw her Instagram post!” he said.

But the differences in tone for these two comedies were important to discuss, as well. “The Last O.G.” leans more on traditional humor of jokes in the dialogue, in addition to comical situations and reactions from its characters, while “Search Party” is darker, revolving on a storyline about a murder cover-up that unravels its characters to the point of nervous breakdowns and then ends its season on another murder.

“The first season was very ‘Nancy Drew’ in the style and the tone, and in the second season they referenced Hitchcock,” Shawkat told Variety. “So this was about paranoia, not so much innocent discovery, but I love that each season gets to change so much and doesn’t stay stagnant and people can’t tell what season it is. These characters change all of the time.”

While Early shared the moments where his character was “in the streets in [his] underwear” after not being able to cope with the stress were cathartic as an actor and, he thinks, for the audience as well. “I always would assume that in political nightmares like now you’d want full escapism, but there is something about doubling-down in the darkness,” he said.

Haddish’s material on “The Last O.G.” was often more serious and “straight-woman” style than she is used to, which posed challenges but also new joy for the actress.

“The thing that was fresh and exciting about this show is that I get to be a different character than what I normally am,” Haddish told Variety. “People are normally used to seeing Tiffany Haddisn be the loud, ratchet, wild, turning up chick, whatever, and the character I play — Shannon, she has that side of her — the Shay side, the younger years. But as an adult she carries herself in a different way and so I was really excited to show that side of me. Because I do have that side.”

Morgan, specifically, expressed interest in seeing more of how Shay became Shannon in the recently announced second season of the new comedy.

Noting that he wants to try his hand at directing a second season episode of “The Last O.G.”, Morgan said, “I want to direct one where we see Tiffany’s struggles. Josh didn’t meet her kids until they were three, so the strength until then when she was working at Yankee Stadium with the big belly and Madison Square Garden until she became this big, powerful woman.”

As for the rest of what they hope for season 2, Morgan shared he’d like to see Tray, who “did damage to his own community when he was selling crack” continue to do better for Brooklyn and for his kids.

“Hopefully Whoopi Goldberg is going to play my mom,” Morgan said, but then noted he was just doing a bit. “My mom is going to be white. Meryl Streep is going to be my mom.”

Haddish said she’d like to see Shannon become more open to Tray spending time with their kids, as well.

“Search Party” was also recently renewed — for a third season,– and Shawkat said next year she’d like to see Dory “own herself a little more,” while Early said he would love to watch Elliott interact with the media.

“I think there’s going to be a little bit more of a public element, naturally, because she got arrested,” Early reminded about Dory at the end of season 2. “So I think that just sounds like so much fun to me, comedically — seeing them all on-camera. I think they’ll each have such a funny reaction to being in the press, and I imagine they will screw themselves over when they should be very tight-lipped.”

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content