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Nearly a dozen “Saturday Night Live” sketches, a Super Bowl commercial and a notoriously poor-performing movie later, “MacGruber” returns to screens with a cult following and an action movie-bona fide cast in the new Michael Bay-inspired TV show.

Peacock’s “MacGruber” series finds Will Forte’s hapless hero, known for making “life-saving inventions out of everyday materials,” drawn back into action after choosing to cut his prison sentence short in exchange for taking on a suicide mission. The project reunites “MacGruber” movie stars Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe with Forte, and brings Laurence Fishburne, Billy Zane and Sam Elliott into the “Gruber”-verse. The series also allows “MacGruber” executive producers Jorma Taccone and John Solomon to reinsert one of Forte’s favorite jokes into the “MacGruber” oeuvre.

“John and Jorma and I really work very well together,” Forte tells Variety. “We all love each other. We all respect each other. But there was one area we totally disagreed on.”

In the movie, there’s a scene where MacGruber visits the grave of his ex-wife Casey (Maya Rudolph) and has sex with her ghost. As he’s leaving the cemetery, MacGruber says, “Oh and Casey, thanks.” But Forte says he had another idea for the line: “There was another take where I said, ‘Oh and Casey, smell you later.’”

“We did a bunch of previews of the movie, and John and I kept saying we should try the ‘smell you later’ [version] because it kept just being the ‘thanks’ version,” adds Forte. “Ultimately, we never tried that, and we gave Jorma a lot of flak for that.”

“I was like ‘That’s too jokey,’” Taccone recalls of using the joke in the movie. “This is the crux of his emotional character and his love of his wife.”

With the line getting a second chance under new circumstances in the series, viewers can finally hear, as Taccone describes, Forte’s “very poignant and full of emotion” line reading of “smell you later.”

MACGRUBER -- Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Kristen Wiig as Vicki St. Elmo, Will Forte as MacGruber, Ryan Phillippe as Dixon Piper -- (Photo by: Peacock)

“This thing started as a 45-second sketch on ‘SNL,’ then we make a movie that does not perform well,” Phillippe says of the franchise. “And then you start hearing that people love it and that Chris Nolan is a huge fan. Over time, there was this desire for more ‘MacGruber.’”

Phillippe, who plays MacGruber’s right hand man Dixon Piper, speculates that the film’s cult following can be attributed to action movie fans. “As much as it is a broad or raunchy comedy, it’s satirizing ’80s and early ’90s action movies and all their tropes,” he says.

Taccone says that genre atmosphere helps them push the humor even further: “Our whole job is to create as real an action movie world around it. And the realer it is, then the stupider we are allowed to be.”

With one-liners and a saturated color palette that feels at home with Michael Bay’s films, the series doesn’t shy away from showing just how violent the action movies it’s riffing on can be, especially when MacGruber executes his signature throat rip.

“It’s all us pitching stuff to Will like, ‘Would you do this?’ and him pitching stuff to us like, ‘I wanna do this,’” says Solomon. “There’s never generally a line of something being too crazy, it’s just whether it’s funny or not.”

“John added the most violent shit in this series, like the Hannibal Lecter-level ripping faces off and rock smashing. It’s surprising, John’s a mild-mannered guy,” Taccone says of Solomon. “There was a thing that [MacGruber’s] new move was gonna be skinning people alive.”

MACGRUBER -- Pictured in this screengrab: Billy Zane as Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth -- (Photo by: Peacock)

After the movie, Taccone, Solomon and Forte kept a running list of what they wanted to include in a potential sequel. “We were collecting ideas over the years, and then at one point, Will went through and highlighted them,” says Taccone. “It’s very funny to see which ones have five asterisks. There’ll be stuff like ‘Whoever smelt it, deal it?’ I’m like ‘That needs to be in here?’”

With gag after gag and one-liner after one-liner, it’s clear that the “MacGruber” team has packed the episodes with a decade’s worth of jokes, including a couple that Zane and Fishburne quite enjoy. “We still can’t hear the names without laughing,” says Zane, who plays Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth.

Taccone says those names all come from the mind of Forte. “It’s just Will, off the top of his head.” Forte’s penchant for creating unique names goes back to the “MacGruber” movie, as well. Taccone recounts an incident in which a representative for Universal, the studio behind the film, said that all the character names were legally cleared on the first pass. “Whatever is in Will Forte’s brain, it does not exist on this planet,” says Taccone.

As for what’s next for the franchise, Taccone has some ideas that sound wild enough they just might come true. “They’ve actually approved an animated spinoff show with Vicki St. Elmo and then we’re also going to be doing a musical,” Taccone jokes.

It might have been hard to imagine any of that becoming a reality following MacGruber’s big screen debut, but with the right assortment of everyday materials, he will surely prove us all wrong.

“MacGruber” is now streaming on Peacock.