Rob Corddry’s The Winner was one of the most anticipated comedies of last fall—until Fox bumped it to midseason. Now, after some extensive retooling, the show, about a 32-year-old guy who still lives at home, has kissed only one girl, and hangs out with a 14-year- old, is finally coming to air. Jada Yuan spoke to Corddry, a former Daily Show correspondent, about the sublimity of Wings and the current popularity of long-in-the-tooth male virgins.
First Steve Carell, now you—what is it with former Daily Show correspondents playing virgins?
How about that? [Creator Ricky Blitt] wrote this before The 40-Year-Old Virgin came out. The pilot was shot before it came out. It just didn’t get picked up. And then 40-Year-Old Virgin came out and Ricky thought, We’re going to have a problem with this. But our first six episodes deals with that. We nip it right in the bud.
Was this show written with you in mind?
No—but it feels like it was. And Ricky has a real affinity for writing for people, so he’s incorporated a lot of my idiosyncrasies into Glen, my character.
There are so many! I’ll get the script and go, “That asshole! I do that!” Apparently I have this high-pitched whine I do whenever I’m considering something. Now it’s all over the show.
So what’s Glen like?
He’s neurotic. And he’s obsessive-compulsive, with the emphasis on obsessive. He hasn’t left the house because he worries about everything so much. So he’s painted himself into a corner. And that corner happens to be the corner of his bedroom, watching Wings for fifteen years.
What’s with his obsession with Wings?
Wings is the perfect show for Glen to love. I actually met Steven Weber recently because he works with my brother, Nate, on Studio 60. Weber was like, “Oh, great. I’m a punch line.” And I was like, “No, no! It’s a tribute to you! It’s a tribute to your show!”
I saw the original pilot back in the fall, and it’s been totally reshot.
Yeah. Plus, they fired my original mother.
What was wrong with your old mom?
I have no idea. These things really do come down from on high. As far as I know, that’s the one demand the network had. They had a bee in their bonnet.
Now that you’re a network star, are you being chased by paparazzi?
I just had my first paparazzi experience. I was back in New York around the holidays and I was out with my baby and my wife, and this guy starts taking my picture. So I look over and he says, “Hey, sorry. Can I take your picture?” And I was like, “Yeah, sure!”
You’re also writing a column for Suicidegirls.com. Isn’t that a porn site?
They fancy themselves a MySpace community, but with tattooed boobies.
And your wife’s okay with this?
Come on, who doesn’t like a tattooed booby?
Fox, premiers Sunday, March 4, 8.30 p.m.