Last Thursday a huge crowd lined up at the legendary Village Underground in NYC to see Pamela Adlon sit down with Ron Bennington to talk about her brilliant FX series, Better Things, and her incredible career. If you’re a fan of any aspect of her career- whether it’s her FX Series, Louie, Lucky Louie, Californication, King of the Hill or anything else from her prolific resume, you will love this hour. The crowd of over 200 fans was just starstruck by Adlon- and you could see everyone leaning in to hang on her every word. She’s screamingly funny, smart, so articulate and confident (yet completely aware of the limitations that come along with being human), and she comes across as incredibly genuine…and she’s incredibly sexy.
The hour was filled with everything you hope to get from an Unmasked– brilliant insight into creating and performing comedy, amazing stories about all of her projects and collaborations, behind the scenes reveals, career highs and lows, personal stories including a few about being a mom, lots of laughs, and even a few tears or at least a very emotional choked up moment.
Adlon’s hour instantly became one of the all time classic Unmasked episodes- a stand out in a series packed full of standouts. The episode debuts on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog channel today. Do not miss it. Here is a preview of some of our favorite moments.
#1: The Better Things house is a real house, not a set. “It was a character for me” she said. And all the art in the house is her art, or art that belonged to a close friend or family member. “I’ve been collecting art since I’m 18. My grandmother was an artist my mother was an artist and so all the music and the art is just that’s my aesthetic and that’s what I wanted to put into the show. So it’s a very handmade show.”
#2: The need to finish binge-watching Breaking Bad kept her from starting writing the pilot.
#3: It was important to her not to tell the audience how to feel about things that happen in the series. “It’s great to work with FX because they’re letting me you know show you and you decide. I’m not telling you how to feel,” she said. “I’m not putting a bow or a button or anything on these scenes and in these moments. That’s anathema to me.
I just want to let it lay. I want to let a shitty moment lay there like a fart.”
#4: She once got offended when a journalist described Sam as a “passive parent.”
#5: Many of the things that happen to Sams daughters in the series, actually happened to her when she was a kid.
#6: She didn’t let her daughters watch Californication when she was in it, and they still haven’t watched Louie.
#7: Pamela called Louis “the most brilliant writer in the world” and says she learned so much from him. They write together using Skype.
#8: When Pamela needed down time while shooting, she napped in Sam’s bedroom, and always took her pants off. “I have to because I was I would get too exhausted,”
#9: She’s ready to stay with this series as long as she can. “Oh yeah. I mean as long as I have the stamina. Yeah. It’s amazing to have a job. It’s amazing to be a boss. I try to encourage everybody now to be a boss to do as much as you can to kind of stretch your limits.”
The Unmasked series which began in 2008, with an amazing hour with Patrice O’Neal, has taped nearly 200 episodes since, documenting the careers of the most interesting comedy writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, satirists, political comedians, comedic musicians and of course, stand up comedians in the business. It is a veritable archive of the greatest comedy of our time. Past Unmasked guests have included Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd, Simon Pegg, Paul Feig, Jim Jefferies, Gilbert Gottfried, Louis C.K., David Brenner, Brian Regan and over 150 more comedy greats.
Listen to Pamela Adlon: Unmasked with Ron Bennington debuting at 2pm on Friday September 29th on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog Comedy Channel. And watch Better Things exclusively on FX every Thursday at 10:30pm.