Fans of cult comedies like “The State,” “Party Down” and “Children’s Hospital” know Ken Marino as an elastic character actor with the looks of a leading man and goofy demeanor of a Marx brother. Audiences at large, however, probably recognize the 42-year-old small-screen veteran from his numerous recurring roles and guest spots on everything from “Dawson’s Creek” and “Veronica Mars” to “Will & Grace” and “Spin City.”
This week, he pops up on “Whitney,” playing Alex’s ne’er do well older brother, Brian, who’s in town for a convention and eager to show up his brighter and more successful younger sibling. Marino knows a thing or two about what makes a successful primetime sitcom click, and after spending time with fellow comedian Whitney Cummings and the rest of her cast and crew, he understood why the show has gelled with audiences.
“I think when you get on a set, one of the things that you immediately are drawn to or you recognize is the chemistry,” Marino explained during a conference call with reporters. “And, you know, whether or not people are having fun, because I think that that translates. You can’t help but see that once it’s shot. And I think that that absolutely was there on the set of ‘Whitney,’ that everybody was enjoying themselves and enjoying each other and having a good time and laughing. And if you can make people that you work with laugh, then that’s going to translate on some level.”
Catch Up On Last Week’s Episode Of “Whitney”:
And while “Whitney” has its fair share of critics, most of whom debate the show’s distinction from other domestic-coms, Marino thinks the dynamic between Cummings and co-star Chris D’Elia is its saving grace. “I find the relationship between Whitney and [Alex] to be kind of fresh and different and exciting,” Marino said. “And then I really am enjoying that group of friends, so it seemed like a special group of people.”