The saying goes: You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. And, damn, is that ever true about cult classic Party Down, which aired on the Starz network (huh?) for a meager two seasons until it was unceremoniously cancelled. But let’s focus on the positive. This past weekend, thanks to the wonderful people at SF Sketchfest, the cast of Party Down (Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, and Martin Starr) reunited for a panel and, when they walked out in their pink bowtied catering uniforms from the show, it was like nothing bad ever happened in the entire world. Here are 10 things I learned at the Party Down reunion:
1. No movies plans just yet.
Let’s just get straight to what die hard fans have been wondering for years. There are no plans for a feature length movie yet because there is no god. But before you resort to self harm, there is a glimmer of hope! Adam Scott thinks it would be great to release more episodes via Netflix à la Arrested Development. Time to start that letter writing campaign! Contact your congresswoman!
2. Only 16,000 people watched the series finale.
What is wrong with you people??? Adam Scott is grateful anyway: “Thanks for watching three years too late.”
3. Paul Rudd and Steve Carell almost wore pink bowties.
When HBO was initially considering the show, Party Down was going to star Paul Rudd and possibly Steve Carell. The network eventually passed because they have terrible taste. Years later, the roles went to Adam Scott and Ken Marino. After that particular fun fact was revealed, Lizzy Caplan sighed: “Imagine how much doper this panel could’ve been!”
4. I have a huge crush on Lizzy Caplan and so should you.
Some of the funniest moments of the panel were when Lizzy Caplan would say something under her breath or when she would drink lots of beer or engage in super cute camaraderie with Martin Starr or make music by blowing into her beer bottle. She once was Lindsay Lohan’s goth bestie in Mean Girls and now I’m wondering why she isn’t mine. Stock up on Lizzy Caplan hilarity in the “fashion film” below.
5. Ken Marino was framed in StripperGate.
For the first eight episodes, Jane Lynch added her deranged flair to the show, until she hit the jackpot with Glee. Before she could sail off to the land where songs you love go to die, the cast wanted to do something nice for her last day of filming. Ken Marino thought it might be funny to get her a female stripper (“because she’s a lesssssbian,” explained Lizzy Caplan). Marino quickly rescinded the offer, but it was too late. Despite refusing to pitch in and other attempts to stop it, a stripper was procured After an estimated 2.5 seconds, the gag was no longer funny and Ryan Hansen had to step in and literally waltz Jane out of there. The cast said it was all Marino’s doing and, years later, Jane Lynch wrote a chapter in her memoir about it and blamed him for the whole thing. He is very saddened by this.
6. It’s really rude to inquire about finger injuries.
The cast members came out on stage rocking shiny finger splints. Maybe they were getting back into character by cutting vegetables for party platters backstage and things got out of hand? Paul Scheer, the MC of the night, repeatedly tried to get some answers, which caused the cast to scream in his face (“WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH PARTY DOWN?? WE ARE HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE SHOW!!”). During the audience Q+A, some man with a death wish brought the touchy subject back up. Moments later, Ken Marino and Adam Scott were yelling in his face in the balcony. Only problem was they targeted the wrong dude.
7. Jennifer Coolidge has a bad memory.
Although Jennifer “Bend and Snap” Coolidge was only featured in two episodes, Lizzy Caplan thought they really connected during lunch breaks. A few weeks after filming, a friend of Caplan met Coolidge and mentioned Lizzy’s name, to which J.Coo replied: “Who’s that?”
8. Adam Scott was almost the next Pacino.
Before he found his place as the funny man next door on Party Down and Parks & Recreation, Adam Scott believed he would be a great serious actor. So much so that he almost adopted a tweaked version of his mother’s maiden name to emulate the earnest Italiano spirit of De Niro and Pacino. “Quordero. That’s with a Q.”
9. If you break your arm, people will think you’re an insufferable diva.
Megan Mullaly, best known for her drunk antics on Will and Grace and being the scariest librarian ever to live on Parks & Recreation, joined the cast as a regular for season 2. She was super late for her first day on the job and Ryan Hansen complained about her diva antics to Lizzy Caplan. Turns out she was in a car accident and had broken her arm. Oops.
10. The series finale that never was.
An idea some of the cast kicked around for a series finale goes like this: Ken Marino’s character announces he has terminal cancer. Cut to the jolly Party Down opening credits music. Next scene, the gang is coming back from his funeral and getting ready to work the event. Let’s all pretend that’s how things ended. Quick, someone go change the Wikipedia page!