Interview with Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

TV Interview!

Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

These NBC panels are always fun. We had 3 interviews with the top 6 cast members of this funny show. You may know Moynihan from “Saturday NIght Live.”  These guys are both really funny, as you’ll see in the video. It was just great fun to chat with them. It was like having our own personal SNL comedians to perform for us.

 

Enjoy the video! Here’s the transcript:

Ross: Hi guys, I’m Ross Crystal from Showbiz Express, and thank you for taking time out to do this. Really appreciate it. Let me start with Bobby. Describe — as we move into the new season — describe your character and how it changes because you’re the Comms guy.

Bobby: I’m the comms director, that is correct. Jayden grows up a little bit this season. He’s got to make some hard decisions; no more living in Mom’s basement. He gets his own apartment. He starts to become a little more independent, and he’s got to do his job, and he’s got to make some real decisions at work, and we see how that affects him and how insane it makes him. [Chuckles]

Ross: I’ll keep to the one and come back, If I may, do a follow-up.

Suzanne Hi, my name is Suzanne, and I run TVMEG.COM. Let’s see… Mike, if you had to do Tommy’s job in real life, could you do it well?

Mike: Oh, God. No, not in the slightest. [Laughs] The Strategist, as I found in my research before season one, I found is primarily a campaign role, and you kinda just go from campaign to campaign. So in that sense, I was like, oh, yeah, it’s kind of like acting, or going from gig to gig. But then when you look at the actual job of, like, trying to advise a politician on what to do next…? I’m the most indecisive person in the world. If I sit at a diner.. you know how, like, a diner is like a menu, it’s like a book? I’m like, I’ll be there for an hour before I can decide. So I would be absolute trash at this job. [Everyone laughs]

Suzanne: All right. And, Bobby, how are you and Jayden the same, and how are you different?

Bobby: Just clothes. Just clothing choices. [Laughs] No, I think we are similar in some ways and very different in many others. There’s an innocence to both of us that I wish I didn’t have as much as Jayden does. Jayden, dollar-heart, nickel-brain on Jayden. But I think Jayden’s a little smarter than he thinks he is. For me in real life, the jury’s still out. We’ll see.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen Moul from Scifivision.com. We have some new characters in the office this year with the I team showing up, and I was hoping you guys could talk a little bit about how that affects the dynamic in the office and your characters, I guess, without spoiling too much. And maybe Mike could speak first for a sec?

Mike: Sure. this is sort of, I think, one of the big character arcs for Tommy this season… In season one, I feel like Tommy is not expressly antagonistic or whatever in the office, but he thinks he’s better than everyone. So as soon as the I Team is introduced, he sort of sides with everyone else because now they’re like new outsiders to hate on, and I think that it’s this really interesting dynamic because, like, all the interoffice dynamics that exist in season one kind of shift, in light of these new people coming in. And that’s been such an exciting dynamic play this season because, it’s all new and it feels fresh from last season.

Karen: Thank you.

Bobby: Yeah. Towards the end of the season we get — I don’t want to spoil anything — but we get some, some awesome, really wonderful new characters, like, wonderful television characters. I can’t spoil anything, but it gets better and better.

Mike: Yeah.

Karen: Great. Thank you.

Dano: Hi, Dano from The Nocturnal. So, sitcoms are kind of built off chemistry, but your characters have this sort of, anti- chemistry. You’re at loggerheads with one another, and I was wondering, now that you’re on season two, how that, you know, off-screen chemistry between you two and comedic, you know, rapport between you, how does that change in this new season?

Bobby: I always feel like Tommy is my older brother, even though he’s younger than me. We’ll show, like, Jayden — and I feel like there’s a lot, like, they get closer, but also, like, brothers…We have a “Succession” relationship this season, and I can’t wait for people to see it. It’s so much fun!

Mike: No matter how close we get, we’re never more than a step away from like giving each other a noogie, you know what I mean?

Dano: Is that in real life, too? Or just with the characters?

Mike: In real life, it’s constant noogies. That’s how we greet each other in the morning in the makeup trailer. It’s like, “Hey, I know you have to do his hair, but one second… let me just mess it up a little.”

Bobby: He’s a bully. Mike bullies me constantly. No, I love Mike. It’s the best. I think we’re two sweet gentlemen who plays two sweet gentlemen, also, who don’t get along, but they try to. Jayden’s a lot. I don’t know if I would get along with Jayden. [Laughter]

Ross: Mike, if I can ask you… well, actually both of you, but Mike, you’ve got a background in sketch comedy. How does sketch comedy really aid you, or in some ways, perhaps not, in this show?

Mike: First of all, thank you for acknowledging that I am the foremost authority on sketch comedy on this cast.

Bobby: [Laughs]

Mike: I will say one thing that sketch comedy prepares you to do is get off-book really quickly because you’re getting rewrites and scripts day of, and the amount of material that Tina Fey and Robert Carlock churn through is… you could make a whole ‘nother show just with, like, the reject pile that they write. And so frequently, we’ll get these new sides. And, I’m grateful that I have years of experience of just like looking at a page and going, “Okay, got it” and being able to go in, and fully inhabit a character like on the spot without thinking too deeply about it, which, you know, is why I’ll never win an academy award like Holly Hunter, because she really gets deep into character, and I’m very shallow, very surface level there. But I think that that is, like a hard skill that I think is underrated for a lot of actors.

Ross: And Bobby, I mean, for you, how much does SNL come into play here? How much does that experience there come in here? How much latitude do you have?

Bobby: It’s a similar experience in the sense of, I think, Tina and Robert are people who went through the SNL machine and, two of the best, easily, to do it. And I think that they have now created a couple different universes in television, a couple of different TV shows where it’s their thing, and this is how they do it. And it’s very SNL-inspired, which means everyone is expected to be great and do great. And they do. But it doesn’t have the complete terror and anxiety that SNL does. And we get to go home and sleep at normal hours because Ted Danson’s contract is great. [Chuckles] Tt’s wonderful. It’s the best. I’m very familiar with that world of, like, “let’s create this wonderful thing and do it with all these very, very talented people.” And they’ve amassed an insanely talented crew and cast and makes it very easy and fun.

Dano: Does anything change or evolve with that — your collaborative relationship with the Tina Fey over the years?

Bobby: Yeah, I’m less terrified. In the beginning, I mean… I think she’s the most influential person that ever walked through those doors at SNL. She’s brilliant, and she has created so much from it, and I was in awe of her. My first episode of SNL was the first time she did Sarah Palin, and it was my first time doing the show, and I just stopped everything to watch her do it, and was just, like, “Look at this! Look at her and Amy!” It was nuts. But now… I text her now. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel comfortable texting her and not like a child when I do that. [Laughs]

Suzanne: For both of you– do you get to do any kind of improvisation or ad-libbing, or is only what’s on the page?

Mike: We do get to improvise a lot. I think, regardless of the show, Bobby and I probably would, anyway, because we can’t help ourselves. But the funny thing is, maybe 2% of the ad-libs make it into the final cut because Tina and Robert make such perfect scripts right off the bat that they don’t need improvement. They don’t need to be supplemented or augmented by whatever stupid thoughts we’re having on the day. But we do get to play around a lot. Usually we’ll do a few takes as scripted, and then we’ll do a couple of… we play around, and then the editor just throws it right in the garbage.

Bobby: All these improvs are few and far between, but they are assassin precise and he often gets them in.

Suzanne: Wow.

Bobby: I would say, he’s the most successful.

Suzanne: Well, I hope they show up in the DVD as extras or something. That would be cool.

Mike: I hope we get DVDs. That physical object would be great.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Karen: One of the great things about the show, is the way it takes on some very real political issues in LA. In the first five episodes, there seems to be a little bit of a through line with the very real homeless issue. I wonder if you could maybe just tease or preview for our readers, some of the topics, both serious and absurd that the show might take on this season.

Bobby: I think this season is about the mayor trying to do his job better and really trying to make a difference… And what he thinks that is best for LA and kind of the rest of the people dealing with that, and deciding if those choices are the right choices, or if he’s doing it to be, you know, for himself, or is he doing it really for the city? I think that’s a lot… what this season is about.

Mike: I think our writers do a really good job of not trying to make any statements about how the world should be run in real life. Although, this season, Jayden does have one idea that sort of unifies LA with the rest of the world; but it is a good idea, but I don’t think our writers are ever, you know, prescriptive of thinking they could do a better job in politics. I think we’re kind of towing the line of, okay, this show takes place in the political realm, but we’re not here to say that we’re experts on the matter, in any sense.

Bobby: Although I would love president Tina Fey. I think I would take that.

Mike: Heh, heh.

Ross: And then doing your research, do you ever take a trip down to City Hhall?

Mike: We did, in season one, before we shot the pilot, a few of us went down to City Hall and got the real pins that we wear on our lapels in the show, which is cool. I don’t think we go back too frequently, though.

Bobby: I’m there now. I’m there every day. [Laughter]

Ross: Do you find the humor right there?

Mike: There is a certain kind of humor that you can observe just by walking around the halls. We sat in on, like, a public hearing, and I think that that is well-worn territory, thanks to “Parks and Rec,” so I don’t know how much of that we’ll be doing… but there are given characters in any great American city, and Los Angeles certainly has, some of the bigger characters I’ve ever seen.

Suzanne: Do you ever get any feedback from people in LA about how your show handles Los Angeles and the people in it?

Mike: Yeah, actually, yeah. I’ve heard from a lot of people who either worked in LA City Hall or other local politics and are pleasantly surprised at how… it’s funny because they say that we nailed the minutiae of being in an office really well. And I think that speaks to the universality of, like, it doesn’t matter what industry we’re in, because we’re not aiming to specifically try and be like, “This is what it’s like to work in City Hall.” It’s more, just an office comedy. I think that’s what makes every office comedy sort of relatable.

Bobby: No one brings it up to me cause I haven’t– I don’t leave the house. [Laughter]

Mike: “Notorious recluse Bobby Moynihan.”

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter and  Vella Lovell and Kyla Kenedy

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Mike Cabellon

Tommy Tomás, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Mike Cabellon as Tommy Tomas -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Mike Cabellon stars as Chief Strategist Tommy Tomás on NBC’s new comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Mike Cabellon is a Los Angeles-based Filipino-American actor (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Crashing”) and writer (Comedy Central). He was trained at UCB and is currently an active performer, director, producer and head writer for Webby Award-winning “Story Pirates” podcast.

Cabellon and his sketch team GEIL have created countless sketches and two acclaimed web series: “Early to Rise” (2020) and “Night Crew” (2018). “Early to Rise” won the Audience Award at the 2020 SeriesFest. “Night Crew” premiered on Comedy Central’s digital channels after becoming an official selection for the New York Television Festival, where they landed a development deal with Comedy Central. Together, GEIL has appeared on FunnyOrDie and Adult Swim, as well as screened sketches at Quickie Fest and Red Hot Video Fun Time.

Cabellon’s time in New York included five straight seasons with the BoogieManja sketch program, putting up a new sketch show every single month at the PIT Theater, as well as five straight years of hosting a bar quiz every week with Geeks Who Drink.

He has performed on stages all over the country, including the Del Close Marathon, Comedy Hack Day, Austin Sketch Fest, Frigid Fest (part of the U.S. Association of Fringe Festivals), UCB’s 3×3 Tournament, NYC Improv Festival, SHRTWV Short Theater Festival, Penn Station Area Sketch Fest and a paid corporate improv show on the Las Vegas strip when he was 16. Notable live shows include “Mike Cabellon Is: The Bachelor – LIVE!” a small role in “Hockey Cops,” and hosting “Witching Hour” featuring Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla.

His last name rhymes with babylon, grab a swan, crab ’n’ prawn, slab of flan, drab chiffon or lab/salon.

Cabellon is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is represented by Authentic Talent & Literary Management, CAA, and Frankfurt Kurnit.

Bobby Moynihan

Jayden Kwapis, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Bobby Moynihan as Jayden Kwapis -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Bobby Moynihan stars as Jayden Kwapis in the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Moynihan was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for nine seasons where he originated beloved characters such as Drunk Uncle and co-wrote and appeared in the popular David S. Pumpkins sketch starring Tom Hanks, which spawned a Halloween animated special for NBC  and is now streaming on Hulu.

Moynihan’s other television credits include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Documentary Now!,” “Drunk History,” “The Simpsons,” “Miracle Workers,” “Girls,” “Portlandia” and “Me, Myself & I.” His voiceover credits range from Cartoon Network’s “We Bare Bears,” “DuckTales” and “Stars Wars Resistance,” both for DisneyXD.

On the film side, Moynihan’s voice talents can be heard on Pixar’s “Inside Out” and “Monsters University,” as well as other features.

His all-improvised podcast on Stitcher, “Celebrity Sighting! with Jonathan Biting!” features Moynihan as the always candid and always hammered Jonathan Biting talking to guests about their celebrity encounters.

 

 

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Mr. Mayor - Season 2 Cast

Interview with Vella Lovell and Kyle Kenedy

TV Interview!

Kyla Kenedy and Vella Lovell of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Kyla Kenedy and Vella Lovell of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

This was a fun panel day that we had with the 6 main actors from the show. These two women were paired together. We had a lot of fun, as you can see in the video. It was great to ask them about the show, which is very funny and returns 3/15 on NBC.

 

Kyla: Hello! How is everyone?

Ross: Doing well And thank you. Thank you for joining us and doing this. And, let me begin with Kyla, you’ve got an interesting role, and first step out, you’re at the DMV.

Kyla: Right.

Ross: First of all, was that the real DMV, a phony DMV? What’d you guys do there?

Kyla: It was actually an old police station, but it felt just like a real DMV. I had just gotten my license pretty close to where we shot that, and I felt like I was going back in time a little bit. I mean, down to the lines you, ’cause you know, you do so much waiting around on set that I truly, around hour five, was like, “I am in a real DMV right now.”

Ross: And for both of you, what is new for you this season? Different direction, different way you were approaching the role? Vella?

Vella: Well, my character gets a love interest this season. So that was a totally new dynamic, to get to work with someone new, Yedoye Travis, who’s amazing, and to kind of see that different side of your character. You know, you audition for these shows, and you have two scenes, and you can’t possibly get to every color of a character in that audition. So it’s really fun to, you know, two years in, discover new colors. And how does Mikayla fall in love, and how does Mikayla ask someone out? And all of those different things.

Vella: Yeah, I think this season Orly gets to spend a lot more time in the office with her dad, which was just really fun – a side of her that we really didn’t dive into that much in season one. And she kind of gets to interact with everyone else in the office more, which leads to some pretty fun storylines and some interesting situations. But that, that was so much funding to do this season.

Ross: Very cool.

Suzanne: Vella, you got to sing a lot in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Will there be any singing on the show this season?

Vella: Well, unfortunately, I think we established that Mikayla is a terrible singer. So…I actually think there is a little bit of singing. I’m not sure if they’ve cut it or not, but it’s not great. I’m going to go ahead and say that,

Kyla: We got blessed a little [laughs].

Vella: Yeah. It’s not, it’s off very off key. So apologies…

Suzanne: I liked the Christmas song that you all did, even though most of you weren’t doing anything but humming or whatever.

Kyla: Yeah, it was hard.

Vella: Yeah. That was fun.

Dano: Dano from The Nocturnal. So I’m a Los Angeles native myself, and a lot of stuff with the show really hits very close to home. So I was wondering what (for both of you)– Kyla, you have the relationship with the very embarrassing father and, Vella, you’re a young professional navigating life in LA… if there’s any moments where like, you’re reading the script and you’re like, “Oh man, this is just way too real.”

Kyla: Yeah, I think that happens all the time. Like, our writing is so, so good that I think there’s a little bit of truth behind every joke, which is what makes the show so special and fun to watch. But, no, I definitely have so many moments, even when we’re filming a scene where I’m like, “This could absolutely happen tomorrow in a Whole Foods.”

Vella: Yeah, I think there was one script that ended up getting… this part, got cut, but McKayla was in a long distance relationship with someone who lived in Venice. And that is a real thing in LA, when you live on the east side and someone lives on the west side, it truly feels long distance. So there’s a lot of things that just creep up and are very… they’re very… they’re so real that they’re hilarious.

Karen: I was going to ask a similar question. There are ways in which the show feels a little bit like “Seinfeld” did about New York city. That if, you know… if you’re from New York, there was this extra layer of humor there. I actually really wanted to ask Kyla, however, in particular, you are the one…maybe you are the youngest, and Orly spends a lot of time, like, schooling her father. “You can’t say that, you can’t do that. That’s not how you use Tik Tok.” And I wonder how much of that you’re drawing from your real life? And I, you know, Ted’s the same age as this character, right? And you’re working with a lot of older people, and is this happening on set?

Kyla: I mean, a little bit. I do think there have been moments, like, Ted and I did a fun little video where I told him like, slang that me and my peers were using, and he would try and guess the meaning of it. But there are definitely so many funny moments, but we’ll do a table reading, and Ted would kind of fidget, [and say], “So, what does this mean exactly?” But I think that, you know, that’s the fun of it, and that’s what makes the show so special because it is like real life. There are times when my mom will call me and go, “What does this mean? Somebody just texted me this and I have no idea how I’m supposed to respond.” But yeah, no, there’s definitely a lot of truth behind it.

Vella: I mean, I have to ask Kyla how she knows what to post on Tik ToK. ‘Cause I don’t, and how to work it, or how you know what to post. And she’s just…

Kyla: Right? I know, we like, just kind of.. right when the season ended, all started talking about potentially next season, maybe making a (???) video together, figuring it out myself if I’m being honest.

Vella: You’re gonna have to spearhead that.

Kyla: Yeah, right? I go in with a lot of false confidence and that’s really how I get through it.

Ross: On camera, you guys have become a very reverent family, and listening to you right now, you’ve got those qualities. Was there a bonding that came very quickly? Did it take awhile, Vella? What was that like for the cast – and Kyla, too – what was that like for you guys?

Vella: Yeah. I mean, we had only shot, I think, a month or two when we got shut down for COVID. So a lot of our bonding, I think, came during COVID in that time. We would just zoom a lot, and check in on each other, and we have our text chain, and I think we kind of skipped a few steps in terms of working together for months and slowly getting to know each other.
We just went straight to “How are you doing? Are you okay? What’s going on? How’s your family?”

Kyla: I think most of the time when you start a new series, you know, you’re kind of interacting with everyone in between breaks on set. And then when you rehearse, you’re doing your lines and whatnot, and then you all go home for the day. So with us being in zoom within the first month, you guys knew what my bedroom looked like, my cat, my family situation… I think we all just kind of had nothing but time. So it was like a hundred lunch breaks, all put into, like, how many months? So we did definitely come back to it, filming, like we were going into season five of our show – relationship-wise, just because we bonded so much.

Suzanne: Kyla, you were on CSI about 10 years ago when Ted Danson was starring in it. Did you have scenes with him then? And did he remember you when you started this show?

Kyla: Okay. So I did do CSI, but to preface it, I was a corpse.

(Laughter)

Kyla: So Ted and I did have a scene, but it was me lying in a bed, no longer living. So it wasn’t anything too memorable, but I think it was one of those things where we had talked about it, he kind of remembered…? Yes, no, but I was like eight and I didn’t say anything. I just kind of got to go to craft services, eat a lot of food and sleep for 20 minutes. It was a pretty sweet deal. But I think, I think I definitely do probably remember it a little bit more.

Vella: I did not know that.

Suzanne: So, bow that they’ve brought the show back, Vella, that’s your chance. You’ve got to go play a dead body on the new CSI.

Kyla: Yeah, everybody’s doing it.

Vella: I would love to. It sounds — it sounds very relaxing.

Suzanne: You can’t move, though. That’s the only thing.

Dano: One of my favorite Super Bowl commercials last month was the NBC one with Ted Danson. I was wondering if you guys, you know, how you reacted to that, if you’re roasted a bit for that, or… yeah. What were your thoughts on that?

Vella: I think I just texted, like, “Ted!” or something… It was the one where he’s the king of NBC, right?

Dano: Right, And then every other NBC person’s getting annoyed, you know, that Ted, or Keenan, “why not me?” You know?

Vella: Well, it’s the 40th anniversary of “Cheers,” so, I mean, it’s hard to (???)

Kyla: Right, he earned it.

Vella: He earned it. 40 years on a network. I mean, that’s… that’s pretty impressive. I don’t think we roasted him at all. Maybe we should!

Kyla: We can designate somebody to come through.

Vella: “Hey, man…”

Karen: I wanted to ask you guys: I think all of us have seen the first five episodes and, we’ve seen some really fun guest stars on, mostly with Ted. Do you guys get any like good guest star time this year? Do you want to tease anything about who you got to work with, or are you not allowed to say?

Vella: I don’t know. I know there’s some great people that come through. I don’t think, oh, there’s an amazing person that we got to work with, but yeah. I don’t know if we’re supposed to, I don’t know if we can talk about them, I guess.

Host: Not at this point, but excited for you guys to see all the many surprises coming up for this season.

Vella: Yeah. There’s some really great people– some really great comedy people.

Kyla: I guess we think, everyone, because of who’s behind the show. I feel really lucky. I’ve noticed everyone that comes in – even if they have one line – they are so on point, and are so amazing and really do the best job that they possibly can, which I think makes every scene so special. So I do always look forward to, you know, when we read the script to seeing who’s going to come in and who’s gonna play this crazy role. But we have, we have a lot of funny, funny characters that pop in this season for sure.

Vella: Yeah, definitely.

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter and Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Kyla Kenedy

Orly Bremer, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Kyla Kenedy as Orly Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Kyla Kenedy stars as mayor Neil Bremer’s (Ted Danson) daughter Orly Bremer on NBC’s new comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Kenedy has spent nearly a decade building an impressive resume for an actress her age. She has worked steadily in film and television and across multiple genres. She is most recognizable from her roles on the ABC sitcom “Speechless” and for her recurring role on the international hit show “The Walking Dead.”

For the younger set, Kenedy is known for her role as a regular on the Amazon series “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” On the big screen, she was last seen opposite Jeremy Sisto in the independent feature “Love Is All You Need?” for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Kenedy began her career at 8 in Charleston, S.C., booking print and local jobs. She moved to Atlanta and quickly expanded to commercials and films, where she landed a small role in the Farrelly brothers feature film “The Three Stooges.” Shortly thereafter, Kenedy was cast in her first lead role as the title character in the award-winning made-for-TV movie “Raising Izzie,” for which she won the Grace Award at the 21st Movieguide Awards, and a Young Artist Award for Best Actress.

Kenedy relocated to Los Angeles and has gone on to appear in a steady stream of dramatic and comedic projects, including heavily recurring roles on “Night Shift” and “The New Normal” “for which she was again nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Actress in a Guest Starring Role.

Kenedy currently lives in Los Angeles, and loves reading, traveling, and all outdoor activities.

Vella Lovell

Mikaela Shaw, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Vella Lovell as Mikaela Shaw -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Vella Lovell stars as Chief of Staff Mikaela Shaw on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Lovell is best known for her standout series regular role as Heather Davis on all four seasons of CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” She is currently recurring in the new Amazon Prime coming-of-age series “As We See It.” Lovell is also the voice of Mermista in the animated Netflix series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” (2020 Critics’ Choice Nominee – Best Animated Series).

On the film side, she is best known for her role in the indie hit “The Big Sick” and recently starred in the Comedy Central holiday parody movie “A Clüsterfünke Christmas,” which was written and produced by “Saturday Night Live” alums Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer.

A graduate from the Juilliard School, Lovell has a bachelor’s degree from New York University. While at Julliard, she played Anna Mae in Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottages’ “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” and Lady Macbeth in an adaptation of “Macbeth.” She has also performed in “The Bacchae,” directed by JoAnne Akalaitis at Shakespeare in the Park, and “The Great Recession” as well as “Kaspar Hauser” at the Flea Theater.

At Williamstown Theatre Festival, she was seen in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by David Cromer, “When You’re Here” by Samuel Hunter and “Camp Monster.”

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Vella Lovell and Kyla Kennedy of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter

TV Interview!

Holly Hunter and Ted Danson on Zoom interview for "Mr. Mayor" on NBC 3/8/22

Interview with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

It was so great to speak with these two legendary actors. Holly is an Oscar winner and of course, Ted Danson has been on TV for a very long time and is still bringing the laughs on this NBC show. They’re clearing having a great time. This was a press panel, so I was only able to ask one question. The other questions are from other journalists. I would have loved to have asked many more questions. Maybe someday I will! Don’t miss the show, which returns tomorrow, Tuesday night on NBC! It’s even funnier this season.

 

Ross: Hi guys. Ross Crystal from Showbiz Express. Ted, Holly, thank you so much for doing this and congratulations on the new season. Let me begin with you, Ted. How do we move into the new season? How does the mayor approach this new term, f I may?

Ted: Well, I think he probably has come to the realization that, just because he wanted to prove to himself and his daughter that life wasn’t over, and he ran to be mayor does not necessarily qualify him to be the mayor. [Chuckles] So this year he decides to right away hire somebody he calls the innovation team. You know, the brightest, youngest brains in California, to start shaping his administration and it creates a huge amount of friction in the office. It does provide a love affair for one of the characters, but it really just messes things up even more.

Ross: And Holly, Arpi is as annoying this time around as she’s ever been. What is it about this character that you love?

Holly: I’m just kind of gobsmacked by that. I hardly know how to proceed.

Ross: Hee, hee.

Ted: He’s an older white gentleman, Holly, you know, like the mayor…

Holly: Oh, right. It’s so interesting to think about the I team… the Innovation guys coming in… because Arpi works from…she’s like, old school. She is analog. And in a way, that’s the way city halls all across the United States operate. You know, they’re grassroots, from the ground up. “Can somebody please, tighten the manhole cover that is clattering every time a car goes over it?” I mean, you’ve got those kinds of issues that are coming into city hall. People screaming about whatever…the curbs not being at level on their street. I mean, it’s from the ground up that council members are dealing with issues in their city. From that, all the way to homelessness and traffic in Los Angeles. So the challenge for Arpi in this season, dealing with these Silicon Valley guys who come in with virtual reality approaches to problems is like…it’s so beyond annoying.

Ted: Yeah, I love that we’re in the age of man discovering the real meaning of mansplaining and beginning to realize that “Dear Lord, I never opened my mouth without actually starting to mansplain something.” And I think, you know, to have Neil Bremmer who has taken a sweet (he’s a good guy, but) a very shallow cut on life and is now explaining to Arpi how the city should be run. It has to be the most maddening thing in the world for her character. Because she does desperately care the old fashioned way — really care — about what they’re doing.

Ted: Hey Ross. Did I throw you under the bus? I’m sorry, buddy. Forgive me.

Ross: Oh, no, not at all. I was just wondering, as Mayor Garcetti leaves office and goes to be an ambassador, has he ever called you? Has he ever said, “Hey Ted… seriously?”

Ted: I think he has… I just didn’t want to take his calls.

Ross: [Laughs]

Suzanne: Ted, your character is a rich, entitled, clueless, self-involved guy. Was there anyone in real life that you think about when you’re portraying him?

Ted: I just…shave, look in the mirror, and go, “I got it. I got it. Thank you, Ted.” And off I go.

[Laughter]

Ted: You know, we’re all discovering things about ourselves, gratefully, slightly painfully, during the last couple of years. How entitled! I can just look at myself — how unknowingly entitled I am. I’m a thoughtful, sweet, liberal enlightened man. And I’m not, you know, I’m not. I thought I was. So, truly, I do feel like I was made for this part. And, I think, like the mayor… I, Ted am willing to change, but it’s very hard for me to see myself accurately… how silly I am, you know?

Suzanne: And Holly, you were just talking about the innovations and everything. In real life, on sets…you’ve been around for awhile. Does it ever bother you? Do you ever have that same sort of reaction when younger people come in, onset or anything like that? Do they make you feel like they want to reinvent everything [whereas] you’ve been doing it awhile, [but] they’re like, no…

Holly: Yeah, no, no, that doesn’t happen because you know, what’s so wild is… in a way, I could, I might be able to speak for most actors, but I think most actors, in some ways, are kind of childlike. So many actors that I love, the actors that I love, and adore working with, they’re kind of childlike… they’re children, in a way. Actors are… you spend your entire career changing, adapting….You’re doing things you’ve never done before. So many sets that I come on to… almost every set that I ever go onto. There’s no one that I know. I am meeting everyone for the first time on that set, ever. And I am used to that, and I’m sure Ted can say the same thing.

So actors have this liquidity… they’ve got a fluidity about change that I admire, and I love, and I’ve chosen to do movies, and chosen to work with people who often are breaking through to the other side in terms of form, how movies are made… [For instance], Terrence Malick. When I worked with him on a movie. I wanted to work with Terry to see how he made them and wow. He blew my mind! And working with Catherine Hardwood on “Thirteen,” she was making “Thirteen” in a way that I’d never seen– I’d never experienced before. This also is– it’s just a completely new form for me. So it keeps me changing. I gotta be up for it, and I love that challenge.

Suzanne: Right. Thanks!

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen Moul from SciFiVision. Ah, that’s actually, Suzanne, a great lead-in to my question, which is: What’s it like, now, settling into the second season behind the scenes with a cast that’s in place. I don’t know if COVID protocols are loostening, but maybe Holly first could talk about, what the climate is like, with your second season starting?

Holly: Well, joyful because we have this fantastic DP, David Miller, and he’s a wonderful touchstone because all sets are a little different and how everything is set up is a little bit different. And he provides us with this beautiful kind of structure that we can then go crazy in. We learned the structure from David, and then we all just go wild. We know what the perimeters are of our playing field. And for me to get more acquainted with that… you know, and Ted always, already was very acquainted with working with him. That that’s been very delightful, and I guess there’s just a little more confidence and intimacy with our characters. There had been an automatic kind of chemistry that existed between this cast that we’re all – I think – grateful for because you know, that doesn’t have to happen. And it did with us. There’s a kismet there.

Karen: And Ted, you’re a veteran of the sitcom format and have done many years. This is not your first, I guess, renewal second season. Do you have anything to add to all these comments?

Ted: Yeah, I mean, Holly said the word joyful. (clears his throat) Pardon me… It was joyful. COVID, as you suggested, had relaxed a little…we were still tested and did all of that. But when we got in front of the cameras, we could rehearse without masks, and there was a freedom that didn’t exist the first season. And there was also… we had taken a three- or four-month break, like the world did. And during that time, as a cast, we Zoomed a lot. We stayed in touch. We shared (like everybody did), because it was so intensely real, that the world was locked down, that we shared at a level that we probably wouldn’t have been able to, if we’d had a normal, season after season after season. We really got to know each other and appreciate each other. So when we got back together, not only was that a joy, a freedom of being able to be happily, joyfully, creative… But also, the writers and the actors were discovering who they were. You know, there’s always a process in the beginning where writers will say, “Have your character do this, do that.” And then you’re like, “No, that didn’t work. That didn’t work. That worked.” You know? So there’s a process of discovering who you are as a group, as a show, and, I think we kind of jelled last season, and it was joyful for all of us to appreciate the other characters, appreciate the other actors, and bounce off of such amazing players. It was very exciting.

Karen: Thank you.

Dano: Hi there, Dano from Nocturnal. So, for both Holly and Ted…You guys have both, worked with a lot of different comedic styles and, Tina Fey has her own cadence and brand. Is there a difference in approach or learning curve, versus like a “Bored to Death” and “Cheers” to this, or with Holly, a Coen brothers script to this… I guess, Ted, you also had a Coen-inspired script with “Fargo.” What’s the difference in approaching it?

Ted: Well, Robert and Tina are very fast. It’s much more of a… I grew up in a, “Here comes a joke. Pretty good joke, right?” You know, and the audience would laugh and you’d go on. There was a pause, there was a, you know, a kind of one thing at a time. And, this is very, very, very fast. You’re doing shots, you’re pointing out something political, but you’re kind of firing over your shoulder as you go galloping by. So the speed, the elevated quality of the writing, the words…It’s a challenge. I mean, your job as an actor is to ground whatever you’re doing in some kind of reality. And Tina and Robert are pulling you the other way going, “Nah, let’s shoot for the moon.” But your job remains the same. So that tension of making whatever it is they’re asking you to do, real, is I think the joy, the challenge and the excitement of what we’re doing.

And let me just add one thing about Holly hunter. You know, I can be a nice actor, meaning, I know what you want, so I’ll give it to you. You know, here it comes, you know, and that can be slightly boring sometimes. I watch Holly insist on grounding what it is she’s doing. It couldn’t be as far-fetched as you can imagine, but it’s still grounded and you never let go of that, Holly, and it’s a real inspiration for the rest of…for me, I’ll speak for myself.

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Vella Lovell and Kyla Kenedy and Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Ted Danson

Mayor Neil Bremer, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Ted Danson as Neil Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Ted Danson stars as Mayor Neil Bremer on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Danson is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning actor known for an array of exceptional performances, most memorably for his portrayal of Boston bartender Sam Malone on NBC’s multi-award winning and iconic comedy “Cheers,” which ran for 11 seasons and won three Emmys as best comedy series. He recently starred in creator Michael Schur’s acclaimed NBC comedy series “The Good Place” for which he was nominated for his 14th Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor and received a Critics Choice Award for his role as Michael.

Other recent credits include the 10th season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” FX’s critically acclaimed second season of “Fargo,” CBS’ long-running “CSI” and “CSI: Cyber,” FX’s “Damages,” as well as Golden Globe nominated role on CBS’ “Becker.”

In film, Danson was seen in 2018 in “Hearts Beat Loud,” a drama music film that premiered at Sundance. He has also appeared in several other high-profile projects, including the 1987 blockbuster hit “Three Men and a Baby” and its sequel, “Three Men and a Little Lady.” He also had a co-starring role in Steven Spielberg’s World War II masterpiece “Saving Private Ryan.”

Raised outside Flagstaff, Ariz., Danson attended Stanford University where he became interested in drama during his second year in school. He then transferred to Carnegie Mellon University and graduated in 1972 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama. After graduation, he was hired as an understudy in Tom Stoppard’s Off Broadway production “The Real Inspector Hound.” Danson relocated to Los Angeles in 1978 to help manage the Actor’s Institute for a year-and-a-half while he taught there. Six months after his arrival, Danson earned a role in “The Onion Field” and co-starred in the TV movie “The Women’s Room.”

In addition to acting and producing, Danson is an environmental activist, co-founding the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 to alert Americans to the life-threatening hazards created by oil spills, off-shore development, toxic wastes, sewage pollution and other ocean abuses. The AOC merged with Oceana in 2001. Oceana works to teach citizens how they can participate in protecting and restoring marine resources, and to show Congress that Americans are concerned with these issues.

Danson resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Mary Steenburgen.

Holly Hunter

Arpi Meskimen, “Mr. Mayor

Holly Hunter stars as Deputy Mayor Arpi Meskimen on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Hunter has been nominated for four Academy Awards for the films “Broadcast News,” “The Firm,” “The Piano” and “Thirteen.” In 1993, she won the Academy Award and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in “The Piano.” In 2008, Hunter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award.

Most recently Hunter was seen as rival CEO Rhea Jarrell in HBO’s hit drama “Succession” and Showtime’s highly anticipated miniseries “The Comey Rule.”

Hunter reprised her iconic voice role as Elastigirl in the highly anticipated sequel to the animated hit films “The Incredibles,” alongside Craig T. Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Hunter co-starred in “The Big Sick,” which won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy as well as be Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay. For her supporting role, Hunter was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Award, and was honored with a Career Achievement Award at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Hunter was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a mother dealing with her daughter’s wild and rebellious behavior in the film “Thirteen,” directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Hunter was also honored with nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press, SAG, BAFTA and the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. for this role.

Hunter received the Academy Award for her performance as a mute Scottish widow in Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” For this role, she received the Cannes Film Festival Award, British Academy Film Award, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, National Board of Review Award and a Golden Globe Award, all for best actress. That same year, Hunter garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance as the investigative secretary in “The Firm,” based on the John Grisham novel.

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Holly Hunter as Arpi Meskimen, Ted Danson as Neil Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)Hunter was nominated for another Academy Award for her portrayal of a driven career-woman producer in “Broadcast News.” For this role, she received the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, National Board of Review Award and Berlin Film Festival Award, all for best actress.

Hunter made her television series debut in TNT’s drama “Saving Grace,” which earned her nominations for two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. “Saving Grace” ended after four seasons in 2010.

Hunter starred in ABC’s “When Billie Beat Bobby” where she portrayed tennis legend Billie Jean King in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between King and Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs. The role garnered her an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie.

Hunter was nominated for an Emmy for her role in Showtime’s “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her.” The film tells stories about love and loss in the lives of five women. The film won an award in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and also screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Hunter also starred in Showtime’s original movie “Harlan County War,” for which she garnered both an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.

Hunter was seen in the Sundance Channel series “Top of the Lake,” co-starring Elisabeth Moss, written and directed by Oscar winner Jane Campion. Hunter’s performance garnered her a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

She also starred in “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom,” for which she won the Emmy for Best Actress. This role also garnered her a Golden Globe nomination. She starred as Jane Roe in NBC’s “Roe vs. Wade” and was awarded the Emmy for her performance.

In 1982, Hunter made her Broadway debut in Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” followed by “The Wake of Jamey Foster.” She was most recently seen on stage in the revival of David Rabe’s Tony Award-winning play “Sticks and Bones,” opposite Richard Chamberlain, Nadia Gan, Morocco Omari, Bill Pullman, Ben Schnetzer and Raviv Ullman. Hunter starred in Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats,” directed by Dominic Cooke at Wyndham’s Theater in London.

Hunter co-produced and starred in Beth Henley’s “Control Freaks” and produced Ray Barry’s “Mother’ Son” at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles.

Other New York stage appearances include “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” “Battery,” The Person I Once Was,” “A Weekend Near Madison” and “Impossible Marriage.”

Hunter resides in New York.

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Ted Danson and Holly Hunter of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Primetime TV Review: “Mr. Mayor”

TV Review!

Mr. Mayor cast

“Mr. Mayor” on NBC Review by Suzanne 1/9/21

This show is created by Tina Fey and her writing/producing partner Robert Carlock (who also did “30 Rock,” “Good News” and “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and stars Ted Danson (“The Good Stuff,” “Cheers”). However, it’s not as funny as it could be. I watched the first two episodes. The second episode was funnier (where the Mayor gets stoned), so you do need to stick with it to enjoy it. It’s no “30 Rock” or “The Good Place,” though.

Danson stars as the new mayor of Los Angeles, Neil Bremer. He’s a former retired local businessman, widowed, that got into the race after the previous mayor flamed out in that last horrible year, 2020. Holly Hunter plays a sarcastic city councilwoman, Arpi Meskimen. She reminds me a bit of Tig Notaro’s character in “Star Trek: Discovery.” Mikaela Shaw plays Vella, the mayor’s chief of staff. Others in the mayor’s staff include Mike (Tommy Tomás) and a really annoying dumb guy, Jayden (Bobby Moynihan).

The joke of the show is that the mayor knows nothing about politics, and they’re all worried about what dumb things he’ll do, but really, he’s a bit more savvy than they give him credit for because he’s good with people. He’s softened a bit by his teen daughter, Orly (Kyla Kenedy).

Unless the show gets a lot funnier, I doubt it’ll be a hit. Hunter and Danson are both way too good to be in this sitcom.

MORE INFORMATION:

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

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Mr. Mayor cast