The Good Place Podcast – Season 3 Premiere with Jameela Jamil & Jen Statsky (Digital Exclusive)

The Good Place Podcast – Season 3 Premiere with Jameela Jamil & Jen Statsky (Digital Exclusive)

♪♪ -Today we’re talking about
chapters 27 and 28, the season three premier
“Everything is Bonzer!” Directed by Dean Holland,
written by Jen Statsky, including guest cast
Andrew Bering, Dominic Burgess, Matthew Foster,
Keston John, Mike O’Malley, Lisandra Tena, Jama Williamson,
Harvey Guillen, Josh Siegal, Eugene Cordero,
and Adam Scott. Michael goes to Earth
to save the four humans from their various
accidental deaths. We see the last year
in each of their lives between their near-death and Michael illegally
giving them a second nudge. Chidi asks
a neuroscience professor, Simone,
to study his brain and agrees to help Eleanor
become a better person. Eleanor inspires Chidi to start
a cross-departmental study on the effects
of near-death experiences on ethical
decision-making. Tahani’s near-miss
with sister’s statue causes her to travel
to a Tibetan monastery to shed her desire
for attention. She backslides, writing
a book about the trip, and creating a lifestyle brand, until Michael shows up
as a hippie investor who loves her scam,
which prompts Tahani to accept Chidi’s invitation
for his study. Michael saves Jason
from the safe, inspiring Jason to attempt
a series of dance competitions with his
60-person dance crew. He ultimately goes back
to a life of petty crime until Michael poses
as a talent scout and nudges Jason
to join the study. Meanwhile in the Bad Place,
Shawn and his demons hack the Judge’s system to see if the humans
are getting better, and they realize Michael
has also been cheating. Just when Michael and Janet
think they’ve gotten the four together
without the Judge catching them, they realize that
a demon, Trevor, has infiltrated the group. My guests today are cowriter
of the episode Jen Statsky and Jameela Jamil,
who plays Tahani. Jameela and Jen, welcome. “Everything is Bonzer!”? -Hi.
-Well done. That was quite a read. -Thank you.
-Really impressive. -Do you need to lie down?
You all right? You need a hug?
-Yeah, I need a little break. Let’s talk about
general things to begin. -Sure.
-First of all, did you have this experience?
I had this experience. I missed these people.
-Yeah, no. -Did you feel that at all? -Yeah, I felt very emotional
watching it again. -Yeah.
-I watched it on the way over and felt real sadness. -You watched it
while you were driving. -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-You had it on your dashboard, one eye on the road,
one eye on — -Exactly.
-I live on the edge, people. I was being driven, obviously. [ Laughter ] -I love how you do stuff
like that, and you still insist any time
I bring up, like, not a lot of blue sky
between Tahani and Jameela, you’re like,
“How dare you?” -No, I don’t mind how dare I,
I just think if I — You know, I haven’t brushed my teeth
in like two days. I feel like there’s just like,
“Don’t look, but it’s bad.” You know, I don’t bathe
regularly, I’m uncouth. -You can’t say that and then
say, “Don’t look,” right? -I’m disgusting.
-That’s an invitation. -Yeah, it’s tough. It’s a tough —
-And so, I aspire to actually be more like Tahani,
’cause I feel like it would be a more
hygienic and healthy life. -Mm-hmm.
Anyway, these characters,
you missed them. -Yeah, I miss these characters. So glad I talked about
brushing my teeth. I really did. And, also, this season,
we are much more separated, especially in this episode. There’s so much that
I didn’t get to see. -Right, I was gonna
ask you about this. -And so, it really felt like
I was just watching it as a fan. And I was giggling and clapping,
and, like… -Yeah.
-…I had my hands, like, clasped around my mouth. Is that the right word?
Yeah. That’s fine. And I — it was just
a very emotional experience. I feel so proud of this season. I’m so excited
for everyone to see it. -I can’t imagine how fans of
the show that don’t work on it must feel,
because I miss them, and I’ve read lots
of these scripts. -Totally.
-And I’ve been on set for lots of it. We wrapped a month,
month and a half ago, something,
like, not that long ago. -Yeah, end of July, yeah.
-But watching this episode, I legitimately find myself
thrilled to find out what happens with these folks
and get back to it. -Yeah, and it’s so funny
that you say that because — I was on — I mean,
obviously I wrote it, but I was also on set,
so seeing stuff shot. But then, yeah, you guys were
kind of siphoned off, you know? -Mm-hmm.
-So abstract. -Very much so on your own story. You have, like, a scene
with Ted, but so all the other people, you didn’t really get to see
what was happening with them. So, yeah, that’s kind of cool
that, as a fan, you were like, “Oh, wow, Jason’s doing
an insane dance.” -Even having read the scripts,
you want to see which takes that they used
and how it turned out.
-Totally, yeah. -I can remember being
in a table read about halfway
through season two, and Morgan Sackett,
the executive producer, one of the executive producers,
had his sort of Mona Lisa smile. This one was particularly wry,
and I was like, “What’s up?” And he said, “Do you
want me to tell you?” And I said yes.
And he said, “If there’s a season three,
it happens on Earth.” When did you guys
begin discussing that, how did that come up? -Man, that’s a great question. We definitely knew, again,
like Morgan saying it then, we knew
pretty early on in sea– like, when we were trying
to figure out season two, where we were gonna go
and what was gonna happen, at some point very early on
in talking about season two, the idea of going back
to Earth came up. -Mm-hmm.
-And I remember specifically one day, Mike being like,
“I’m so excited about them going back to Earth,
I just want to get to that.” Like, we knew that that was
kind of at the end of the runway and there was still,
obviously, so much to deal with in season two. But we definitely,
pretty early on, had that morsel of an idea,
of, like, “Wait, what if they went back?”
-Right. -And so, it’s been in the works
for a long time. So it’s very satisfying
to see it finally happen. -Jameela, when was it first
presented to you? -I really actually
just found out today. -Oh, God.
-The whole time, I didn’t understand
what was going on.
-You’re not really paying attention
to the scripts, are you? -I think we found out
just before. I think there was a muttering
of it the year before, but, really, about three weeks before we turned up
to start filming, Mike sat each of us down and
broke down the whole kind of — in a two-hour speech that he
gave individually to all of us. -Right. -He broke down
the entire season. So this time, it was the exact
opposite of season one, where we weren’t told anything, including our names,
our characters, whether or not we would be
fully nude for the whole season. Nobody knew.
-Were you disappointed? -I was so sad. ‘Cause, as you know,
I’m just big on… big on getting this body out. But, yeah, season three, we knew exactly what was
going to happen. It was really, really exciting. And such a new experience to
be out and about in the world. -Now, in order to record
this podcast today, the episode doesn’t drop
until the 27th, so we’re about
two weeks before that. In previous seasons,
have you ever had advanced screeners
of the episodes, or do you watch them on
television like a normal human? -No, I watch them on television. Sometimes we get —
I think we’re given them a couple of hours
before the episode runs so that we know
how to live-Tweet along so we know what’s coming.
-Oh, very good. Okay. -But I don’t like to do that, so I just watch it
with everyone else. In fact, season one
I didn’t watch at all. -Really?
-Yeah. Not until the very,
very, very end. So I would just read
other people’s Tweets, about what they were
talking about, sort of copy and paste those
onto my own Twitter, ’cause I was just mortified. -Were you not watching
’cause you were like, “I can’t watch myself?”
-No, yeah. I can’t watch myself destroy
Mike Schur’s comedy. And then when I heard
it had gone okay and I hadn’t been fired, I then watched season one
just before season two. -Jen, were there any changes
in the writers’ room between these seasons? -Yes, we — between season
two and three, yes. We added a couple people. We added Kassia —
writer-wise you mean?
-Yes. -Yeah, we added a really great
writer named Kassia Miller. She had been on
“Last Man on Earth.” -Oh, great.
-Great show. And also, like,
really cool in that both, I think something we share
with — or shared with —
“Last Man on Earth,” it’s unfortunately
not on the air anymore, is, like, a kind of like a show,
a comedy, a network comedy
that is a cliffhanger show. -Yeah.
-Like, really, plot and story is such a big part of the DNA
of both of those shows. So Kassia’s great. She’s super funny and smart
and great. And then a stand-up
named Rae Sanni. She came, yeah,
from the stand-up world. She had written on “The President Show”
back in New York. -Oh, great, yeah.
-Yeah, which is great. And so, yeah, it was — This was, I think,
our biggest writers’ room year. I think we had like
13 or 14 people. I remember you coming up
and just being mortified at how many disgusting
writer bodies were crammed into a small room. -That is not the nature
of my disgust. -I read your face,
I read your face. I knew what it was.
-No, it was — -Do you have resting
disgust face? -I have resting “I’m not
welcome in this room” face. -Oh.
-That’s how I enter a room. -Are you English?
-I’m Scottish. -That’s such an English trait.
Okay, sure. -Yeah, yeah.
That’s what you were reading. -Okay, got it, got it.
-Not that there were so many — And I felt like
I was interrupting, ’cause Mike was like,
“Oh, here’s Marc. Let me briefly tell him what we have until episode 11
of season three.” -Right, yeah. -So it was simultaneously
a ton of information, and also, I felt like I was not invited
to this dinner. -You’re always invited. -And I’m not gonna eat the soup
until I do it. -Both of you, always invited. -Let’s get into the episode
a little bit. We open on this mysterious,
weird bridge, the out-est outskirt of the
nether realms of the afterlife. And there’s a doorman. A doorman played
by Mike O’Malley. -The Doorman.
-Yeah. -Oh, my God. -This show is, as we’ve said,
the smartest, dumbest show. And to give such high stakes
to a key — a key made
with the very first atoms created in the universe
and it can’t be duplicated and then to make it so mundane
that it’s printed on the key like we’ve all see every day,
“Do not duplicate.” Do you remember
whose joke that was? -Oh, my gosh.
I don’t. I believe “do not duplicate” was Mike’s joke.
-Okay. -And then I’m pretty sure
the frog key chain was Matt Murray’s joke,
I want to say. -Okay.
-That is what I’m remembering, and if I’m wrong,
I’ll have an angry Joe Mande texting me
when this episode airs. -We are at a weird impasse. This is the first place
in this new generation of “The Good Place: The Podcast” where I want to ask about
the significance of frogs and I don’t want to ask about
the significance of frogs. -Oh, right.
-If it makes a — -If it pays off or not.
-If it gets a call-back, yeah. -I will — I won’t say anything. All I’ll say is, like, yeah,
just enjoy the frog joke for being a frog joke
in this episode. -For however long it may last.
-Yeah, yeah. Live in the moment. -I was — sorry.
-No, go ahead. -I was just gonna say
I was so starstruck when I saw Mike O’Malley. -Is that right?
-Yeah, fully starstruck. I love him. We get the best, like,
guest stars for this show. -Oh, forget it.
-Yeah. -I mean…
-It’s too much. I don’t even know
how I recovered from season two with Maya Rudolph. I don’t know how
I made it through. -I know, it’s still
kind of a dream, right? -Yeah.
I was sure I would be murdered shortly afterward. I was like, “This is it.” This is, “I’ve peaked, and now
it’s over, and good-bye.” -And he does so such an amazing
job of this episode of being so low, so flat. -So flat, yeah.
-And we knew, ’cause that was the direction
Dean gave him for sure, and when we wrote it,
that’s the intention, like, “Be as flat as you can,
’cause then that’s gonna make the frog joke pay off
so much funnier.” And he did such
a great job with it. -This show is super
nonlinear anyway. We go back and forth in time,
we go back and forth in reality and what can
and what’s happened. In one sense,
this episode is no different. In another sense, it’s different
in the sense that we jump around, we go back in time
to their first times on Earth. -Mm-hmm. -We revisit their
near-death experiences. Certainly, you didn’t restage the statue scene
with Kamilah, right? That was something
that you shot how long ago? -So we shot that season two, episode four,
is “Team Cockroach.” That’s the episode we learn
about Tahani’s death. And at that point,
we were already kind of figuring out this thing
of going back to Earth. And so, we knew then
that we should also shoot Ted in disguise,
saving her. -Ted as her — yeah. Is the same true of Jason? Did you restage the safe scene?
-But — yeah. So with Chidi and Jason,
those were shot — Season one, we find out
how Chidi died. And we also find out
how Jason died. So in season one writing, we had
not come up with this idea yet. Tahani was kind of
the only character we saved till season two
to reveal how she died. And so, Jason and Chidi,
we both had to go back and reshoot the scene
on the sidewalk where Chidi is arguing
with his friend and then — or trying to decide
on what bar to go to. Excuse me, not arguing. And then the air-conditioner,
he gets crushed. Or in this version,
gets pushed out of the way. -Doesn’t, yeah.
-And then Jason, yes, we also had to go back
to the Mexican restaurant and shoot in the parking lot. -So those things were restaged. -Those things were restaged for
the shooting of this episode. The only death-saving thing we didn’t have to restage
was Tahani’s. -Because the brilliance of you
guys and Mike knew a year ago that you were gonna maybe
need that, might need that. -It wasn’t explained to me
why we were doing it. I wasn’t told, I was completely
kept in the dark. -But imagine how brilliant we’d
seem if we had known season one and we hadn’t had to reshoot any
of the Chidi and Jason stuff? -But I think it’s credit
to you guys that you write this not having a clean, like, blueprint of
everything that’s gonna happen. -Yeah.
It would be cool if we did. -Yeah.
-It might be easier. -Much less stressful, yeah. -It would be much
less scary, yeah. -It’s daunting to talk about
this season three premiere because it’s almost
a series premiere. I mean, it’s a “we’re learning,”
you know, “meeting these people
all over again.”
-Totally. -I’d be remiss, though,
if I didn’t point out the banner
on a blueberry muffin cart — “We Crumb From a Land
Down Under.” -Sure.
-Is that who I think it is? -What is crazy is
it actually isn’t Megan. -Really?! -Wow.
-It isn’t Megan. It’s —
-So it’s catching. -Yeah, the disease is spreading. -Oh no. Are we safe?
-No one’s safe, yeah. It’s actually Cord Jefferson. -Was it Cord?
-It was Cord. There was some — Ian Phillips
came in one day and was like, “We need signage
for the muffin cart,” and so we’re all pitching. And, obviously,
when this happens, we all go, “Well, Megan’s got it.
She’ll handle this.” -I mean, she’s been important.
-And I think we’re all pitching, and then we actually ended up
going with one of Cord’s, but — -Was Megan okay
when that happened? -She’s furious.
She’s gonna ruin Cord. Cord’s in trouble, yeah.
-She’s already going
through so much. -She’s going through enough.
-Yeah, losing two Emmys, Cord gets a pun in the show. It’s a nightmare for Megan. -Jameela, you did
an International Sophisticate 582 questions kind of thing. -Mm-hmm, my favorite play
on the “Vogue” 73,000 questions
or whatever they do. -That’s great. Yes.
-Is the number 582 significant in the numerology of the show? -I’m okay with saying that that,
I think, is just a joke. -Okay, it’s just
an excessive reference. -Yeah, so we, in
the writers’ room, became — as Jameela says, those “Vogue”
72 questions, we became — Is it 72 or 73? -Oh, God, I don’t know.
-Doesn’t matter. Now, 582 is in my brain. But we became obsessed
with watching these celebrity — Have you seen them?
-I’ve seen a couple, and they’re so staged that I —
-So staged. -They make me furious.
-We, yeah — -They’re the opposite of candid. -Yes, it’s so funny. And the fake trying to pretend
it’s off the cuff and candid. -Right.
-Kills me, yeah, kills me dead. -It’s so mortifying.
-But I can’t stop watching. I cannot look away
from the accident. -They’re addictive.
So we were like, “Oh, yes, please,
we have to do this with Tahani. It’s so Tahani.” And it, yeah,
turned out awesome. -We haven’t yet spoken
about the monastery. -Right.
-Are we going to get on to that? -We are. -Should we talk about it later
when you were gonna talk about it,
or should we now talk about it? -I guess later.
I don’t know. I want to talk,
first of all — -No, fine. Yeah.
-Getting there. This might be
the purist distillation of a Tahani name-drop,
though, because it’s a misdirect
where they say, “Who is the most famous person
in your phone,” and you sort of deflect and say,
“It’s not about that. The Dalai Lama texted me back.” I mean, that is
the perfect-est version. -It really is
such a perfect Tahani joke, ’cause it’s like she’s trying
so — and especially with where
she goes with this, the whole get out
of the spotlight. -Yeah.
-She’s trying so hard to pretend to be earnest and above it all,
but she’s not at all. -No.
-She can’t do it. -No.
-I mean, she is who she is. -A douchebag, yes. -Bleep that. -Oh, sorry.
-No, it’s fine. There’s so much in this episode. I love that Jason proposes
to the police officer and calls her “Kay” ’cause I think
the name tag says “K. Ramirez.”
-Yeah, “K. Ramirez.” -And he inadvertently confesses. But then we see, you know,
throughout this episode, we find Michael and Janet monitoring the ticker tapes of
what’s happening back on Earth, and it’s not going well. This is a very interesting
Janet, though. It’s a new Janet.
-Mm-hmm. -It’s a very human Janet.
-Yeah. -It’s the humanist Janet I think
that we’ve seen to date. -She’s kind of mothering Michael
at the beginning
of this episode. -Yeah, yeah.
-I really enjoyed
their dynamic shift, ’cause it always felt like
he was her dad and her baby. And despite the dialogue
that then occurred, her mannerisms with him
and her general way is, she’s looking after him,
which I think is really nice. -Right, and he’s trying to push
the envelope and keep cheating, and she’s really trying
to rein him in. Yeah, it’s really interesting. I mean, just always with Janet
across the three seasons, it’s just she’s getting
more and more, you know, human as we go. And so, pretty much
every episode, unless it’s a flashback, Janet’s more human than ever
when you see her. -There’s even a little bit
of fear there. Like, she’s going,
“Now, Michael, don’t forget the Judge,”
who’s the judge of — like, there are stakes to Janet.
-Yeah, yeah. -Janet didn’t have
stakes before. -Exactly.
She’s internalizing, like, now his goal and the
group’s goal is her goal, too. -Yeah.
-Which is really cool. ‘Cause that, again,
like you said, that’s not where she started from
and now she’s part of the team. -We flash back — Michael is
gonna nudge-nudge these people. So we flash back to season two,
we see Eleanor in the bar, and then we,
you know, follow her to Chidi’s office in Australia. You’ve written the joke that the
two biggest exports from Arizona are racist sheriffs and HPV.
-That’s right. -Are those the meanest jokes
you wrote, or were there worse ones
that you decided not to use? -I think that those… I would say meanest, but, also,
there’s truth to them, right? They don’t ring false
when you hear it, right? You’re like, “Yeah.” -Oh, no, I think
everybody knows. I think Joe Arpaio knows. -Yeah, he knows.
-Yeah. -Hopefully. I’m sure he’s a huge fan
of the show. -We get a little bit
of explanation about Chidi’s languages.
-Yes. -And accent.
-Yeah. -Is there more of that coming,
I feel like, Mike has said? Or is this the — -This is kind of…
-Okay. -I think this is kind
of our main — -I’m not trying to trap you,
I just… -This was kind of — It was
something we were aware of that, in the pilot, he says —
the pilot of the show, he says, “I’m speaking —
What you’re hearing is English, but I’m actually
speaking French.” -French, right.
-And so, we always knew going forward that that was
a loose end to tie up. And so this was kind of our way
of explaining what the deal is with that. And then Eleanor, of course, has a very Eleanor response
to it. -We learn that “zonkatronic”
is Khloe’s word for “crazy.” Is “bonzer” a Kardashian word?
That’s like an Aussie
word, right? -No, that’s an Aussie word. That’s an Aussie word
which kind of is colloquial. It means, like, good,
great, you know, so it’s — -I think about it
in terms of, like, waves. -Awesome.
-Like good waves, surfing. -Like a bonzer —
-Yeah. -You hit a —
you got a bonzer wave. -I think so.
-Okay. -Why do the writers know
what the Kardashians’ words are? -That — I gotta be honest,
that’s actually just a joke. That’s not actually
a Kardashian word. -Oh, is that true?
-Yes. -Interesting. -‘Cause she knows the actual
Kardashian words. -I was going to say,
she knows the cannon. -I will say, I wrote
this whole Kardashian joke because I have a pretty
extensive Kardashian knowledge. -Do you?
-Yes. And this is not part
of their cannon. -Eleanor says “jiff”
for “gif” in there. Was that a topic? -This was a whole discussion
in the writers’ room. -It has to have been.
-I’m so glad you brought it up. -I found it really jarring.
-Yeah, I did, too. -I couldn’t even hear —
I couldn’t hear anything else that was said
for a couple seconds. -So we had a very heated debate
in the writers’ room, ’cause a lot of — like,
I remember, I think,
Cord was like, “No, it’s gif, it’s gif.” But Mike was firm on this, and I agreed that
the creator of the jiff is like, “No, it’s jiff.” -Right.
-So we — I kind of, and I agree with Mike,
have gone with — We’re like, “Well, he created it,
it’s jiff.” But you guys say “gif”? -I say “gif.”
-I say “gif.” -Interesting.
I say “jiff.” -But I also say
aluminum, so… -Yeah, you do.
-What do I know? -We can’t go by that. So weird and charming. -It’s very charming. So Chidi, we see his life. We see — First of all,
it’s very charming to see Ted riding a bike and trying
to yell at the same time. -Oh, yes.
-‘Cause it was 90% solid, and there was just
a little bit of, like, acting while riding a bike!
-Totally, totally. -Like, there’s
a little bit of — That was kind of great
and fun to see. -Yeah.
-Chidi is still Chidi. You know, like, we haven’t
gone back in time — I mean, we’ve gone back in time,
but it’s a different timeline. I don’t know how any of you
keep this straight. But his takeaway is that he,
you know, shouldn’t be more decisive,
it’s that he shouldn’t use Freon in air-conditioning
because it’s bad for
the environment. His friend tells him
that his brain is broken. And I do love that in this
rejoined, revisited timeline, he’s still working on that tome,
that 3,600-page thesis. -Oh, yeah, yeah.
Yep, yep, we’re — Yeah, you’re basically going back
as if he had — You see if he had never been
crushed by that air-conditioner. So he’s still the old Chidi, hasn’t made any of the progress
or gotten out of his insane brain.
-Mm-hmm. -So, yeah, he’s still typing
away at a 3,000-page thesis. -And he’s still Chidi
in the sense that he can’t choose a chair
when he’s talking to Simone, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste. -The opening shot,
where he’s sitting there straddling each buttock
on an armchair of each chair, was unbelievable. I laughed so much
when I saw that. -So that’s joke enough, right?
-Yeah. -But then you have him move
to the one at left in the middle of the his own
dialogue, he goes, “Nope.” -Yep. Yeah, and that was
a Dean pitch on set, and it was such a funny, smart addition,
that, yeah, he was like, “Can you just not even
break stride with the line? Can you sit down
and then be like ‘nope’ and move
to the next one?” -Will’s execution
of that is — -Will nailed it so perfectly.
-Perfect. -Oh, good heavens. So his brain is broken,
they’re gonna put him in an MRI. Let’s throw to a clip. -Okay, I’m all set. -I’m just gonna ask you
some basic questions, Chidi. What is one plus one?
-Two. -What color is the sky?
-Blue. -What color are Simone’s eyes? -Brown.
Uh — uh, what? -If you could take Simone
anywhere on a date, where would you take her? -Sorry, is this part
of the experiment? -It is now, yes.
Please answer the question. And keep in mind,
we can see your brain. -Next question —
You’re into Simone. -That’s not a question.
-So you agree, it’s a fact. Next question’s for Simone. Simone, are you annoyed at Chidi for waiting so long
to ask you out? -Yes, I am.
-Chidi, same question for you. Are you annoyed at yourself for waiting
so long to ask out Simone? I mean, I’m annoyed with you, and I’ve only known you
three weeks. -Yes, I am obviously
very annoyed with myself. Can I get out now? -No, you can’t,
it will ruin the science. There’s only one
question left… and you gotta ask it, bud. -Simone, would you like
to have dinner with me? -Wow, that is
highly inappropriate. -Uh…
-I’m just kidding. Yes, I would. Thank you for asking. -“No, you can’t,
it will ruin the science.” Jen, that’s… that’s world-class rom-com. -It’s very rom-com, yeah.
-But, I mean, it’s perfect. -Well, thank you.
It’s very — I mean, it’s all —
Kristen and Kirby and Will do such a good job
in that scene. And what’s crazy is this scene
and kind of this story line where Eleanor pushes Chidi
towards Simone wasn’t really in our —
I believe, when we outlined it
and kind of broke the episodes, that wasn’t really part of it. There was an earlier version
of this episode where when we checked in
with Chidi and he has his kind of epiphany,
your brain is broken, et cetera, he and — the Simone
and Chidi relationship kind of, like, that was — he did that on his own.
-Mm-hmm. -And then in rewriting
and re-breaking and talking about the episode,
like the premiere, you know, I think we —
Every episode in various forms goes through a lot of rewriting
and re-breaking and talking about it,
and every episode is different. But we definitely —
This episode, because it’s the premier, because we had so much
to catch up with, there was — We just were working on it
a really long time. And that kind of developed. We changed the story
to have it be more of an Eleanor/Chidi story, where she is the one
who pushes him to ask her out. And it just — Yeah, I love — that scene is my favorite scene,
I think, in this episode, and I’m so glad
we kept working on it, ’cause we wouldn’t
have gotten it. -I love that scene.
-It’s great. -But I also — I didn’t like
seeing Eleanor push. -I know. -I felt it was fine
in the read-through, ’cause
it all feels very abstract. But when I saw it, I felt angry. -Yeah, yeah.
-And I felt disappointed. I was —
I wanted to break stuff. ‘Cause it just didn’t feel
right. I didn’t like it. It was very well-performed
and executed. I can understand
why it’s happening, but I feel territorial of them
as a couple. -Yeah.
-I’ve become like a real psycho fan of the show. -Oh, yeah.
I mean, that’s real. And I think that when you look
at this episode, there’s a moment and it’s — Some of it might be
a little bit of Kristen Bell knowing the previous seasons
of the show, but it’s definitely
Eleanor just being territorial. When they’re walking down
the park, the sidewalk in the park
or what have you and Simone comes up, at first, there’s a little bit
of like, “Oh, hold up. “Like, who’s this?” And then she softens and goes,
“Hey, dork, she’s into you. You guys should get together.
I promise I won’t get you
two together.” -Cut to, “So you’re into Chidi.”
-“You’re into Chidi, right?” Yeah. Yeah.
-But you can feel a little, I don’t know,
a hint, a whisper, an echo of a past life
of her going, “I’m jealous of this person
and I don’t know why yet.” -Well, it’s interesting you say
that because we were really, in writing it, we really — one thing
we were very cautious of was we did not want this to turn
into a story of a love triangle, of two women
fighting over a guy. -‘Cause why, right?
-‘Cause why? ‘Cause I think it’s been done,
pretty sure. -I don’t know, has it?
-I don’t think so, actually. -Yeah.
-But that was also avoided in season one between Tahani. -Totally, exactly, exactly. -Like, Mike and the writers,
they all veer away from — -Yeah, yeah. One of — and I think you would maybe
agree — for me as a woman, who has other female friends,
I’m like, “No, my girlfriends and I,
we’re not fighting over men. That’s — It just
doesn’t happen, sorry.” -Then you’re doing it wrong. -I know your experience
is different, Marc. But it’s interesting. I think,
of course, there is always this supernatural element
to our show, which is like, “Oh, these people’s brains
have been erased,” but is there any — you know, we know
what they’ve been through. But it was important to us,
and Kristen really nailed it and got it right away,
that she should play this — She’s Chidi’s friend, and she’s genuinely helping him.
-Right. -And even though she’s only
known him three weeks, Eleanor has no boundaries with
people, so she’s gonna do that. So I think it’s interesting.
For us, I really — And Mike agreed
and everyone agreed that we didn’t want it to feel
like any kind of two women fighting over a guy, basically.
-Right. And you address it so well
because in the next scene, I think, Janet and Michael,
there’s concern that now there’s this jam-car of a third party and that they’re not going
to get together. And I think it’s Janet that says
there were plenty of reboots where Chidi and Eleanor
weren’t soul mates, and he still agreed to help her,
which, of course, he does in this,
given the nudge from Michael. You have Janet calling the Judge
“Mommy,” which is… it feels a little inside
writers’ room, maybe. -Oh, yeah, “Daddy.”
-And also, trying on Michael
as “Dad.” -Yeah, I mean, yeah. It’s still just Janet,
I think, evolving and being like,
“Oh, yeah, relationships. People have moms and dads. Who’s my mom, who’s my dad?” -And I feel like, as a reminder
of the timeline of the previous two seasons,
we do see Shawn and company in the situation room
going back to things. The song that made it —
When I say, “Put something on that’s deeply terrible
to put us in the mood,” you played Richard Marx’s
“Right Here Waiting for You.” I’ve forgotten what song
you played on set that broke me completely. Do you remember that? -God, what song was it?
I’m trying to remember. -Dean thought it might be
Blues Traveler or something. -Oh, it was “Run-Around”
by Blues Traveler. -That’s what he thought,
okay, yeah. -So I think it’s okay
to say this — Basically — -How does that song go?
-Oh, I’m not gonna sing it. Marc? -I played it in the car
on the way here, and I don’t… -Do you remember Blues Traveler?
-No. -Harmonica.
-I’m only 15 years old. -Right, right. Your great-great-grandmother
remembers Blues Traveler. Basically what it is is when they have to clear
these songs for the episodes… -Right. -…the person giving the rights
to the song has to be okay with saying,
“Hey, is it cool to say this is a song
literal demons use to psych themselves up
’cause it’s so bad?” -Same thing with Puddle of Mudd
and “Grandma Got Run Over
by a Reindeer.” -Exactly, exactly. So I think that we’re always
dealing with what’s funny and, also, who’s gonna
be down for the joke. And I think,
from what I’ve heard, Richard Marx is a very funny — gets comedy and is totally down
for his music to be made fun of, which is cool. -Shawn goes on a bit
of a cocooning spree, and others join, I suppose,
Vicky, wherever she is — somewhere in a cocoon. I do love that you have Chidi
thanking Eleanor for bullying him into asking out
Simone kind of thing. -Yeah.
-That seems like a really baseline dynamic for those two. -It’s totally
a baseline dynamic. Eleanor is —
-So infuriated. -Jameela’s upset.
She’s upset about it. Yeah, Eleanor.
But she’s all action, you know. Chidi’s — Obviously,
his greatest flaw is that he overthought
everything and never
took action. And Eleanor is such a like,
“All right, man, let’s do this. What’s the plan?” And so they make each other
great in that way. And, unfortunately, she’s made
him great in a way that is — or fortunately, however you want
to look at it — looking at Jameela,
who’s devastated by this couple being broken up. -Don’t…
Don’t look at me. Don’t forking look at me.
-Don’t forking. -It’s so interesting
to hear you say that, ’cause, like, you know,
we all writing it, we’re like,
“Wow, how are people”– I’m very protective of
the Eleanor/Chidi relationship. You know, like,
I love them together. So it’s interesting, people’s
reaction to this premiere, I’m really interested in how
they’re gonna feel about it. -Am I wrong in saying
that apart from, obviously, like, towards the end,
I guess, of season two, this is palpably the warmest
I’ve seen Eleanor so far? She’s the most, like —
-Interesting. -I think that’s true. -She’s still pushy, but she’s
warm and affectionate and doing something
for other people. Like, she’s a giver. -Yeah, this is the first time
you’ve seen her not… like a caged — like, with her
back against the wall, season one, season two. -Like a caged animal?
-I was going to say like a caged animal,
then I was like, “That’s not exactly
the right metaphor. Let me try something else.” But, you know, she — in season one, she’s so scared
she’s gonna get caught. -Her antenna is that
she’s gonna get screwed. -Her antenna — exactly. All her instincts are saying,
“Fight, fight, fight, self-preserve, self-preserve.” So I think, you know,
she’s suspicious of Tahani when she first meets her. And that was something
that was really cool for us to explore,
in them being on Earth. -This one’s totally different,
right? -Yeah, totally different. -They meet in
different circumstances. -Yeah.
-Was that weird playing — meeting your character
meeting Kristen’s character for the first time when you, the actor, knows that you’ve been together
for several years? -Yeah.
And I feel like we played it in slightly different ways on set to kind of see
what would work later. -Yeah.
-We tried a variation. I’m really glad they went
with the kind of, like, warm, open, like —
-Yeah. And in that first scene when
you guys meet, it’s immediate. Like, she’s like, “No, I’m not
that into Kamilah,” and you’re super happy, and your reaction of it
is so, so funny. -That was so genuine and dear,
for real. -But, yeah, you guys —
She has no reason to feel anything
but like, “Oh, cool. Here’s this really interesting
British woman who I’ve never met
anyone like before,” but she’s not worried
about getting caught. She doesn’t think you think
you’re better than her, and that’s bad
in the Good Place. -Also, I’m not the only person
in a village that has an English accent
by choice. -Exactly, exactly.
So it’s really cool to — I can’t think
of any other show where you get
to explore relationships from so many different angles over and over again
with characters. It was very fun to write. -That’s also a fun scene to —
When we flash back to your near-death,
Tahani’s near-death, it’s fun to see Tahani
out of control, going, “Who was it that saved me?
It was a man, I think.” They’re like, “No,
it was Kamilah.” And you’re like,
“No, it was a man, I think.” -I love that scene so much.
-That scene is great. -I love the writing
of that so much. And then how everyone
just starts chanting, “Kamilah, Kamilah, Kamilah!” And how broken I had to look. -So good.
-That was really fun. That was a really fun scene
to shoot, and we almost took out
Ted in that scene, ’cause, like, one of the takes,
we both missed the mat. Almost definitely my fault. -Oh, you mean you almost killed
a real-life actor Ted Danson. -Oh, my gosh, you almost,
like, clipped his knees? -He’d just had a knee operation, so we had to be
really careful with him. And I think, like, I just — I lack spacial awareness.
-That’s true. -I’m taking the full blame
for this. You know, I’m Bambi on ice. And so, I think I missed
the crash point, and I think, therefore, I took
him down with me and just — -Oh, no.
-I was like Rose on the Titanic. Like, I think I took up
the whole crash mat when there was space
for two, Rose! There was space for two! -There was space for two, yeah. -And so, yeah,
Ted landed on the ground. And there was, like, a couple
of minutes where we were like, “Have I re-broken
Ted Danson’s knee?” -Oh, my God, I never heard that.
-Yeah, it was very stressful. It was nice
to see it all work out. -Tahani decides
to find herself again and goes to
a Buddhist monastery. Did you want to talk about that?
-Yes. I have photographic proof of
what I’m about to say right now. -Oh, interesting.
I wondered what this was about. -Oh, my gosh, I remember this. -I just didn’t want to forget. So we’ll put this out
with the episode. -You don’t know that. -But I don’t know
if you can see. We’re gonna — yeah,
I run things. I’d like to speak
to your manager. -Oh, please. -So I am in crutches
in this photograph, and Dean Holland
is also on crutches. -Oh, that’s right. -Because the week
before filming — ’cause I’ve had two seasons
now where Ted Danson, who is several decades older
than me, runs rings around me. -Sure.
-And his energy is
just, like, beyond — way beyond whatever I could
even contemplate for myself. So I was like, “You know what? I’m tired every year,
and we do these long hours. And I’m sick of seeing someone
40 years older than me just run rings around me.
I’m tired of it.” So I thought, “I’m gonna start
taking up sports so I can be more energetic.” -Oh, boy.
-So I decided to try sports for the first time in 20 years
one week before filming. That sport was tennis. Tennis seemed —
no, why is every– Now I know that everyone’s like,
“You idiot.” I thought tennis seemed
very civilized, I associated it with champagne
and strawberries and cream. You know, it just seemed like —
-Again, nothing like Tahani. Nothing like Tahani.
-Yeah, you know. But I haven’t played
since I was 12, because when I was 12, I played,
and I went to swing the racquet, and the racquet,
I just never stopped. You know, you just, like,
stop your arm, but I brought my arm
all the way back ’round and smashed myself in the face
and broke my nose. So I never played tennis again
for 20 years until a week before the show. Played it,
was in a warm-up round with my just unbearably competitive
boyfriend, who, even though — -James Blunt.
-Yeah, James Blunt. Who just kept on spinning
the ball, and I ended up, because I’m also competitive, tried to meet him
and impress him. And just ended up falling over
my ankle to the point where, if you’re watching this,
you can see what my ankle did. It just went way the other way that it was supposed to
in nature. -Yeah.
-And I heard it snap from five foot, 10 inches
in the air, like, loud. It sounded like a… And I’d snapped,
like, a ligament and damaged it so badly
that I could not walk again without some sort of aid
for about two months. So it was fun for me
that the first thing I — I had the first day of filming all on my own,
and it was all day, and it was up a mountain
that I had to keep — -Where were you?
-Malibu, I believe. -Yes.
-Yeah. -Is that a hill, then?
-Yeah. -I’ve exaggerated
with a mountain. -No, no.
-It was mountainous. -We were at — I mean, the place we shot
at the monastery was this really interesting
property in Malibu that someone owned,
and we shot there. And it was — there was
a lot of, like, dirt hills that we were walking up. And you and Dean Holland,
our director, was — they were on crutches.
-Yeah. -I made him do everything
that I had to do. I was like, “If I’m doing this and I’m risking my ankle,
you’re risking yours.” -You made him play tennis?
-And we had to keep going up and down these different hills
at different parts
of the location. -It was an interesting first day of season three shooting.
-Yeah. I was in agony
for a couple of weeks. -Oof. Ooh.
-But Tahani is wearing flats in season three,
and that is my bad. And I’m sorry to all of
my fashion followers who feel let down
by this decision. Shame on me. -Let’s listen to another clip. -You should be selling
whatever crap you can think of, ’cause these people will buy it. -That is quite enough!
-Hmm? -And how dare you insinuate
that I’m not authentic. -I finished signing
your head shots. -Oh, not now!
-Miss Al-Jamil, it’s okay. You and I are the same. I love what you’re doing here. You get to be rich and famous and not have to do any of
the work of helping people. -But I am helping people. You need to go, right now.
-Suit yourself. Look, if you change your mind,
I’m online. Just Google “crystals that
prevent erectile dysfunction.” -[ Scoffs ]
-I’m sorry, but Miss Al-Jamil
doesn’t have time to participate in an ethical study
at some random university. If you want to meet her,
you can sign up for the “Get Out
of the Spotlight” cruise, with special guest
Deepak Chopra and -Hello? This is Tahani Al-Jamil. -Oh, hi. I didn’t think
I’d actually get you. My name is Chidi Anagonye,
and I’m doing an academic study on near-death experiences
and ethical decision-making. I read an article about you —
-Will it help people? That’s all I want to know. Will this help people?
-Yes, I-I-I think so. I mean, that’s the goal. -Send me the info.
I’ll be there tomorrow morning. -“Will it help people?
That’s all I want to know.” Maybe there’s no blue sky
between Tahani and Jameela, ’cause that sounds
like you to me. -Oh, sure!
-Yeah. -Yeah. That and mouthing off
on Twitter. It’s a sort of combination
of the two. I lack Tahani’s grace and class
when I try to help people. That is a thing that we have
learned about me in my private life. -Also about dental health. That’s such a wonderful scene
because, you know, she’s become
this major brand, Tahani has. -Yeah.
-And Michael shames her into realizing it. She’s, you know, in the course
of trying to be humble and shed fame
and things material. She’s made a business out of it. -Totally.
-Yeah. -Oh, that moment where you see
her say, “And that’s why I decided
to get out of the spotlight,” and we come in,
and she’s on a stage in front of hundreds of people
on her book tour. So, so funny. I love the writing
of this show so much. This is my favorite season. -Oh, great.
-Oh, this season. -My favorite season, yeah.
-As I said, I can’t wait for viewers
to see this season. -Yeah, it’s exciting.
-It’s special. It’s special. I also love that this show
is so ambitious. Like, you got an auditorium
and lit it and put, I don’t know, a hundred extras,
a hundred background actors into that scene to shoot
a two-second TED Talk. -All of whom had
a copy of my book. I have a photograph that I took
of all of them holding it up. -Yeah, they are.
-So the props department made — -Oh, yeah, props department, they’re so amazing, yeah.
-Oh, yeah. -Every extra had a copy
of the book, yeah. -Yeah. No, I was gonna say,
really pay attention to the book launch
that you can see, because there’s all these
different amazing photo setups that I had to do photo shoots
for of just different takes of me pretending,
essentially, to be Gwyneth Paltrow,
which was really fun. And also…
but it was worth it. -I — this is,
because we’re doing this so quickly
with the tight turnaround because we’re doing these,
you know, next to live, near live,
I haven’t zoomed in on every back of every book,
of every magazine. -Sure.
-I’m sure there are
Easter-eggy jokes that I haven’t gotten
on this episode yet. -I forget if there’s anything
on the actual book jacket. Again, our props department,
like Gay and everyone, is so good that I guarantee you
there are jokes on that. But, like, when Tahani’s
giving the TED Talk, there’s a quote from, yeah,
I believe it’s — I wrote it, I should know. It’s basically, like, “This book is some of the best writing
I’ve ever seen. It’s made me decide to quit
writing completely,” and then the next quote
is “Ditto,” Cormac McCarthy. [ Laughter ] -It did not
escape my attention– -I’m trying to see
if I’ve got the photos here. -Yeah.
-But I’m not sure, you’re going to
have to look out for it. It’s an unbelievable book cover.
Really is. -It’s really good.
-Ridiculous. -I also like the use of
the name Charles Brainman. -Oh, my God. That is one of, I think,
all of the writers. One of favorite running jokes
in this episode is Michael’s fake names
when he goes and meets everyone. -Yeah.
-It’s so good. Gordon Indigo for you. -Oh, Gordon Indigo
is my favorite. What a creep.
-Charles Brainman. -Charles Brainman. -And we’re coming up
on Zach Pizzazz. -Zach Pizzazz. -So Jason meets Michael
on a pier. He’s throwing rocks and says,
“Are these your rocks? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.” And one thing… production design-wise,
art department-wise, the pier that Jason’s on
feels a lot like the bridge that Michael walks out
to meet the Doorman on. -Ooh!
-Like, the lights
are sort of similar. -Interesting.
-The spacing of the lights. -I love this…
-It’s gotta be deliberate. -…film student
read into the — -I don’t know, it felt —
it struck a visual chord. -No, you’re right, you’re right. All I remember from that is that
it was so cold that night. That’s what I remember. But, yes, an artistic reading is
that it’s kind of a nice bookend to where we start the episode. -You’ve done another nice
misdirect here. Jason’s had a rough year. His year started about
a year ago, and he — you know, we see everything
that’s gone wrong in his life, and he decides — he says aloud,
“I need to change my life.” He then sees a poster that says
“Change your life!” And he zeroes in on
the completely wrong poster, and it’s about
dance competitions. -Yeah, yeah.
The Swamp Stomp. -I mean, that’s such a —
such a Jason Mendoza. -It’s so Jason, yeah. -You’ve also mentioned
the Carmen Electra Auditorium in the Smith & Wesson Performing
Arts Center and ATV Repair Shop. Is this a statement
on gun violence? -[ Laughs ] Yeah.
You nailed it. It’s our statement. I’m glad you read into
the subtext of this episode. If you take one thing away
from this episode… No, I think it’s,
we had so many alts, and I think Manny
did a bunch of them, and I wish we could
have used them all. But it was like —
it was always Smith & Wesson, but then it was like
ATV Repair Shop. I think I pitched him
Sex Toy Depot. Just so many stupid
Florida jokes that I wish
we could do all of them. -Getting to see him dance, ’cause Manny is such
an extraordinary dancer. -Oh, we get to see
what he can do. -Yeah, it’s really — And I really hope
that there’s some, I don’t… -Manny Jacinto is a real-life
hip-hop superstar, right? -Yes. When we were
casting the show, Manny’s audition was —
I’m sure people talk about it — so good, so incredible. His take on Jason was so unique
and special, and it was like, “Yes, this has to be Jason.”
-Yeah. -But in addition to that,
we Googled him. We’re like, “Who is this guy?
We’ve never seen him.” And so many, like,
hip-hop dance videos, and we were like,
“He’s an incredible dancer in addition
to being a great actor.” -Which is so funny for Jason.
-Yes. It’s so perfect. -So perfect and funny
that his brain works so beautifully in one way but doesn’t work at all
in any of the others. -Totally, totally, totally.
-Yeah, he’s incredible. That dance scene was longer. I hope there’s a longer cut.
-Yes, I was gonna say, I hope that on NBC or an extended cut
or something we see, ’cause they, I mean, they did —
You know, Manny and the rest of those guys
were in rehearsals for, like, a day —
a whole day and a half before that,
learning this dance. And it’s pretty intricate. Like, so even what we see
is amazing, but there’s a longer version
that’s even… -Oh, I can’t wait.
-Yeah, he’s great. -It’s so incredible.
He’s so ridiculous. -I feel like they get
disqualified because they’ve got lots of —
they’ve got 40 people and it was meant
to be eight or something. -Yeah, I think Jason’s not a great rule-reader.
-Sure. -He’s not —
-Not generally a good reader. -Yeah, not a great reader. Yeah.
-Not big on reading. -We meet Donkey Doug. Have we met Donkey Doug before? -We’ve never met Donkey Doug. We’ve heard —
-We’ve spoken of him. -We’ve heard Donkey Doug.
I believe he — Jason had his girlfriend,
Sheila, he framed her for boogie board
theft or something. -That’s right.
-So Donkey Doug has been mentioned
as one of Jason’s kind of — other than Pillboi,
one of his best friends. But we’ve never seen him
until now. -We’ve never seen him until now. He says, “You know,
you’re my boy, but I can’t handle it,”
and he bugs out. Little Peanut also bugs out. -Yeah, and
we’ve mentioned Peanut. So in my mind, Little Peanut
is Peanut’s daughter. Yeah.
-That’s lovely. -A wonderful rapper name. -Yeah, Little Peanut is good.
-Little Peanut, yeah. -We hear about the license plate
“Got Milf,” which is… -So lovely.
-…so Florida. -I would 100%,
if I ever learned how to drive, would 100% make that
and will make that. I vow to make — I vow on air
to make that my number plate. -Yeah, if you’re driving around
L.A., you see “Got Milf,” you know it’s Jameela.
-So this plan doesn’t work out. They don’t win
any of these contests, that’s how he was going
to fund his trip or get his life back on track. We see Pillboi, Eugene Cordero,
and Jason sharing a drink at a bar. I was half expecting Michael
to show up as Sam Malone again behind that bar
to be the Cyrano, to be the —
-Oh, yeah. No, no. -You know,
the deus ex machina there. -No, what I kind of love about
the Jason part of this premiere is that when Michael
first comes to him, I think Michael, and we talked
about this in the writers’ room, and there was also even
kind of a scene at one point, and it got cut,
but Michael, I think, is very much, though,
underestimating Jason. He’s left him for last,
he’s like, “This will be easy. I can get this guy to Australia. -I’m just gonna say,
‘Hey, dance crew.'” And then when Jason says no,
you see in the scene, and Ted acts it really
beautifully, he’s taken aback. He’s like, the line is, like,
“But you heard my name. I’m Zach Pizzazz.”
-“I’m Zach Pizzazz.” -And Michael takes a step back and then really actually
listens to Jason and has this nice moment
where he connects with him. And he’s like, “Yeah, I get it. I used to run with a crew
who had different values and morals than I did,
and then I had to change.” And they have —
I love that scene, ’cause they both
did such a great job. -It’s a great job.
I also love Jason going, like, “I guess I could
go to Atlantis.” “It’s Australia.”
-Yeah, yes. -He has a giant realization
that there might be more to life than amateur street dancing. -Yeah. -I do like that Michael
has to cover himself and say that his crew
is the Demons, too. -Yeah. -Jason totally knows that group.
-Right, right. -Turns out to be
a different group. -They all died when someone
brought a hammerhead shark into their hot tub. -Into their hot tub.
-Yeah. A lot of Florida — a lot of good Florida stuff
in this episode. -Every time have to —
like, we went to Comic-Con over the summer.
-Yeah. -And we asked if anyone
was there from Florida, and I made it a point
to apologize to all of them, anyone from Jacksonville.
-Yeah. -People — Yeah. I guess people from Arizona are
like, “Well, we don’t have” — Like, fans of the show
from Arizona are like, “We don’t have it as bad
as Florida fans.” -[ Laughing ] Also,
the French really get it from us in this show.
-Mm-hmm. -Yeah.
-Yeah. -We see Michael return. He sees the Doorman once again. He’s brought him, in this case,
a travel mug, I guess, right,
for his antimatter. -Yep.
-Travel mug’s got a frog on it. -Yeah.
-Like, it’s such an endearing and weird, dorky thing
that you see Mike O’Malley’s character of
the Doorman be like, “Oh, boy. Oh, gosh.”
-It’s so good. It was like we —
-It’s still subtle. -Yeah, it’s subtle, but it’s
one of those scenes you write, and you’re like,
“I have this idea.” Like, we all had the idea
in our head of how he’d play it, and then he did it
exactly the way we hoped. And it’s so funny. He’s so good doing it,
and he’s like — when he goes, “Oh, this guy’s a jumper,”
you can tell. His voice kind of goes up,
and it’s great. -We then see Janet and Michael
and the Judge. The Judge is checking in,
the stakes are very high. Janet’s panicky,
Michael’s panicky. We find out the judge
is super into “CSI” or “NCIS,” rather, and Mark Harmon. -Yeah.
-But they get by with it. Like, they sneak her away
from the ticker tapes, and they get her
out of the room. -Yep, they get away with it.
-Yeah. -You’re also in this episode. And you’re wonderful
in this episode. -Oh, yeah.
-Oh. -I really, really loved
your performance. I feel like this is the most
vile you’ve been so far. -It’s getting darker, right?
-Yeah, no, for sure. -I tell Glenn
to straight up shut up. Shut up, Glenn.
-Yeah. -I hope we release a super-cut,
’cause every “Shut up, Glenn” you did was so funny, and Dean and I
were cracking up every time. And I would love to see
a super-cut of “Shut up, Glenn.” -Thank you. That’s one of those things that,
as an improvisor, especially, you’re like,
“Well, they got that, and they got it in the close-up.”
-Totally, yes. -“So I’m going to do it
differently.” -Yes. Yeah.
-Yeah. -Like, sometimes you put periods in it with a “Shut.Up.Glenn.”
-Yes. The different versions
of it were very impressive. -That’s a really — I would
really genuinely love that. -Oh, yeah.
-That would be my ringtone. -Okay, we gotta release that,
yeah. “Shut up, Glenn.” -Also, how adorable is Glenn?
-Oh, my gosh. -How adorable
is Josh Siegal as Glenn. -Oh, my gosh.
Josh Siegal is so good. -He’s just so lovable,
even when he’s, like, trying to suck up
from inside the cocoon. That’s one of
my favorite things. -It’s so funny. -“Good one, boss,”
or whatever he says. -Yeah, yeah.
-Yeah, yeah. -So Michael has succeeded. He got these four humans
together. That was always the recipe
in the previous 802 reboots towards getting them
to work together and become better people. And everything is perfect,
until we hear this. -So this is our MRI machine. Ooh, don’t —
don’t touch that. Um, each of you will get a
chance in here, eventually. Hopefully, none of you
is claustrophobic. -Claustrophobic? Who would ever be scared
of Santa Claus? Oh!
The Jewish! -Are you from Florida? -Jacksonville.
-Yeah. -That should be fine for me.
It’s roughly the same size as Nicole Kidman’s cryogenic
anti-aging chamber. And I’ve never had
a problem in there. -I’ll be okay, too.
It kind of reminds me of the home tanning booth
I lost my virginity in. -Wow. I cannot wait to take
a look at these three brains. -Oh, forgot to mention, there’s one more person
who will be joining us. Sounds like a really
interesting guy. He was almost run over
by a train a few months ago. Heard about the study,
e-mailed me last night. -This doesn’t make any sense. They’re all there. What’s going on? Oh, no. -What is it?
-Something bad, Janet. Something… very dark… and evil. -Oh, yes!
Come on in. Everyone, this is Trevor. -Hey, guys!
It is so great to meet you. -“Claustrophobic?
Who could be scared of Santa?” Who got fired for
writing that joke? -I wrote it,
and I very much so remember that Mike did not want to do it. -Yeah, it was one of those —
it’s like — it’s right there. -I really loved it. I thought it was really clever
and nuanced and funny. -Do you have a word for this,
do you have a category for this? It’s on par with, like,
“We have to cheat off of Chidi. Oh, that’s why his name
is Chidi.” -Totally, yeah.
-Like, it’s on that level. -Yeah, it’s on that level
of stupid for Jason, where it’s like,
“Wow, you’re really just taking everything at,
like, face value, man.” You think, like… But it’s also one of
those jokes, I think, that sometimes,
in a take, like, people hear it and think maybe it’s, like,
edgier than it is. Like, it’s not actually a — it’s just a joke about
Jason being stupid. -I thought it was very edgy. -I was so surprised. I remember writing it, and I was
like, “Mike’s gonna cut this.” And I was so surprised
that it’s still in the episode. -It’s right on the edge.
It’s right on the edge. It’s — it’s a different — it’s a cousin
of the restaurant puns for me. -In that you don’t like them? -That I’m not sure
how it makes me feel. -A second cousin.
-Yes. -Okay. -Here for you, man. -I do love, though —
this is another dig at the American South — is that upon hearing that,
Eleanor goes, “You from Florida?”
-Yep. -Like, “Something about you
says Florida. I’m from Arizona,
so I kind of know.” -Yeah, yeah. They’re of the same —
they get each other. -Of the ilk.
-What’s that? -Of the ilk.
-Of the ilk.
-Yes. -So the thing that gets
the four humans back together is Chidi’s experiment. He decides to put together
an experiment measuring the effects
of near-death experiences on ethical decision-making. Did you meet with philosophers
on this subject? -Yeah, kind of with all things
that we explore in the show, we try to have some background in terms of a philosopher
we talk to, a professor — you know, Todd May
has been invaluable to the show. And so, for this season,
going into season three, Mike kind of e-mailed
all the writers, he said, “I read this book ‘Moral Tribes’
by Joshua Greene,” which is a really interesting — so much smarter than I am —
a book written by a person so much smarter than I am
that it was hard to understand. But I got through it. And he is a philosopher
and a neuroscientist. And so, he kind of —
The character of Simone, you know,
has some of that in there. We were interested in,
“Okay, Chidi comes from, you know,
a moral philosophy standpoint. What about someone
who’s a neuroscientist, who loves being
a neuroscientist, who loves looking
at the human brain and having really, like,” — You know, it’s in the premiere,
when she’s like, “Yeah, you guys ponder one
question your whole careers.” -Right.
-“Science is all about getting answers and moving on
to the next thing.” And so, definitely that study
kind of came from a mixture of us reading “Moral Tribes,”
talking to Joshua Greene, exploring that angle to things
that we hadn’t really before. And so, that was kind of —
And then also just the fact that morality,
you know, it’s such a thick — When you’re discussing
the concept of, like, death and that we know our lives
are only so long, how does that affect
how we treat other people? That’s always been
a part of the show, and so that kind of
came to a head. It’s like, “Oh, four people, they’ve had
near-death experiences, how does that affect
how they behave?” And so, that was kind of
all rolled into, what if it was a study? -Jameela, you’ve had lots of
near-death experiences — tennis, that sort of thing.
-Yeah, yeah. -Why aren’t you a better person? -I am not a better
person for it. I did —
I have had a couple of actual proper near-death experiences, but I found that they did
make me more decisive, and I swear more. -Oh, interesting.
-Like, progressively with each one,
I swear more and more and more. So, yeah.
-Give us an example. -Of the swear words?! No, you told me not to. You know, I — Did we discuss
this on air about the fact that I got chased
by a swarm of bees in season one, into traffic,
and I got hit by a car? -What the fuck
are you talking about? -Three weeks… -On this television show?
-Yeah, while I was on season one of “The Good Place,” I —
Again, this happens every time. I was like —
-Chidi gets chased by bees. -Yeah, it was very triggering. It was very triggering for me
to watch that. -But this was —
This wasn’t on set. -No, this wasn’t on set. No, don’t worry,
the insurance is covered. -Okay.
-No, again, exactly the same
with the tennis thing. I was like,
“Oh, I’m an actor now, I should be active
and start exercising.” And so I went for a run,
which I hadn’t ever done before. -Yeah.
-I went for a run, I was, thankfully,
dressed like a ninja, which… -That raises more questions.
-As you do for running? -Well, no, ’cause there’s some
scary people in the evenings out on the streets
in Los Angeles. -Right.
-So you wear black and a mask? -Yeah, yeah, I run
with a big sword. -If you’re running at night, wear full black,
that’s what they say. -Yeah, basically showing — I sort of had my track suit
was done up kind of like Kenny. And I had gone for this jog
to try and get, like, fit to be a strong actor. And I stopped at this
traffic stop in La Cienega, which is six —
six lanes of traffic.
-Mm-hmm. -There’s three lanes
on either side. -We know how six breaks down. -All right. Soak my deck, Marc. -“Soak my deck.”
-Um… so I’m standing there,
and as I’d been jogging through, there’s a little tree on this little island,
this traffic island. -Mm-hmm.
-And I must have, like, touched one of the branches
by accident with my head, ’cause I’m so tall. And as I’m standing there
waiting for the light to change so I can cross, I — Because my music is so loud,
I don’t hear anything. But this sort of dark cloud…
-Oh, my God. -…appears around me. And it takes me a second
to process what it is, because you just don’t expect
in the middle of the street, in the middle of, like, a city
that you’re going to have
a swarm of bees. As soon as I realize,
I start screaming, and they’re all around me. And I don’t know if they’re
trying to sting me. They must be, but I’m covered
from head to toe, and I can just feel them, like, just like coming
at my track suit. -Sure, yeah.
-And so, I run — I just run into
oncoming traffic. -Sure, yeah.
-Which is how my first-ever — When I broke my back,
it was one bee chasing me. Wasn’t even chasing me, I just
saw a bee and ran into a car. This is — Anyway…
[ Exhales sharply ] -Are you scared of bees?
Is this like — -Very scared of bees.
-You have a phobia of them? -Yeah, no, I have
a phobia of bees. -Did you before?
Or, I mean, you do now. -Yeah, now we get.
-And so, I ran into traffic, and, thankfully, it was
light enough for someone to see that there’s a woman
with a cloud of bees around her running into the road. And they slowed the car down. So when the car hit me —
two years ago — it just hit me
kind of coming to a halt. So it just knocked me over. But the bees didn’t, like,
leave. They came down with me. I had to get back up,
keep running, all the way to — from Wilshire to
3rd, which is —
-Oh, my gosh! -Yeah, it’s a very long way. Like, these are the most
persistent bees ever. And I’m running down this —
I’m running down 3rd, and I see lots of people
standing outside, smoking in a smoking area
outside a nice bar. -Terrible habit.
-And I was just like — I swear to —
I swear my brain just went, “They don’t care
about their lives.” So I ran at them with the bees. I ran at a crowd of people. There will be people who
were there at that place that will remember the time…
-Oh, they wouldn’t forget. -…that the ninja ran at them,
covered in bees. And I got down on the ground,
left these people, probably being stung, and then
crawled into a nearby juice bar, which is now a juice bar
that I frequent. -I…
[ Both laugh ] I love you. You have too many
of these stories. -Okay. It is — My life is
“Final Destination.” -Trevor.
-Mm-hmm. -Is anyone creepier
than Adam Scott in this show? -I think what makes it so creepy
is that it’s low-key Adam Scott. He’s not being creepy here,
which makes it worse. -Yeah, he’s being, like,
dork Adam Scott…
-Yeah. -…which is, like,
really creepy. It’s when you know
what’s truly going on. -It’s an interesting thing
because it’s — We’re reminded of this sort of
sleeper faction of the Bad Place that we’d sort of
forgotten about. At least I had. I had read this script
months ago and had forgotten that
he’s the cliff-hang of this. -Yeah.
-Like, we’re about to see — We were kind of at that,
“Okay, here we go” thing. And then he walks in,
and, you know, this is gonna get difficult. -Yeah, it’s — I’m pretty satisfied
with this as a cliffhanger, ’cause I think it is
a good level, hopefully, that when you’re watching
the episode, you see you, Shawn, be like,
“Michael pushed his luck, and that allowed him
to see, like, ‘Oh, Michael’s going back
down to Earth. What have we got here?'”
-Right. -And that’s where Michael
kind of screws himself. That allows you to be like, “Great, we’ll send down one
of our worst that we’ve got,” and that’s — You know?
-Right. -But I think it’s
far enough away that you kind of
almost do forget. But then when it happens,
you’re like, “Oh, of course
that was gonna happen.” You know, it’s always weird
with, like, twists like that. You don’t want it to be
so out of nowhere that it feels just random
and not earned, but you don’t want it to be
so telegraphed that people are like,
“Yeah, of course. I knew that was gonna happen.”
-Right. -‘Cause I think if it was you
showing up — Shawn — it would have been
a little bit like, “Oh, of course, I knew
that was gonna happen.” -Right, he was right
on their heels.
-Yeah, exactly. So I hope that it hits
a good middle ground of that. -Oh, it certainly does.
It’s shocking, and it’s scary. It’s one of those things
where you’re like, “Oh, I can’t wait to see what happens
in this new timeline.” And then you’re like,
“Oh, this is an instant thorn.” -Yeah, yeah.
-“This is gonna be
so difficult.” -And, hopefully, it’s rewarding,
too, I think, as a fan of the show,
that you’re like, “Whoa, I haven’t seen Trevor
in so many episodes.” Like, it pays off in that way. -Also, that thousand-yard
stare-smile that he does. Even when he’s being low-key,
even if he’s playing a nerd. I have never seen —
And he looked into each of our eyes
in every single take. And I froze
from the inside out. -Yeah, it’s so creepy.
It’s so good. -There’s a wonderful theme
running through this, which is that we are not alone. We are not in this alone.
We need one another. -Mm-hmm. -I mean, I suppose that’s been
the theme for everything, but with these people beginning
again as strangers on Earth, it feels heightened to me. Like, it feels like
the teamwork aspect of it. -Yeah, there’s
a certain chemistry these four people have together. There’s something intangible
about it that when they get together,
they make each other better and they work
in a really specific way. It is, it’s kind of like
a very nice sentiment that I think, yeah, is even more
heightened the fact that, “Oh, they were in such, like, such different parts
of the world and had to be brought together
for this to work.” But now…
-Yeah, I think that’s kind of why people are drawn
to our show, because in a time where we are
being constantly manipulated to separate
and distrust each other… -Totally.
-…and not work together, this message of, like,
with unity, we would be able
to defeat evil. -Right, and with unity
with people who are different than you are. -Exactly.
People who are so different. -So different, yeah. -And people who are
from another place, but also people who trigger you,
people who are annoying. This encourages empathy, the exact opposite of what we’re
encouraged to think about in, you know, the news
or on social media. -Right.
-And I think
that there’s something, that there’s clearly
a hunger out there for that level of empathy that
people look towards in our show. -Yeah, yeah, that’s nice.
-We are not in this alone. -Just a joke I wrote. Sorry.
-That was beautiful. -I didn’t mean
to get so serious. -Marc and I are crying. -We are not in this alone.
All we have is one another. In a sense, “Okay, here we go.” -Yeah.
-Mm-hmm. It’s on. -Jen Statsky, what’s good? -Okay, this is a weird one.
-Yeah. -I don’t know why this
popped into my brain today. -I’m ready.
-[ Laughs ] Kind of this great actress
who’s on our show… -Oh.
-…D’Arcy Carden. -Oh! -No, I’m — This is so weird. Zoe Saldana’s husband,
whose name I don’t even know — You can look it up
if you want. This is why he’s good,
is because I recently learned that Zoe Saldana’s husband took her last name
when they got married. -Oh.
-And I think that is really cool and bad-ass. And I was like, “That rules.” More–
-I like that. -I’m all about — I don’t know
if you know me. I’m all about smashing
the patriarchy. You get it.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I get it. -So, but that’s cool, right?
-It is. -Why — why have —
Let’s change it. We don’t need to —
There’s a lot of women who don’t take
their husband’s names, great. You know, but why can’t
a man take a woman’s last name? -Why can’t he? Why can’t Marco Perego
take Zoe Saldana’s last name? -Yes, that’s his name!
Great, perfect. I hope — What if he listens? What if he’s, like,
a huge fan of our show? -Yeah.
-He should come and guest. -He should. -Jameela Jamil, what’s good? -Season three of
“The Good Place.” -Ooh!
-The whole thing. The whole thing is good. -I’m excited.
Are you excited? -No, I’m genuinely —
I cannot wait. This is my favorite season. This is where the writers
know us the best, we know the writers the best,
we know each other the best. This just felt — It felt — Honestly, I didn’t
even feel afraid. I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid to say it,
put myself out there. This is, like — It was just —
Palpably, we were just — There was so much chemistry,
it was so much fun to film. All of them have,
obviously, been fun to film. But this was with no fear. It was just the best experience. And the writing is absurd. I bow down to all of the writers
on the show. So I don’t care if I sound
like a kiss-ass, it really is. It’s the best.
And spooning. -I’m having a memory
of the season three wrap party
from a month or so ago. Mike Schur got up
and gave a nice toast and a thank you
to the cast and crew and everyone involved
in “The Good Place.” At the end of which, he said,
“See you next year.” And I was standing
next to David Miner, one of the executive producers, and one of the partners
at my management company, and Mike said,
“See you next year,” and I whipped around
and said, “Oh?” And he said,
“That’s not a pick-up, that’s not a pick-up.” And I said, “Eh. Sounded like”… And he said, “We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.” So, here’s hoping. I can’t wait for people
to see season three. It… This is an unusual half-hour
of American network television. -It’s a weird one, and it
gets progressively weirder. Definitely top — Yeah.
-So weird. Yeah. -Not to sound like I’ve drank
the Kool-Aid too much, but I think this season truly
tops itself in weirdness. -Oh, it’s so weird
that I frequently wondered what’s wrong with all of you. That frequently. It’s brilliant.
I love it so much. -This has been “The Good Place:
The Podcast.” I’m Marc Evan Jackson. Thank you for listening. Now go do something good.

100 thoughts on “The Good Place Podcast – Season 3 Premiere with Jameela Jamil & Jen Statsky (Digital Exclusive)

  1. Omg I hope all the other episodes of the podcast have been recorded on video as well, would love to watch those! This was so damn funny and entertaining to watch, I love Jameela.

  2. I'm so happy this podcast is back because it's pretty much my favourite thing but I'm also a little sad that the podcast being released in tandem with the episodes means we won't get the ~real behind the scenes due to all the stuff they can't talk about yet. Hopefully you can release an extra episode at the end of the season that covers all the secrets and plot twists!

  3. I really enjoyed this! I hope The Good Place Podcast continues! I’m definitely one of those fans who looooves behind the scenes and the making of, so I’ll keep a weather eye out! Such a pleasure to meet the writer Jen! And to spend an hour with Jameela! And yes, Marc, you are certainly rocking that beard.


  4. Jameela needs to be encased in bubble wrap at all times lol. Stay safe, Jameela! We need Elhani to be canon and that can't happen if you're caught in a swarm of bees!

  5. Just finished the S02 audio podcasts last week and delighted to find the 1st of S03 in video! Pleeeeeease tell me that the rest of the season’s podcasts will be video.

  6. I also feel protective of the Chidi/Eleanor relationship, but Simone is so likeable, it's hard to root against her getting together with Chidi. I wonder how they are going to play that whole storyline out……

  7. That was fantastic! Your show is by far my favorite show I've seen in years. So funny, so smart, so layered, so original! I really enjoyed learning more about the making of it. Thanks for posting.

  8. I am a dad of 8 and 6 year old girls and they both know pretty much everything there is to know about Jameela. She’s an incredible role model for them and I am constantly reminding them of her work and attitude toward how women deserve to be treated with respect and honour, and that it’s incredibly important our society is moulded on a meritocracy for everybody, not just men. We love her so much.

  9. I had no idea this is a thing. Just rewatched S1 and S2 and the first episode and it truely is one of the best pieces of TV out there.

  10. Ugh Jameela is such a mood lol I was so sad when I realized Eleanor and Chidi weren't going to be romantically involved this season


  12. as a verified australian i am wondering whERE on earth the writing team got the impression that bonza is a common australian colloquialism because i've gone my entire life without ever hearing someone say it unironically????

  13. First time I've watched the podcast (or even knew about it)… Marc Evan Jackson's a brilliant host. I love his voice… and his facial hair.

    Great episode (both the show and the podcast)!

  14. Love that shade by Marc Evan:
    Jameela: My incredibly competitive boyfriend
    Marc: James Blunt
    Jameela: *looks at him uncomfortably*
    (Jameela's boyfriend is James Blake, musician a MILLION times better than J. Blunt hahaha)

  15. I am very curious as to what temperature it was inside that room b’c they are dressed for different seasons – or maybe Marc just always wears turtle necks? Idk but I love him.

  16. My dad also broke his Achilles Tendon while playing tennis, it sounded like a gun shot wound! I live in Hong Kong where guns are illegal so there was no way it was that, but when my dad fell on the ground i legit thought he was shot for a split second! It was terrifying and there's still a knot back there where they had to reattatch the 2 ends together!

  17. I cannot un-see Jameela Jamil's arms bending in the wrong direction. It will haunt me forever.

  18. Brilliant show. Even better podcast.
    Thanks Mark for the brilliant direction. You are so good. Please keep doing them!

  19. I actually really like Eleanor and Chidi as platonic "soulmates." I think perhaps it's that they're too different to actually function together romantically. I also think that it would be a nice break from the norm of sitcoms- the will they/won't they vibe. Simone seems like such a great balance for Chidi- she gets him out of his shell, but is also kinda dorky like him. I'm really excited to see how their relationship develops, and I also love how Eleanor pushed/bullied Chidi into it. She's good for him in that aspect: getting him out of his shell. That being said, I adore how protective Jameela is of the Eleanor/Chidi relationship. This was a great podcast! It's definitely interesting to get a writer's take on all of it. I'm glad I watched it.

  20. I put this on at work, on my second screen, figuring I'll mostly listen, sneaking a peek from time to time to get the general idea. Ha, silly me!! You can't look away when Jameela Jamil is on screen – sepecially not with that dress… That was a rather unproductive hour of work.

  21. I’m so sorry to be the bearer of bad news, guys. It’s ‘bonza’. The Australianism you’re looking for is ‘Bonza’. But hearing you say ‘bonzer’ gives me a giggle too. Good try!
    Source: am Australian.
    Also hearing Ted Danson let rip a great Aussie ‘Mate’ warmed my heart to no end, thank you for that moment.

  22. At 33:41 I love how when Jameela is talking about how she associated tennis with strawberries and cream she puts her hair back and is actually wearing strawberry earrings xD

  23. This episode has me crushing on Jen Statsky hard! Loved the insight and reasoning behind her choices for the show and she is the latest in a long, long line of reasons tolove this show!

  24. What is the big deal about the husband taking the wife's surname? My parents did what I originally thought was meant by that, i.e. both having a single surname and it being my mother's, when they married in 1993, which was a quarter of a century ago.

  25. I enjoyed the podcast but I gotta say I wish they brought up the option to make Eleanor and Tahani soulmates. I see a lot more chemistry between them. I don’t buy into Chidi and Eleanor as soulmates at all. Why can’t the writers give it a shot? The audience sees the potential don’t let it go to waste. Can Season 4 shows us a canon Eleanor and Tahani ship please

  26. "Territorial of them as a couple…" Yep. #Same

    Someone needs to massage Jen's shoulders.

    Also: Jameela's elbows are backwards.

  27. Ahhhhh Ok. I been listening to the podcast, and it always sounded like Marc is away from the mic, and it turns out that the mic is actually off center. Hey please, please work on this. I love the podcast, but guests sounds twice as loud as Marc like 50% of the times. Content is absolutely great tho. EDIT: It seems like the YT version is a lot more consistent than spotify

  28. Jameela has to stop bending her elbows like that! It's so bad for your bones and joints! Please people @ this beautiful woman and warn her! I don't want to loose her in the eye of fame to pain in her elbows, because no one told her she's forking up her elbows!

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