Will Arnett Feels 'Really Lucky' for Up All Night's Success, Previews Upcoming Guest Stars

Will Arnett is having a fantastic week.

First, it was announced that Arrested Development will not only (eventually) be revived on the big screen, but also for a short run on TV. Shortly thereafter, the funnyman’s new NBC comedy Up All Night was picked up for a full season. And on top of all that, TVLine revealed that he would reprise his role as Devon Banks on 30 Rock.

TVLine caught up with Arnett just before he was hit with so much good news, but fortunately that didn’t make him any less inclined to gush about his latest project.

TVLINE | Congratulations on the success of Up All Night. Has the reception exceeded your expectations?
It has. The ratings stuff is beyond your control, so it’s nice to see that we’ve done better that we had hoped for. Really, our job is just to try to make the episodes as funny and as good as possible — creatively and from a quality standpoint — and if we can get people to watch here and there, then that’s great. And I’ve got to say, NBC has been really great about promoting the show and getting it out there. I’m really happy with it. My main focus now is enjoying working on the show — and I’m really lucky that means working with so many great people.

Scoop: Will Arnett Will 30 Rock Once Again

TVLINE | I have to say, what I find so appealing about the show is that it’s so endearing. There’s a lot of funny, but also so much heart. Plus, it’s really grounded in reality, with some heightened moments. Do you notice the same things with each script you receive?
Oh, totally. Thematically, all the stories come from something that resonates with the writing staff and [executive producer] Emily Spivey herself, so the kernel of every story comes from a real place. And like you said, everything has to be a little heightened because obviously we’re not just making a documentary. A documentary about this subject would be drab. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Are you finding that there’s more room for improv as the show progresses?
Yeah, there always is. We’re very lucky that we have such great writers and get to work on these really fun scripts, but there’s always an understanding that we want to make the best show possible. If stuff comes up and you feel like you want to add something, there’s definitely improvising. It’s all a collaboration.

TVLINE | Your character Chris is the polar opposite of both Arrested Development‘s Gob Bluth and Running Wilde‘s Steve Wilde. Is that what drew you to him?
When I read the script, I really just related to the story because it felt really close to where I am in my own life right now. That was the first time I’d experienced that.

Up All Night Casts Blythe Danner as Mom to Christina Applegate

TVLINE | So, what’s next for Amy and her well-meaning parents on Up All Night?
Chris and Reagan are about to realize that their car situation is not really the safest or most responsible for young parents, so they’ve got to deal with that. There will be some strange car shopping involved. I’m really happy with next week’s episode.

TVLINE | Is there any talk of Chris heading back to work at some point? Or will Up All Night remain grounded in the stay-at-home dad/working mom storyline?
I’m not really sure — wait, is that what you’re pitching? [Laughs] As of now, no, but you’re going to see them trying to figure out what works. It’s just like real parenting; There’s no point in having a plan because nothing goes as expected.

TVLINE | Will Forte was so funny as Chris’ friend on last week’s episode. Is there anyone else coming up that you’re excited to work with?
I just shot with Richard Schiff, who’s playing Christina’s character’s dad. He’s such a great actor and such a smart guy, and his instincts are so great. We were just doing this very simple little scene and he brought some really great things to it. I brought zero ideas, so he made me look like a chump. [Laughs] I haven’t shot with Blythe Danner yet, but we’re about to start working together, so I’m excited about that episode with the two of them.

Exclusive: Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Perform TVLine’s New Theme Song on Emmy Red Carpet!

TVLINE | Given the scope of funny folk you, Christina and Maya have worked with, I have to imagine there are more guest spots planned. Has anyone reached out to you about coming on?
Yeah, there have been a few friends of mine that I’ve talked to about coming on, but it would be foolish of me to reveal any names because then you would print that and I would look like a fool. So, my question to you, Megan, is why would you ask me that and why do you want me to look like a fool? [Laughs] And I already look like a fool, so why do you want me to look like a bigger fool? Honestly, there are people we’re talking to and friends of ours that really like that show. If we can continue to make good episodes, then yeah, that would be great!

Excited to see more of Chris and Reagan’s parenthood adventures? Sound off in the comments. And for all my TV news and interviews, follow along on Twitter @MegMasters.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ashley says:

    As a young parent, I LOVE this show. I really do. And I ADORE Will Arnett.

  2. Ed says:

    will arnett is so awesome! i hope this show works out for him!

  3. Miffy says:

    “Success”? It’s bombing in the ratings. What a suck up.

  4. AK says:

    I adore this show, and Will Arnett as the funny, responsible dad is my favorite part.

  5. Amanda says:

    definitely my fave new show. he deserves the success. christina applegate too.

  6. Plum says:

    I was very surprised at how good last nights Up All Night was. First ep I saw was with them trying to impress their glam neighbors who were played by fairly forgettable extras. The actors playing the “cool” neighbors sucked the air out of each scene because they weren’t comedians or actors.

    • Janie says:

      actually the Man playing the husband part of the “cool neighbors” was the british guy from Traffic light and i really like him.. i was hoping we would see more of the neighbors..

      i like this show, but we need more interaction that just Reagan at work with Ava and the assistant..

      my favorite part of the series so far is the interaction with will arnett and other people.. like the will forte scenes.. LOVED that!

    • Marissa says:

      The guy who played the cool neighbor is Adam Campbell, who I think is pretty funny. He’s been in a few of those stupid spoof movies, one of them with his wife (who plays Emma on Glee) and I thought he held his own despite the material.

      • Vivianne says:

        I love Adam Campbell! I couldnt figure out who the cool neighbor was but i knew that i knew and loved him. I do that a lot. I’ve looked all over the internet and couldn’t find who it was. Thanks, Marissa. Now i can stop obsessing trying to remember who he is.

  7. postman says:

    liked the inter action between the to but dont like the work part I thought this was up all night not and not girl at work all day lose the work part.

    • janie says:

      the point of the show is that before the baby.. they had to balance work and life with being “up all night” partying… now they have to balance work and life with being “up all night” because they have a baby!

  8. ChrisGa says:

    This show is very underrated; Christina Applegate is comedic gold any day of the week and I have to say I’ve never found Will Arnett more appealing than he is here. Plus, Maya Rudoph is HI-LARIOUS.