‘Platonic,’ ‘Twisted Metal’ Showrunners and Actors Talk Comedy at Variety’s Sony FYC Showcase

‘Platonic,’ ‘Twisted Metal’ Showrunners and Actors Talk Comedy at Variety’s Sony FYC Showcase

For “Platonic” Co-showrunner, Executive Producer and Director Nick Stoller, comedy is “honesty and truth.” He explained on the “What is Comedy Today” panel for Variety’s Sony FYC Showcase that he sees the world through a comedic lens, even during dark times.

Exploring what a comedy series looks like in today’s landscape for Variety’s Sony FYC Showcase, Stoller was joined by fellow co-showrunner, executive producer and director Francesca Delbanco on the panel. Panelists also included “Platonic” actor Luke MacFarlane, showrunner and executive producer of “Twisted Metal” Michael Jonathan Smith, “Twisted Metal” actor and executive producers Anthony Mackie, “Twisted Metal” actor Stephanie Beatriz and EVP for comedy development at Sony Pictures Television Colin Davis. Variety‘s Senior TV Features editor Emily Longeretta led the discussion.

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“[Comedy] is just truth,” Mackie said of the genre today. “When the moment is true and when the moment is honest, I feel like it affects people in a way that allows them to be free with their emotions.”

Stoller explained that in the social environment of today, ensuring that audiences are comfortable and not offended by comedy, staying honest is key to staying funny: “Nothing makes me angrier than when someone says you can’t say anything anymore. It makes me so mad. It’s just lazy. When someone isn’t funny, they’re not funny…I actually think you always have to keep up with what’s funny, you have to be honest. And if you’re not honest, people aren’t going to laugh.”

As a producer, Smith said he makes sure that the character-specific writing stays true to that character, and keeps punching up instead of down.

Longeretta and Davis discussed working toward more diverse and inclusive comedy. Davis talked about writing stories and hiring diverse actors in shows that aren’t reliant on people’s identities to drive the story.

Beatriz said that mentality was a large part of her joining “Twisted Metal”: “That’s part of the reason that I wanted to do ‘Twisted Metal.’ It was because it was just this amazing action comedy series with a love story in the middle of it that just so happened to be these two people, which is really thrilling and exciting to me. It’s not one little sliver of the human experience or my human experience, it’s this big thing that just so happens to have these people as the heroes of the story.”

Watch the full conversation above.

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