From zany comedies to cult classics, IFC is always on with slightly off humor! From October 23th to December 4th, you can tune in to Ch. 333 to catch the shows everyone will be talking about, including Stan Against Evil.
We talked to cast members John C. McGinley (aka Stan Miller) and Janet Varney (aka Evie Barret), in addition to creator and executive producer Dana Gould about what fans can expect when Season 2 premieres November 1st! Read our interview below, and check out the trailer for Stan Against Evil Season 2 below:
How will the stakes get higher during Season 2?
Janet Varney: Well, let’s face it— if Evie is going to make it back to present day (in the Season 1 finale, we last saw her about to be burned at the stake in the 1600s), that probably involves some element of time travel. And in the history of storytelling, has there ever been time travel without potentially catastrophic consequences? Plus, there’s an overlying arc this year involving Stan and Evie that definitely tests their relationship in a new way. Of course, all of this sounds very heavy and emotional, but we’re still talking about a show with about 1 joke per 30 seconds. It’s Simpsons-level speed and humor, so I’m excited for people to LAUGH! Oh lord, that’s the dorkiest thing I ever could have said.
John C. McGinley: Yes! We must resolve the cliffhanger from Season 1—we must get Evie back from Ecchles, and Stan must figure out the particular mechanism’s that will trigger “time-travel,” so that he can go back-and-forth from a past destination and return to the present.
Dana Gould: Season 2 really allows us to go much deeper into the nature of these characters. Stan, in particular, starts the season by getting an exquisitely bad idea (allying with the demons he once fought in order to discover how to go back one year and save his wife’s life), and the entire arc of the season is watching Stan further and further compromise himself in pursuit of the grandaddy of all bad ideas!
What’s the energy like on set? How do you welcome guest stars—with open arms or with a prank or two for good measure?
JCM: Because we shoot all eight episodes in four weeks and four days (total!), the energy on the set is focused, intense, protective, supportive, and driven. Again, because there is such a premium placed on respecting the time constraints that we are operating under, we try to integrate our guest stars into the very specific style and tone of “Stan…” as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. Everything else has to wait until “wrap!”
JV: I love the energy on our set. I love Atlanta. I love our Atlanta crews. They’re insanely good at their jobs, but they’re also so sweet and polite and supportive of one another. It’s just a delight to be around. That’s not to say L.A. crews or elsewhere aren’t amazing! It’s just there’s something uniquely special about shooting in Georgia.
As far as our guest stars go, this season we had a POWERHOUSE of amazing guest stars. And I will say each of them just fell into the vibe of the show, which is to say, shooting at breakneck speed, doing things that shouldn’t really be possible in that time frame, but also doing a fair amount of laughing. Dana sets the tone for the shoot. He’s a genius, but part of his genius is that he loves and respects everyone else for knowing and doing their job better than he could. He’s a tremendous collaborator, and he also can’t stop making jokes, all day long. It’s compulsive. And it makes things so fun!
DG: I’m not a prank dude, but the energy on the set is very laid back and easy-peasy. It’s incredibly hard work, but I try not to take myself too seriously. It’s hard to do that anyway when you’re dealing with a giant demon pig puppet, and I think that attitude is infectious. We encourage everyone to have fun. My attitude is, “We all know we’re geniuses, keep it to yourself!”
The show does an incredible job at blending horror with comedy. What are some of your favorite horror flicks, and on the flip side what are some of your favorite comedies?
JCM: My favorite horror movies are An American Werewolf In London, The Exorcist, Halloween, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Silence of The Lambs. Comedies: Dr. Strangelove, Animal House, Young Frankenstein, His Girl Friday and It Happened One Night.
JV: When it comes to horror movies, definitely a lot of the standards. I share Dana and John C’s love of Jaws and An American Werewolf in London. I loved a Disney movie called Watcher in the Woods when I was a kid, and it disappeared without a trace. I love all the meta-horror: Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods, Housebound, to name but a few. One of my best friends made a movie in that ilk called The Selling that I was lucky enough to be in and I loved that. It had the same kind of feel as The Frighteners.
As far as comedies, these are ones that I think greatly influenced me when I was younger because I watched them over and over: The Man With Two Brains, The Muppet Movie, Young Frankenstein and Ghostbusters.
DG: My favorite horror flick is a horror-comedy: An American Werewolf In London. I also love the old school Universal Classics, The Wolfman, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, all that stuff. My favorite comedy of all time is Dr. Strangelove, which one could say is a horror-comedy as well.
The show has an incredibly dedicated and fervent fan base—what do you think it is about Stan Against Evil that inspires that dedication, and how do you think Season 2 is going to draw in new fans?
JV: I think any show that brings its audience in on the joke or builds out a fun and strange universe for fans to immerse themselves in is doing something right. We have so many little Easter eggs and moments that go by so fast, you almost have to watch twice to catch everything. In our case, I think “Stan…” has this quality that I’ve recently realized I love in a show, which is a smart show that does stupid things. For some reason smart writing mixed with stupid comedy is my favorite! But again, look at The Simpsons—where Dana wrote for years—that’s a show that shaped so many of our brains, and I think it’s the perfect example of that quality.
JCM: “Stan…” blends horror and comedy, and straddling those two tones is an incredibly sophisticated and extraordinarily difficult balancing act. And when it gets pulled-off? It yields profound dividends! The style of the show really distinguishes itself from just about every other show on television! The emotional arch that Stan and Evie travel through in Season 2 is what ambitiously delicious and ridiculously marvelous story lines are made of! You gotta watch, to see what I’m talking about…
DG: It’s three things: John C. McGinley, Janet Varney, and the fact that the show doesn’t speak down to its audience. It’s a show for fanboys of all genders. We all speak the same language. That’s incredibly comforting.
If you were to battle an evil entity in real life, what would your go-to weapon be?
JCM: Same as Stan’s! A nice, thick piece of pipe!
JV: Ok, I’m going to maybe not think too hard about the “in real life” part since I guess I like my violence to stay in the fictional world. So that being said, I have to say, I was very taken by the female villain sidekick (pun intended) in the first Kingsmen movie. Maybe because it was so novel? But her astonishing leg weapons really impressed me. In the REAL real world, I’m probably more of a hugger.
DG: I’ve always relied on sarcasm, but a flame thrower does make a big statement. And it has that vaguely pleasant gasoline smell…
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