Sean Kleier Plays Mikal On 'Happyish' & Dishes On Working With A "Dream" Cast
Showtime is taking a stab at what it means to be happy with it's new off-comedy, properly named Happyish . The show follows middle-aged Thom, played by the very funny Steve Coogan, as an advertising executive who is forever on the pursuit of happiness. One of Thom's team members, Mikal is played by actor and comedian Sean Kleier, who tells Bustle in an interview that working with the incredible cast of funny people "was a dream." And how could it not be when you're working alongside the likes of Coogan, Kathryn Hahn, Bradley Whitford, and Ellen Barkin?
"I think I spend more time admiring," Kleier says when I ask if he bounced ideas off of his co-stars. "These are people I've seen for a long time, and laughed at on television and films for a long time, so working with them was a dream." Kleier, who also stars in the upcoming Bravo show Odd Mom Out, is no stranger to the comedy scene. He has done stand-up and improv, and has even fiercely recited the Bill Pullman speech from Independence Day in New York City. "It's such an awesome experience for a young comedian like myself to be working with people like that," he says of the Happyish cast.
If you're picturing a set where comedy geniuses are ad-libbing left and right, think again. "We were given free license, and I don't think anyone held back," Kleier says. "That being said, usually you improvise when you have ideas to make it better, but I think we were all so confident in the script."
Happyish is a show that is self-aware of it's back-and-forth across the line of tragedy and comedy. It deals with heavy stuff in life, but still manages to be labeled a comedic show. "I really appreciate people who can point out the absurdities in our society," Kleier says about what type of comedy he's personally attracted to, something that Happyish seems to accomplish.
Kleier's character, Mikal, pronounced "Michael" — a detail that he says "won't show up in the show," but is "perfectly streamline" with writer and creator Shalom Auslander's "sensibilities" — is part of Thom's fleeting and lackluster team. Kleier describes Mikal as a "disgruntled copywriter" at Thom's agency, who finds himself in a "position where he's graduated college, he's many years out now, and realizes the life he had envisioned for himself is just not happening." It may not sound like the funniest plot, but in the hands of Happyish's writers and Kleier, I'm sure it'll have us laughing every week.