Bobby Moynihan spent years dreaming up new characters and personas during his impressive nine-season stint on Saturday Night Live — R.I.P. Drunk Uncle — and now his next venture is as a bona fide inventor. On his new CBS show, Me, Myself & I, which premieres Sept. 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET, Moynihan plays Alex Riley, a struggling inventor who’s presented to audiences in a unique way — in three different stages of life, at ages 14, 40 and 65, and portrayed by three different actors. Alex from Me, Myself, and I isn't based on a real person, which means Moynihan and the show’s creator Dan Kopelman get even more opportunity to stretch their creativity.
“After reading the script I went like, ‘Oh, I get to act in this,’” Moynihan told The Los Angeles Times’ Chris Barton. “I mean, we do acting on SNL, but I’m usually in a diaper or some weird costume. So this was nice — to play a real adult male.”
Moynihan is in experienced hands, as Kopelman’s no stranger to successful sitcoms, with producing credits on network hits like Malcolm in the Middle and Rules of Engagement. And Moynihan doesn't seem to have any trouble trusting his talent.
"When I first read the script that Dan Kopelman wrote, I just kind of fell in love with it," he told CBS Local. "It is a pretty lofty premise with these three different timelines, but the way it was written was so seamless and so wonderful. It's really, really funny and full of heart and I just enjoyed the script so much that I was on board. Then I met Dan and the people on board and I kind of fell in love with them and here we are."
The idea of featuring the same character in different stages of life came to Kopelman after watching Love & Mercy, the 2014 film focused on musician and member of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, the writer told the LA Times in the same piece. In the film, John Cusack plays an older Wilson while Paul Dano portrays him in the height of Beach Boy success.
“At no point are you like, oh, I believe one character or I believe the other,” Kopelman told the publication. “They were both Brian Wilson in their own way.”
And so the idea of pulling off the same idea in a television pilot was born. It’s not something we’ve seen much (or any) of before on a traditional single-camera sitcom, besides the occasional flashback or flash-forward episodes. Even then, the logistics of three actors playing a single character is something most TV stars haven’t even had to fathom, but Me, Myself, and I’s cast is likely up to the challenge.
Moynihan’s older and younger counterparts are played respectively by TV veteran John Larroquette of Night Court fame, and Jack Dylan Grazer, who recently stole hearts as the hilarious and germophobic sass-master in this summer's wildly popular reboot of It. Moynihan told CBS Local though he obviously shares no screen time with the other actors playing Riley, they do have a system down to make sure their performances jive.
“It’s hard because we’re never on camera together, but we’re all playing the same person, so we try to meet up beforehand and have a couple little nods to the fact that we’re playing the same person,” the actor said. “A couple little gestures or some mannerisms that we all do the same.”
Whether audiences are watching teenage Riley deal with girls at school, a dissolving marriage, or the stresses of finally achieving professional success, this cast is solid, the execution is fresh, the producers seem ready to tackle this intriguing premise.