‘Happy Together’ is the new show airing this fall on CBS. Based loosely on the living situation of the esteemed Harry Styles, the show stars Felix Mallard, Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West. When popstar Cooper James comes to live with couple Jake and Claire as their lives get turned upside down.
The Knockturnal: You guys have amazing chemistry. How did you guys develop that?
Damon Wayans Jr.: For me, her and I had worked previously on ‘New Girl’, we did an episode together.
Amber Stevens West: I did one episode, I was there for like three days.
Damon Wayans Jr.: We stayed in contact though! And she’s very easily to get along with, and I’m not that hard to get along with. So I think that combination, plus we like these characters, so I think we were set on making these characters work.
Amber Stevens West: Yeah, I mean, when you guest-star on a show, you don’t really stay in touch with them. You’re a guest and then they move on with their lives. So it was unique for us to stay in touch. We didn’t hang out or anything but it was enough that if I saw him out on the street I would say that he was my buddy. So when I found out that he was doing this show, and that I got it, I was really excited. We have similar work-ethic and get along really well.
The Knockturnal: You’re illustrated as a newly wed couple. It’s not entirely aspirational, it’s fun and they’re a pretty much the cool couple. What is your opinion on that?
Damon Wayans Jr.: I like it. I like that they enjoy each other’s company. They’re not at each other’s throats; we just like to hang out. And I think a lot of people are going to relate to that. It’s a lot like my relationship and its a lot like her’s, so I love it.
Amber Stevens West: It’s not a new concept to marry someone that you like. We just haven’t seen it on TV for a while. People like to like to see them head-to-head and deal with a conflict, but that’s not the only way to show a fun story. They’re on the same team and they battle through the same silly predicaments together. It’s them, not versus Cooper, but showing the contrast of the age gap between them. And that’s where the comedy is.
Damon Wayans Jr.: A lot of it is showing us trying to fix something within our relationship. Cooper is kinda the catalyst and he’ll present us something we could work on together, or our parents.
The Knockturnal: How do you relate to your character?
Amber Stevens West: I’m basically playing myself. I really do feel that way. I’m a total nerd and tell stupid jokes with my husband. We dance around, and it would be embarrassing if anyone saw us. But that’s what’s refreshing about this, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You should find someone you can do all of that stupid stuff with.
The Knockturnal: What is the atmosphere on set?
Damon Wayans Jr.: The work schedule is great, so we’re not exhausted. It’s new and we have the energy to make this work.
Amber Stevens West: It’s very vibrant and positive.
The Knockturnal: How would you describe ‘Happy Together’ in three words?
Damon Wayans Jr.: Feel good television. Oh snap!
Amber Stevens West: That was very good! If you’re having a bad day, I think it’s a very feel good. It’ll make you smile and giggle. The relationship that all of these characters have is genuine and fun. We just have kindness in our hearts.
The Knockturnal: What about the musical aspect of it?
Damon Wayans Jr.: This is a full-blown musical! Didn’t you know!?
Amber Stevens West: I don’t know if we’re going to include a lot of that. I’ve sang on the show a lot. They just have a lot of fun showing my character being such a fan of singing and music and thinking what Copper does is so cool. Thats been great. I don’t know if they will show more of that.
The Knockturnal: What about the genre of comedy attracts you to it?
Amber Stevens West: It’s fun!
Damon Wayans Jr.: I like the live audience aspect of it. It was the first time for me performing in front of a crowd… well, scripted because I do stand-up. It’s almost like doing a play.
Amber Stevens West: It’s like instant gratification. Being able to make someone laugh and smile is the best feeling, but to get that feedback instantly is amazing. It’s fun and it keeps you on your toes.
The Knockturnal: Does it make it easier to remember lines in front of a live audience?
Damon Wayans Jr.: Absolutely. You lock in.
Amber Stevens West: I think so. It helps with the pressure. It reminds me a lot of auditions. Nowadays, well I hate self tapes and you don’t get that instant reaction.
The Knockturnal: What are your hopes for the show?
Amber Stevens West: That everyone watches it and it’s on forever. That we do many more seasons and people really enjoy it and that we have fun!
The show premieres Monday, Oct. 1 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.