I spoke to the creators of the critically acclaimed series, “Teachers”, Katy Colloton and Katie O’ Brien. Both women star in, write, produce, and show run this female-driven comedy, whose third season recently premiered on June 5th. “Teachers” airs Tuesdays on TV Land at 10:30 pm.
The Knockturnal: What can fans of your show expect from season three?”
Katy O’Brien: This season tried to push things a little further. We broadened our world, brought in new characters. We have Patricia Belcher playing Mavis, the school secretary. We have Ryan Hansen playing the ‘Principle Friend’. We visit the local school council more often. We tried to explore that area; the administrative part of it. And then personally, all the characters are each kind of–we tried to explore a new side for my character Miss Snap. She’s on a mission to try to become a better person and of course, it backfires. The latest episode she goes to volunteer with a couple of patients, and she decides to give them all makeovers because she wants to make them look like a cold dead fish. So we’re kind of just trying to show different sides between the characters and explore new areas of the teaching world.
The Knockturnal: Could you speak a bit about your creative process going into this season?
Katie Colloton: It’s kind of an interesting season because we’re doing stuff we’ve always wanted to do, but you know felt we maybe needed a bit more time to just do it, so the creative process has been great. I feel like this show got more fun, and wacky. This season we came in with a lot of, like I said before, things that we’ve been wanting to do for a while. For instance, later in season three, we are going to be doing an episode all about gun control and we’re matching gun control with a bear. A neighbor moves in across the street who owns a bear and so the teachers, are like do you think it’s safe fora bear to live across the street and everything kind of masks gun control. A lot of stuff in this season that we’ve been wanting to do for two seasons but didn’t feel like it was quite the right time. There’s a lot of stuff we’re exploring now that we’re really excited about.
The Knockturnal: What’s the dynamic like between you two?
Katy O’Brien: The show was started by an improv group that Katie did. We’ve been getting to know improv performers from Chicago that have known each other for ten years so you know I think this show has transitioned us from being really close friends to at this point we’re a family because we’re together 24/7, writing, acting and producing the show. This is really fun to go through this process with friends to have people to share the experience with and struggle. We don’t always know what we’re doing, but it’s nice to be able to share that with people you really care about.
The Knockturnal: You guys do pretty much every aspect of the show; you write, you act, you produce, and you show run. What for you guys is the most difficult part of making Teachers?
Katie Colloton: I think the most difficult part is just–it’s a really wonderful process and it’s really rewarding but it’s a lot of time and when you wear so many hats there are so many really wonderful things that come along with it; so much say and you have so much control, but with all that comes, this inner responsibility that you’re like, “oh my gosh, this is my baby and I want it to be great.” I think there’s a lot of pressure to make sure the show is great and make sure that it’s something you’re really proud of, but at the same time it’s so much fun and I think you feel so lucky to go to work every day with your best friend and laugh and pitch these crazy fun ideas and have a network support us and really push it. And so it’s really just wonderful.
The Knockturnal: What makes this project very special to you?
Katy O’Brien:We’ve been a part of it from the beginning, you know we started as an improv sketch group and it was like six or seven years ago that we first started talking about doing a web series together and the idea of Teachers came up because of a friend, Matt Miller, who’s now an executive producer of the show. We really started this journey with just a basic idea and then we kind of developed our own characters, and then with the web series I kind of thought well this is a great experience were worked really hard and it was so much fun, but that’s probably it. So it was kind of a dream come true to get the series order and now you know, three weeks later and at the end of this season they’ll be 50 episodes and it just feels special and unique that we have this opportunity and specifically to be able to do this opportunity with friends. So every part of Teachers is very special to us.
The Knockturnal: Do either of you have a favorite episode from this season?
Katie Collation: I think my favorite episode might be the one that’s airing tonight, ‘Bookfair’. Lennon Carl plays a children’s book author coming to school and Miss Snap decides that she wants to become a children’s author herself so she could provide “The Word of Snap”. She tries really hard but struggles with the right message. She doesn’t know how to write a woman without a man, in her mind that’s impossible. It’s a really fun episode because there’s a good message behind it, but we also have a plot involving the moving hunks which is just a group of men that move furniture that are incredibly attractive, so there’ll be a lot of scenes from them and is just following the guys around basically ogling at them. It kind of has everything; it has a good message, it’s goofy, there’s classic humor, there’s intelligent humor. It kind of has a good mix of everything in that episode.
The Knockturnal: If you could have one person guest star on Teachers who would it be, and what do you think you would you have them do?
Katie Colloton: Oh my God there’s so many. Obviously, because we’re such a female-driven show anybody like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler would be amazing. I think my dream dream though would to be to have Christopher Guest play like an aloof groundskeeper where, I don’t know something’s wrong with him, but he’s like my ultimate ultimate, he’d be like my dream guest.
Katy O’Brien:Yeah there’s a bunch of people I’d love to have on the show. I’d love to have Molly Shannon play a fun mom or a crazy teacher. Maybe Chelsea Handler, I really love her comedy I think she’d be really funny as a parent who won’t put up with anything.