The Last Man on Earth (LMOE) is a hilarious new show about a man living in a world where the majority of the human race has been wiped out by a mysterious virus. As Will Forte, the star of the show, points out, the title only implies the show’s premise as a whole. If you’ve watched The Last Man on Earth, then you are well aware that there are other characters (not just the balls with faces drawn on them). So maybe a more accurate title would be, “One of The Last Men on Earth,” but such a title would not be as true to the metaphors and themes portrayed in the series. As intriguing as the premise is, some of the key elements of the show that make it so different and entertaining are its humor and its performances. Will Forte and Kristen Schaal are hysterical on screen together and, with the writing and creative direction of Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the show makes for an unstoppable and revolutionary new sitcom.
The LMOE panel at 2015 San Diego Comic-Con featured creator Chris Miller, and cast members Forte, Schaal, and January Jones. It is clear that the humor and chemistry seen on the show is as seemingly natural for the cast and creators on screen as it is off-screen.
The panel began with a 5 minute promotional clip focusing on Phil, played by Forte, in a dream sequence envisioning who Schaal’s character will be. Phil starts calmly singing the theme song from Ghostbusters and the music begins to take over the entire clip showing various highlights from the first season which made the audience laugh with joy.
- After the clip, Kristin dos Santos from E! News came up to the stage to be our moderator and introduced the panelists.
- Show co-creator, Chris Miller was the first to walk up to the stage. January Jones followed behind him as the audience applauded. Kristen Schaal then ran out waving to everybody and the audience went wild. Will Forte came onto the stage last and the audience roared with excitement.
- Dos Santos then explained that in honor of the margarita pool (one of the show’s popular inventions), she had brought the panel mimosas. Forte grabbed the champagne bottle and started to open it, exclaiming, “Where should I aim it?…Okay everyone open your eyes.” Forte popped the champagne open. Schaal then addresses the audience, “If you guys wanna just make a line and come up here, there’s a whole bottle so I’m sure we could all get just a little bit.” Laughter ensues.
- When prompted about what would be in store for the next season, Forte said he was not even sure if he will be in the show. Miller said, “It does feel like it would be rude to bring January here if she were not coming back.” Schaal chimed in, “Yeah, like this would be a great time to tell her. But you can’t be too emotional because it would be like being in a restaurant breaking up with someone.” The crowd loves Schaal.
The panel is then asked “where” Season 2 will start off. Schaal responds, “Either the Earth or in space.” Forte says, “moving away from Tuscan…(long pause)…and that’s it!” He seems pleased with himself. We all laugh.
- Dos Santos then asks, “Can you tell us anything about Jason Sudeikis?” Forte responds, “He is 36 years old…(audience snickers)…Jason Sudeikis will play a part in the upcoming season.” Audience applauds. Forte shoots out, “It might be flashbacks!”
- Forte is sporting a full, shaggy beard as he did in the earlier part of the first season. He states, “The beard is definitely back.”
- When asked what it is like keeping show secrets for LMOE vs her other show, Mad Men, Jones responded, “The same.” The short answers are becoming frequent in this panel but they are funny.
- When asked about being a woman on the show, Schaal answered, “Well originally in the first two episodes I was the only woman so I was just excited to represent my gender.” (“Woos” from the audience.) She went on to say, “Yes just femininity, just like reeking of it, that’s why I got cast.” Everyone is cracking up. Schaal continued, “And getting to act with Forte has been a real honor but I just don’t feel like kissing his butt this morning,” adding she already has to do it “every day.”
- In the final episode, Forte’s character, Phil sings a song called “Screw the Moon” that he wrote for Schaal’s character, Carol. It’s one of the more tender moments of the show. At the panel, we learned that Mary Steenburgen, who is a guest star in later season 1 episodes, actually composed the song. It was a fun surprise.
Forte and Schaal talked about how the relationship between their characters, Phil and Carol, consists of a lot of funny bickering but that, at the end of the day they really do love each other. “They drive each other crazy but they do care for each other,” Forte added.
- Schaal nodded in agreement, “Yeah! There’s a bond there!”
- Jones discussed that she feels that the relationship between her character, Melissa, and her love interest, Todd is “super sweet and very genuine.” Forte jumped in with, “It’s a sweet relationship and it’s really too bad that both the characters are dead.” The audience roared.
- And, yes, we did get to discuss Star Wars… Kind of; “Chris, I have to work this in,” dos Santos warned, “Congratulations on the new Hal Solo spin-off movie.”
- The audience went crazy. In case you haven’t heard, Chris Miller and Phil Lord will be making the new Han Solo prequel film.
- Miller joked that, with Forte’s crazy beard, he looks like he should be auditioning for the role of Chewbacca.
- Schaal teased that she heard that Miller is going to cast a member of the band, One Direction.
- “Oh yeah!” Miller said sarcastically. “All of those rumors are super true, super true.”
- Dos Santos asked Miller and Forte how they felt when they first began LMOE. Miller joked that they were sure that it would fail and Forte added, “I’ve never done anything that people watched!”
- Everyone laughed. Later on, they discussed that they feel very grateful to work with their friends on a project that they really care about. “To get to do something like this with your friends, it doesn’t get better,” Forte said. He said that the writing staff is “filled with wonderful people,” some of whom he has known and been working with since the 90s.
Dos Santos gave a large ball to each panelist, asking them draw someone they would want to be stuck on Earth with in 2030: Miller draws Kermit; Forte draws a collage-type figure which he explains has the face of Miller and the breasts of Schaal, among other things; Schaal draws Han Solo; Jones draws another ball on the ball; everyone laughed.
- In the beginning of the series, Forte’s character, Phil, is seen watching Tom Hanks in a scene from Cast Away. The ball friends that Phil has made for himself were clearly inspired by Wilson. Dos Santos asked if they have considered asking Tom Hanks to guest star. The answers were ambiguous. Forte only said that he got to meet Hanks once and thanked him for letting them use the footage. Then, he jokingly added, “He’s definitely going to be on the show.”
- Schaal talked about her character; she said that she sees Carol as “an endearing little scrapper who has a lot of quirks and hang-ups.” She added that she loved having “two guys fight over” her. The audience laughed.
- Forte ended the panel with, “We have our path now and we’re excited and having fun and we hope you guys like it.”
- Miller added that they are trying to find ways to “keep changing the dynamic” and “keep people guessing.” He added that, “There is always a twist and a turn and you never quite know what to expect and the same will be true certainly for [Season 2].” (We can’t wait!)
- Sadly, we then ran out of time for an audience Q&A; the panel was having too much fun. The panel ended with them handing out Gary balls to the audience. It was a blast.
The Last Man on Earth returns to FOX on September 27th