The following piece contains mild SPOILERS regarding guest appearances in the early episodes of Future Man season 2. The interview excerpts are from roundtables that Flickering Myth staff writer Justin Cook took part in at October 2018’s New York Comic Con…
The Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-produced comedy Future Man returns for its second season on Hulu today, and we’re happy to report that it’s just as chock full of celebrity cameos as season 1.
The show’s first season saw Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), David Koechner (The Goldbergs), Jon Daly (Big Mouth) and more joining cast members Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson; season 2 continues the trend of enlisting talent from the world of comedy to indulge in some bawdy sci-fi fun.
When asked at New York Comic Con by Flickering Myth about how some of season 2’s guest appearances (or voices) came about, more specifically Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), Timothy Simons (Veep) and Kerri Kenney (Reno 911!), executive producer Goldberg and showrunner Ben Karlin revealed a common thread between most of the show’s cameos:
Goldberg: Tim [Simons], we just, have always wanted to get in here at some point. We just know Tim from other work.
Karlin: Friends, yeah Will’s a friend. It’s just asking friends for favors usually. That’s usually the fastest way.
Goldberg: I don’t think we’ll ever get a non-friend to do a part on the show. (Laughs)
Next, the question was posed if they’ve ever been flat-out turned down by a celebrity for a cameo role, to which Karlin emphatically replied, “Yes! Hundreds of people! Thousands! No. People are busy and you always, when you’re sitting around blue-skying who you’d love for roles, you want people who are the best and the best people are the busiest. We get rejected all the time. For everything. (Laughs) That’s OK, you try not to take it personally. I mean your friends usually don’t, if they can do it they’ll do it. (To Goldberg) Who was the guy we wanted for Vise… Martin Short, and he was on tour with Steve Martin… he turned us down hard.”
In season 2, the role of Vise ended up going to That ’70s Show alum Kurtwood Smith, who also starred in 1987’s RoboCop, a genre classic that the show has taken a few cues from in the past.
Future Man’s infatuation with ’80s and ’90s sci-fi culture naturally led the show in the direction of James Cameron’s house (literally) in season 1. The show’s James Cameron sendup, “Pandora’s Mailbox,” apparently caught the attention of the world-famous film director, who made a very specific request of the Future Man team. The showrunners shared the story:
Karlin: This is a hilarious James Cameron tale, which I have no problem sharing. His office reached out to us after season 1, and they wanted, I think, DVDs of the episodes.
Goldberg: Like a specific type… some specific, an HDR DVD or something.
Karlin: I guess it might have been because he was in New Zealand or something and maybe they don’t have access to the internet there… I don’t know. But he wanted DVDs. And we wrote him a loving letter, and we never heard back.
Future Man season 2 is available on Hulu right now, if you’re in the mood for an off-the-wall, nostalgia-inducing sci-fi adventure comedy with cameos and pop culture references galore!