We need to thank Max Mutchnick and David Kohan for creating one of the greatest shows to ever run – Will & Grace. For those of you who have never seen it, we’re sorry, have you been living under a rock? It’s on Netflix and NBC so it’s time for you to binge watch eight (and thanks to the new reboot, nine) seasons of wit, humor, friendship, love, loyalty, ambition, and more. Trust us, you’re going to love this show. And that’s exactly why we’ve decided to string together 15 little known facts about one of America’s greatest shows.
What was the inspiration behind Will & Grace? Take a guess! Okay, okay, we’ll tell you. Producer Max Mutchnick based it on a real-life friendship of his. Before Mutchnick finished college, he had dated Janet Eisenberg and the duo remained close friends. That’s all it took to create one of TV’s most successful series with gay principal characters.
The amazing Debra Messing plays Grace Adler, a Jewish straight interior decorator who loves food. And guys, she’s iconic in this role. Producers desperately wanted Messing to play Grace even though she was starring in Prey at the time. Just what did it take to finally convince Messing to take the part? Vodka, and lots of it. “They poured me several shots, we spoke for several hours and they pitched me the show,” Messing revealed to New York Daily News. “I’m a lightweight. I didn’t need much to be a little giddy.” The very next day, Messing accepted the part.
Megan Mullally, AKA Karen Walker, had initially auditioned for the role of Grace. Oh man, could you imagine what that would have looked like? Mullally was rather hesitant to audition for Karen as she felt the role of playing a boozy socialite was too familiar. “[Then] I looked at it again and thought I could put sort of a new twist on it, where it would be quirky and different. So I went back in and I got the part,” she said to the A.V. Club. And we’re so glad that she did.
Back in 2014, if you were at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, you could have seen Will & Grace scripts, footage, and props in their LGBTQ collection.
Remember Nathan? He was Grace’s long-term boyfriend, Woody Harrelson portrayed him. Well, it turns out that Nic Offerman (Megan Mullally’s then boyfriend and now husband) almost landed the part. Although he did make a cameo in the season four Thanksgiving episode as a plumber.
Will & Grace Rewards
After the first season was so widely successful, NBC decided to treat its cast members. And not just with any bonus either, they gave Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally convertible Porsche Boxsters. “You can’t imagine how mind-f**ked we were. It was awesome,” said Mullally.
For a while, NBC were throwing around the idea of giving Karen Walker her own spinoff. However after the Friends spinoff, Joey, tanked, they chose not to pursue the idea. Don’t worry, Megan Mullally ended up with her own talk show for a year instead. Win-win, we suppose.
Something To Show For It
In total, Will & Grace has earned 51 awards! And guys, they earned 83 Primetime Emmy Awards, where they won 16 of them. Yeah, just let that sink in. Moreover, out of the four main cast members, Sean Hayes has received the most award recognition with 44 nominations. Megan Mullaly achieved 40 nominations with Debra Messing at 36 and Eric McCormack received 28. (All of the award totals are from the original eight seasons, we’re not including the reboot).
Just A Joke
In 2017, talk of reboot kicked off as a bit of joke. Creator Matt Mutchnick spoke to the main cast members about doing a 10-minute, election-themed skit. That was it! And in just 45 minutes, he had a concrete “yes” from every single original cast member.
And We’re Off
Going off the last fact, after everyone was so quickly on board, the development of doing a full-fledged reboot was immediately under way. After an eleven year hiatus, this was shocking news. Moreover, the original cast, original director, original producers, and the original network were all returning to pick up where they left off. And that’s not all, they renewed it for two more additional seasons after just the first table read. YEAHHH – there’s going to be plenty more Will & Grace gracing our television screens.
Before the reboot kicked off 100%, Debra Messing had just one request for the revival of Grace Adler. “The only thing that I asked for was that Grace be a feminist,” she explained. And if you’ve been watching, you would know that that’s exactly what happened. We suppose she wants Grace to grow as a character and seeing as how politically involved Messing is in real life, we’re not surprised.
Good Ol’ Will
The role of Will Truman almost went to John Barrowman, a Scottish-American actor, singer, presenter and writer. However Barrowman didn’t end up landing the role because he was “too straight,” and considering he’s gay in real life, that’s a pretty stunning fact to digest. As you know, Eric McCormack got the role and he’s straight in real life. What a mind twist.
If there’s one thing we love about Karen Walker, it’s her high pitched, nasally voice. But guys, Megan Mullally originally used her regular talking voice in the first episode. By episode two, the trademark Karen Walker talk was born and it wasn’t going anywhere.
Once in an interview, Megan Mullally revealed that when she found out she got the part of Karen Walker, she was overjoyed. So much so that as she left the NBC studio, she executed an illegal u-turn and was pulled over. However, she said it didn’t matter because she was on a brand new show! HAH.
There is no one quite like Jack McFarland. Like, at all. And that’s a fact we’re so happy about. But guys, here’s an even better one, Jack’s website www.justjack.com really does exist! Currently it redirects you to NBC’s Will & Grace website, however at the time of its creation, it was an actual website that was created by “Jack”. The site included pictures and even a letter that Rosario wrote to the I.N.S.