Frank Reynolds: 15 Fascinating Facts
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Each member of the gang has proven at one point or another that they’re all human garbage, but as you’ll see in this list, Frank might lead that charge till they throw his lifeless corpse in the trash (his request).
His first appearance was in Season 2, Episode 1: “Charlie Gets Crippled”.
In Frank’s first appearance, he’s still somewhat put together. He has neat, combed hair, small glasses, and dressy shirts.
While Dennis is drunk-driving to the strip club, he’s spooked by Frank in the parking lot, and Dennis hits Charlie with his Range Rover. At the hospital, Frank explains to his Dee and Dennis in characteristic fashion that their mother is a wh*re, and they are getting a divorce. He also tells them that he is giving all his money to charity and starting a new life.
Dennis and Dee storm off, so Mac and Charlie take Frank to a strip club, for their first of many adventures.
He repurposed “Shabooyah Roll Call”.
He’s putting his filthy little warthog spin on it.
The term originated in the 1996 Spike Lee film Get on the Bus, and it was used as a rap or cheer for introducing people.
It’s also referenced in Bring It On: All or Nothing and The Office, but Frank’s usage of his now-signature phrase is meant to not-so-subtly show interest in women with large breasts.
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Frank saved the show.
DeVito or Die.
The show’s brief seven-episode first season had low ratings, and FX said the show could continue with a second season if they attracted a “name” to then attract an audience.
Luckily, Danny DeVito was friends with FX’s Chairman, John Landgraf, and his kids were fans of the show.
He met with Rob McElhenney, who said, “Danny kept asking all of these questions, and I was really winging it with the character. After about half an hour, he thanked me and I left. It wasn’t 10 or 15 minutes before I got a call from Landgraf saying Danny was in”.
Frank has haunting childhood memories.
Well that came out of nowhere.
In season 8, episode 5, "The Gang Gets Analyzed”, Frank reveals that as a kid, he opened up to a therapist and ended up "shanghaied to a nitwit school."
Soon Frank is crying as he remembers his first love - a girl who was "always smiling” because she had no lips." And how his first girlfriend died two weeks after his first kiss, because "she thought she was a spaceman with a plastic bag for a helmet.”
Then in season 10, episode 3, “Psycho Pete Returns”, Frank discovers the sanitarium where he was sent as a child, and becomes obsessed with finding his old friend “Froggy, The Frog Kid." He learns the truth that he was the Frog Kid the whole time.
Danny DeVito almost drowned on set.
Oh yeah… weights are heavy.
In the season 11 finale, "The Gang Goes to Hell: Part Two”, the gang holds hands underwater, and DeVito needed to be weighed down so he would sink.
Charlie Day said, “Danny's incredibly buoyant, like a buoy. And when the shot was over and we were all trying to get back to the surface for air, we all quickly got through the water, but because we weighed him down, he sort of got halfway and was going nowhere. And that look of panic in his eyes of like, 'This is the end, these guys killed me.’"
During an interview with Extra, he remembered the scene positively. "It was a good experience. I have lived a good life and it flashed before my eyes in that scene."
Frank spends his fortune on ridiculous things.
The Lamborghini is one thing but…
A capitalist at heart, Frank invested in a fracking venture, and he actually donated a lot of money to an animal rights organization just so he could get invited to their dinner where he could unload on them.
He also invests in Fight Milk, the disgusting shake that Charlie and Mac develop that ends up being a way for fighters to purge their bodies of excess weight.
For season 2, Danny DeVito was only available for 20 days of filming, so all ten episodes worth of Frank Reynolds footage was shot in that brief window.
That’s a busy few weeks.
It does make for some epic plot lines.
Fan theories put his net worth at about $50 million, but DeVito said, "I think that’s a conservative estimate. If you want to be honest about it, I love my peeps, and I do give a lot. I am a socialist, basically, in Sunny. I support the bar, I support the gang, whatever they need. Even if it’s a prank, I’ll hire a private plane.”
Danny Devito has improvised some great moments.
Frank’s loose, so Danny has to be too.
Like any great comedic actor, Danny DeVito enjoys riffing ridiculous lines and making his co-stars burst into laughter.
A notable classic is in season 4’s "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest", where he improvises the line, "the clothes off pose off”.
He got a bit embarrassed during “the couch scene”.
It was pretty greasy.
In season 6's "A Very Sunny Christmas", Frank infamously emerges from a leather couch completely nude.
In an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, he said, ”I figure it's going to be fine, but you don't realize that you're gonna be in a cocktail party with like a hundred people you've never seen before. I had to come out of that couch like four or five times, so the first take I come out of the couch hot, hot, hot and there's a clip on YouTube you can see where she's looking at me like ... I had to go back in the couch!”
He’s wealthy but lives less than humbly.
Despite Frank’s wealth, he willfully lives in squalor with Charlie. They sleep together on a bed bug-ridden pull out couch, which lead to a full-episode argument over who pooped the bed.
Frank gives himself pedicures with his “toe knife”, and he and Charlie urinate into open coffee cans. Luckily, he has Charlie there to grab the “blood bucket” when he nicks himself with the toe knife.
Frank isn’t actually any of the gang’s father.
All that fatherhood talk for nothin’.
Frank has always been thought of as Dennis and Dee’s dad, but he isn’t actually their biological father, just their legal guardian. Their real father, Bruce Mathis, popped up in earlier seasons.
In the season 2 finale, “Dennis and Dee Get a New Dad”, it was revealed that Frank had a one-night-stand with Charlie’s mother, and is possibly Charlie’s father.
While it has been referenced several times over the years, the show had never made a serious effort to solve the mystery of Charlie’s dad, until season 15’s “The Gang’s Still in Ireland” finally revealed that Charlie’s old pen pal Shelley Kelly was actually Charlie’s long-lost father.
Frank is a compulsive gambler.
Usually with his chain smoking, high-stakes betting ring of Vietnamese friends, Frank bets on absolutely everything.
In season 2, episode 9, Frank, Dennis, and Mac transform Paddy's into an "anything goes" bar, but Dennis ends up calling the cops after a man shoots himself during Frank’s game of Russian roulette.
He frequently exploits, insults, and assaults his “children”.
He really loves Charlie though. Who doesn’t?
Like the rest of the gang, Frank is especially cruel to Dee, and constantly pokes fun at her age and appearance.
Frank will do (almost) anything.
The writers have made the veteran actor do everything from smother himself in hand sanitizer to getting locked in a dog cage, and Danny DeVito prides himself on never saying no to a request.
For the first time ever, DeVito had to reject one of the show's propositions. As an April Fools prank, the writers sent him a fake script where Frank goes to prison, gets repeatedly assaulted, and joins a white supremacist gang.
Glenn Howerton said, “And we sent him the script for April Fools Day and made it look all legit. And that was the first time he called us and was like, 'I can't do this guys.'”
Top Image: 3 Arts Entertainment & FX Productions