‘Party Down’ Almost Starred ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’s Cast
It’s the weekend, and if you’re not excited to see that new movie about a bear getting more snowblind than the last act of Scarface, you’re probably amped about the brand-new, 13-years-later season of Party Down hitting Starz right now. Bottoms up, people. The 2009-2010 show featuring Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch and a bunch of funny folks catering parties in L.A. when they’d rather be anywhere else is back and finally getting its due. And to think, it almost had a cast that didn’t feature two of the names above — one that actually more closely mirrored that movie where Steve Carell got his chest waxed.
During a forgotten reunion at the SF Sketchfest, it was revealed that the dream-chasing catering team would've been way different if co-creator and executive producer Paul Rudd got his first choices.
During the show’s development at HBO in the early aughts, Rudd himself wanted to play the role of Henry Pollard in the not-so-merry band of caterers that eventually went to Adam Scott. Meanwhile, Carell was the first choice for Ken Marino’s over-amped team leader role, Ronald Wayne, which was a typecast barely dodged by Carell if you really think about it. (If he would've been able to be Michael Scott on The Office while being locked into another show is a comedic alternate reality mind break.) Throw in the aforementioned Lynch still playing Constance Carmell, and it seems like the show would have had most of the ingredients of The 40-Year-Old Virgin years beforehand.
The only reason we didn’t get a Party Down cast filled with the actors who did that movie where Carell takes advice from some questionable friends was the fact that both Rudd and Carell’s careers skyrocketed at the time of development, meaning that they couldn’t fit the production schedule. Which is ironic, considering Starz canceled the two-season show in part because both Lynch and Scott ended up getting busy in their own careers.
At least the real actors behind Party Down had a successful ending, we guess.