Outside Projects From the ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Gang, Ranked

Because ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ doesn’t pay all the bills
Outside Projects From the ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Gang, Ranked

Sure, we’d all like to pretend that Paddy’s Pub is a real place run by actual lovable sociopaths, but that illusion is unfortunately constantly being shattered by other movies and TV shows featuring the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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Now with both Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day appearing in new movies this week — Blackberry and Fool’s Paradise, respectively — it seems like as good a time as any to sort out which non-Sunny project is each cast member’s best. Keep in mind, we’re only considering meatier roles here, not brief guest appearances. And so, the time Mac got beat up by Sawyer on Lost doesn’t count...

Glenn Howerton, ‘A.P. Bio’

The sadly short-lived NBC (and later Peacock) comedy A.P. Bio starred Howerton as a cocky Harvard professor whose life falls apart after he’s fired and forced to get a job teaching at his hometown high school. Howerton’s genuinely hilarious, having tons to play off of with comedy vets Patton Oswalt and Paula Pell. Meanwhile, his cast of students included several standouts like Aparna Brielle and Allisyn Snyder.

Kaitlin Olson, ‘The Mick’

Although it only lasted for two seasons, The Mick proved that Olson could (and should) lead her own TV show. Created for Olson by two It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia writers, she played a rough-around-the-edges aunt forced to look after her ultra-wealthy nieces and nephews after her sister was arrested by the feds. An imperfect but very funny show, it really deserved more time to spread its wings. (That's not a “Dee is a bird” joke.)

Charlie Day, ‘I Want You Back’

Day’s done a lot of solid movie work, from the Horrible Bosses films to his recent less-offensive-than-Chris-Pratt take on an Italian-American plumber in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. But we’d like to single out his work in I Want You Back, playing a desperate ex alongside Jenny Slate. If Day became a go-to rom-com guy, we wouldn’t have a single complaint.

Rob McElhenney, ‘Mythic Quest’

Mythic Quest’s Ian Grimm has a lot of Mac in him (the self-confidence and stupidity), but he also serves as a pointed commentary on the exasperating hubris of certain tech industry personalities. It’s a spot-on performance that seems to ring truer every time a tech and/or gaming head opens their mouth.

Danny DeVito, ‘Batman Returns’

This was a tough one. DeVito has turned in so many outstanding performances over the years, from Romancing the Stone to Matilda to Twins — hell, he’s even good in that ’70s sex van movie.

Maybe it’s our “horny sewer-dwelling mutant” bias, but we’re going to have to go with Batman Returns. A divisive movie, to be sure, but DeVito’s grotesque, Happy Meal-ruining characterization of The Penguin is one of the all-time great movie villains. He’s funny, scary and bites off the nose of an annoying yuppie in an effort to impress Jan Hooks.

He even “started blasting” with an umbrella gun. Other than an alcohol-infused ham, what more could anyone possibly want?

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