The It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Moment That Defined Frank For Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito influenced Frank’s increasingly ridiculous characterization, believing that “pushing the envelope” was the funniest possible direction for the character. “I love when you throw me out of a window,” he explained on the podcast. “I love when I lose my memory. I love when I get, you know, caught in a coil. A port-a-potty or a coil in my underwear. Or slimed … If you look at the milestones of it, you can say, you know, when this happened to me and when that happened to me and when blah, blah, blah. You know, all the way down the line as a throughline for Frank’s character.” 

For Charlie Day, the period where Frank truly became Frank was “around the third or fourth season,” although he couldn’t quite pinpoint a specific moment. Fans themselves have had their own debates over this: Was it when Frank indirectly killed a guy via Russian Roulette in season 2? Was it in season 3’s “The Gang Gets Whacked” when Frank casually pimps out his son Dennis at a country club? Or was it in season 4’s “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” when he decides to waterboard his own daughter in the bathroom of Paddy’s Pub? I’d argue that Frank hadn’t fully become Frank until “A Very Sunny Christmas,” the season 5 episode where naked sweaty Frank burst out of a couch in the middle of a crowded office party. 

“I think that’s probably the most referenced — one of the most referenced moments of the show, period,” Rob McElhenny said about it, and everyone else on the podcast seemed to agree. “That was hysterical,” DeVito said. It was everything people have come to associate with Frank: unexpected, obscene, and done with total commitment to the bit.

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