Why It's Always Sunny's Glenn Howerton Hasn't Felt Pressured While Making NBC's A.P. Bio

ap bio jack smiling glenn howerton

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Dennis Reynolds and A.P. Bio's Jack Griffin are relatively terrible people that, on paper, don't deserve our attention. However, star Glenn Howerton's ever-present charm and charisma is palpable enough fans can't stop-won't stop cheering on both of them. Though Howerton's time on NBC's high school comedy A.P. Bio has been somewhat fraught with fan-concern over his Always Sunny fate, don't expect to see the actor stressing about any of the pressure.

Speaking with CinemaBlend's Jeff McCobb and other outlets at a recent NBC press event, Glenn Howerton talked about living a mostly pressure-free life (at least in terms of career paths). Though he initially says he doesn't know why he feels that way, he soon breaks it all down accordingly.

I have to be honest with you. I've never felt any pressure at all, and I don't know why. I think, for one, I've never had anything but total support from everybody in my life who I care about, from my wife to my parents to Rob, Charlie, Kaitlin and Danny, who have supported every aspect of this. I needed to take a little bit of a step back from Sunny, because I needed to do other things creatively, and they were never – I mean, they were sad to see me go, as I wasn't as involved in the writing process last year on Sunny – but they've never been anything but totally supportive of that process. The entire process of doing Sunny was the three of us – me, Rob and Charlie – from the beginning, all the way through Season 13, always doing what we thought was funny. And after 13 years of doing that, and knowing that there's a certain segment of the population that agrees that what I think is funny is funny, I just kinda trust my instincts now.

People can say whatever cynical things they want about the power of positive attitudes and optimism, but that approach can clearly work wonders with some people. Had It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia been created under less organic circumstances, where Glenn Howerton might be working with less familiar people who preferred money and fame over comedic quality, he might've been in a completely different position right now. The show probably wouldn't have lasted 13 seasons, but still.

Plus, tempers could have flared up quite easily among Glenn Howerton's friends and colleagues surrounding his choice to step back from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to look for a new show. And for what it's worth, lots of fans did expectedly flip out whenever it was announced Howerton had landed A.P. Bio on NBC, since his comedy was seemingly more fit for cable audiences.

However, now that A.P. Bio is in its second season, which followed the actor's official return for It's Always Sunny Season 13, fans are pumped just to have him around every week. In fact, A.P. Bio has managed to increase its total viewership in Season 2 in each week since its March 7 premiere, jumping from 1.88 million viewers to Episode 4's 2.4 million. The boost in the key 18-49 age demographic (0.5 to 0.6) isn't quite as big, but the show also does well in delayed viewing stats.

Here, Glenn Howerton lays it out there that at this point in his career, he understands that the key to the job is more about keeping oneself satisfied and interested, as opposed to trying to create things that appeal to others.

So even though I was kinda stepping out on my own and am the lead of A.P. Bio, I just do my thing and trust that it's gonna work. And if it doesn't work, I'll quit. The thing is, I think, as an artist, you have to do you. Otherwise, you're doing an approximation of something. You're doing something else. You're doing what you think people are gonna like...never works. So I just do what I think works.

You gotta love the conviction of a TV actor who admits that they'll walk out of a job if it's one that doesn't appeal to their creative interests. After all, Hollywood is a place where fame and fortune are mighty influences that keep some people stuck in jobs and roles that they'd much rather be free from.

Glenn Howerton told us a bit more about coming into his own when it comes to gaining confidence about his own career-centered opinions.

I do what I think is best when it comes to writing, when it comes to acting, and I just hope that people like it. But my barometer is usually whether I like it, or the people that I trust around me; if they like it, then I know it's good.

While A.P. Bio is now getting into its early groove, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has remained one of TV's most consistently brilliant and well-acted comedies (or any TV genre, really) for well over a decade. FX and FXX likely aren't pulling the plug anytime soon, either, so...the implication...is that we'll be witnessing Dennis Reynold's glorious narcissistic rage for as long as Glenn Howerton is amused by it.

Speaking of things he's amused by, here's Howerton talking about going "nude" for NBC, from a chat I had with him last year for Season 1.

You know, the temptation is always there to get in extraordinarily good shape whenever you have to. And look, I'm a human being, and I have an ego, and I want to look my best on camera. But the truth is, this guy would not be in good shape. He's eating TV dinners and he's getting hammered every single night before bed. So he has to look like a little bit of a slob, so you know, I stuck the gut out a little bit and just kinda let it all hang. I'm cool with it, man. [laughs] You know, I don't think it's very funny to be in good shape. I think it's funnier to be in bad shape.

A.P. Bio airs on NBC on Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET, so be sure to be one of the many in the comedy's growing audience.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.