'The Good Guys': Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford Talk About Their New Cop Comedy

Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford in the Good Guys
Photo from FOX
So what will you be watching tonight?

You could catch Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks in the premiere of Fox's The Good Guys. The cop comedy centers on Jack Bailey (Hanks), a young, snarky by-the-book type whose bad attitude gets him partnered with drunken has-been Dan Stark (Whitford), a former big-shot who spends his time mentally revisiting his glory days. We caught up with the jokers to talk mustaches, cop shows, and why you should spend a warm summer Monday inside watching TV.


Colin, did your dad (Tom Hanks) offer any advice on doing the buddy comedy thing?

Colin: No, because I'm not wearing a dress. I'm carrying a gun, so there really wasn't a lot of TV advice he gave. It's sort of a different spectrum.

Bradley, you rock a pretty interesting mustache on the show. Back story?

Whitford: The big old thing? I guess I'm more proud of that than anything -- whether it's anything I've done professionally, my children, anything -- really, my ability to grow facial hair. Look, a cop with a mustache, a cop with a bright future behind him with a mustache -- it seems like an absolute requirement going into this. And the attention it's getting -- I'm jealous of the mustache. 

The show works a sort of old-school detective show vibe. Were you a fan of those?

Whitford: Well, Colin emerged from the womb a lot more recently than me.

Hanks: So you watched Leave It to Beaver and I watched CHiPs, is that what you're implying?

Whitford: I watched Jake and the Fat Man. That's like those buddy sort of cop shows of that era, like that's definitely the vibe. That's like the template for a little bit of our show. A flavor, if you will. It fits well in that canon, but I think we also have our own twists that make the show unique, and more importantly ours is a comedy. I mean, we're blowing stuff up and chasing bad guys, but this is much more of a comedy than any of those shows were. It's sort of poking fun in a homage-y kind of way.

It's summer. Kids should be outside playing -- in theory anyway. Why should families stay inside watching The Good Guys?

Hanks: Air conditioning is pretty sweet.

Whitford: I would just say there's nothing more important than for families to stop talking to each other and stare at the television.

Hanks: I'm with Brad on that one!

Whitford: Yes, there's way too much connecting going on out there. Watch some TV, America.

What was it that attracted you to these characters?

Whitford: Lusty, unhinged, post-alcoholism. This guy is operating from his kind of reptilian brain. There was a playwright I worked with who said the most interesting people were people who'd given up on actually attaining what they thought they were going to attain in life. And when you have a guy who sort of has realized he loves what he does but Plan A is definitely not going to work, he's really sort of open to anything. It's just a lot of fun. It's a blast.

Hanks: For me, a lot of the stuff I end up reading for is the same guy surrounded by a bunch of crazy people, and this was not that dynamic. This was much more of a two-hander between two guys who are both equally flawed for very, very different reasons. And more importantly, Jack was the guy who talked back. It wasn't just him reacting all the time to, "Why are you so crazy? Why can't you be normal?" Jack actually has an attitude towards Dan sometimes, and he lets Dan know when he's not happy. I like being able to read a character who actually stands up for himself.

You guys have great chemistry.

Whitford: I felt [it] with Colin the moment he walked in the room at the audition. I said, "Oh God, I know this guy." I felt totally comfortable with this guy and he felt like an old friend.

Hanks: We're laughing a lot throughout the course of the day. Even on the long, 16-hour days, there's still going to be a laugh somewhere and that really helps when you're making a comedy.

Whitford: I do want to add, though, that the one really painful thing was when Colin ran off and got married. I don't think I've ever experienced betrayal like that.

Hanks: Well, I'm making it up to you. I'm spending my honeymoon with you, Bradley. So you know, sorry baby, I'm back. Don't worry!

In the mood for some laughs? Catch Hanks and Whitford on The Good Guys, tonight at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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