Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Raising Hope mines the darkness for laughs

Greg Garcia says working with a baby on his series <em>Raising Hope</em> is a breeze. It’s octogenarian Oscar winner Cloris Leachman who can be a handful.

Greg Garcia says working with a baby on his series Raising Hope is a breeze. It’s octogenarian Oscar winner Cloris Leachman who can be a handful.

“I asked her to stop licking me and she said no to that,” laughs Garcia, who cast Leachman as the dotty great-grandmother in the new comedy.

“I’ve asked her to stop jumping on top of me. She said no to that. There are a lot of things that I’ve asked her to do that she says no.”

Raising Hope is Garcia’s latest foray into eccentric family sitcoms following his hit My Name Is Earl. The premise follows 20-year-old loser Jimmy (Lucas Neff) who – after a one-night stand with a serial killer – finds himself a father.

Mother, unfortunately, is executed for her crimes, leaving Jimmy with the newborn. Helping him out is an extended family headed by his mother Virginia (Martha Plimpton), who wasn’t all that great a child-raiser the first time around.

“I hadn’t been looking for a series regular gig. But I also wasn’t not looking for one,” says Plimpton, who has focused largely on the stage since a teen career that included the movies Goonies and Running on Empty.

“When I read it (Raising Hope), I just loved it. It actually made me laugh. And I thought this never happens, ever, so I better get on this.”

Plimpton says the character of Virginia comes off as tough, but there’s another side.

“She (Virginia) kind of doesn’t take any crap. But at the same time she’s got a really gooey, chewy, soft center. She’s a sucker for love.”

Garcia says the jet-black humor of Raising Hope occasionally comes from real life. The pilot features an already notorious scene involving a baby and a loose car seat.

“I’ve probably put the car seat in the car and driven somewhere and realized it wasn’t strapped in and thought – well, this could have been awful. Or it could have been hilarious.”

Disturbingly hilarious best describes Leachman’s character Maw Maw, who appears perpetually out-of-it. Plimpton says working with Leachman has proven to be an experience.

“This is a woman who can find 15 jokes in one-half a joke. She is fearless and basically willing to do anything for a gag and then some.”

 
 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles