By Betsy Abraham and Dave Gil de Rubio
Life is filled with milestones—first steps, graduations, weddings, births. And a new CBS comedy is taking a closer look at the moments that shape us, or more specifically, the ones that have shaped Alex Riley.
Me, Myself and I examines the pivotal moments in one man’s life over three distinct periods. Viewers watch as 14-year-old Alex (played by Jack Dylan Grazer) moves to Los Angeles with his mom and new stepdad in 1991, and then as the 40-year-old version of himself (played by Bobby Moynihan) reinvents himself in 2017 after his wife leaves him and threatens to take their daughter away. In 2042, at 65, Alex (this time played by John Larroquette) is a successful businessman who has to reinvent himself again, after suffering a minor heart attack.
Viewers follow these three versions of Alex as he navigates through middle school, young love, fatherhood and retirement. The show begs the question: what would you do differently if you knew then, what you know now?
“Relax,” said Moynihan, when asked what advice he would give to his 14-year-old self. “And make sure you’re sticking to your guns. Your passion and the stuff you love, follow that.”
The show is Moynihan’s first after leaving Saturday Night Live (SNL), a gig he held for nine years. The coveted role saw him donning the likeness of well-known figures such as Andrea Bocelli, Danny DeVito, Bill Belichick and Ted Cruz, as well as debuting original characters like Drunk Uncle and Riblet. While SNL had Moynihan in wigs and costumes, impersonating public figures and doing physical gags, Me, Myself and I allows the actor to showcase a different side of himself.
“There’s moments when I’m messing around with Jaleel White [who plays Darell on the show] and that’s my time to improvise and be closer to the Bobby people know from SNL,” Moynihan said. “But there’s a lot of scenes when I get to act and be a grown-up with feelings, instead of putting on a diaper and doing something weird.”
As he heads into life after SNL, Moynihan said he finds himself in a similar situation as the character he plays on the show, as he begins to reinvent himself professionally.
“SNL was my life’s dream. I went through it like a kid in space camp. I’m really proud of my time there and now I’m in this sitcom world and it’s really different,” said Moynihan. And while the show packages his humor in a different way, it still gives him the freedom to live out his dream. “I’m still that kid who wanted to be funny and make people laugh and I’m still getting to do that. Now I’m getting to do that in a different format. I wasn’t expecting to be on a sitcom…but I feel like I picked the perfect one for me.”
For Larroquette, who currently stars as Jenkins on The Librarian, the appeal of Me, Myself and I was the people involved with the project. The veteran actor said he’s a fan of Moynihan’s, but pointed out that the format of the show doesn’t lend itself to the actors playing Alex working on scenes together.
“When I read the scripts, it seemed like an interesting if not difficult thing to pull off—three actors playing the same character over the span of half a century to make it all relevant and to tie it all together between the 14-year-old, the 40-year-old and the 65-year-old and how a life evolves,” Larroquette said.
Calling himself a “fan at heart,” Moynihan said that the show’s writing, which switches effortlessly from funny to heartwarming, will keep audiences watching.
“The writing staff is phenomenal,” said Moynihan. “The episodes are really funny and endearing and I’m really fantastically happy with the direction of the show.”
Me, Myself and I premieres on CBS Monday, Sept. 25 at 9:30 p.m.