As a young kid, comedian and actor Will Sasso was inspired to get into the entertainment business just by simply watching television with his older siblings. Funny enough and little did he know, he would soon be plastered all over the big screen in films such as The Three Stooges and Super Troopers 2 and the small screen in numerous television shows including The Orville and MadTV.
“My involvement in the entertainment business came from me watching way too much television as a kid,” Sasso said, who said he draws inspiration from the likes of comedy legend John Candy. “I very early romanticized comedy and television and movies. My older sister and brother sort of had run of the TV, so I ended up seeing a lot of stuff that I didn’t get because I was too young, but it was all good stuff. It was early Saturday Night Live, SCTV and stuff like that.”
Sasso is now starring in his very own ABC sitcom United We Fall as dad and husband Bill Ryan. The family sitcom follows the trials and tribulations of Bill and his wife Jo (portrayed by Christina Vidal-Mitchell), who are parents of two young kids, as they try to make it day-to-day as a functioning family. Bill’s very judgmental live-in mother, Sandy Ryan, (portrayed by Jane Curtin) and Jo’s brother Chuy Rodriguez (portrayed by Guillermo Diaz) will never hesitate to let the couple know they’re seemingly screwing up, but Bill and Jo always have each others backs united against everyone.
“Bill is just a very mellow dude, pretty affable and is equal parts annoyed by his wife and what he has to do, and is comforted by his wife,” Sasso said about his character. “Bill is on the brink at all times of completely falling by the wayside and essentially not keeping a roof over their head, not keeping them clothed and fed, but somehow in the end they figure it out. Bill is at his wits end a lot, but at the center of it all, he’s a lovable guy and loving husband and father who has no idea what he’s doing.”
So what was it like working with the rest of the cast? Sasso said everyone clicked pretty instantly.
“When you have a good script, everyone really falls in, so we all got along immediately,” Sasso explained. “I will say the cast are all very sweet people. I got lucky. I’m very fortunate to be working with people whose company I truly enjoy and I hope they enjoyed mine. It was automatic. We felt it when we were shooting the pilot episode and by the end of the experience, we were like, ‘this feels like episode three or four’ and it was because of the great environment. As we were shooting it, we realized it was something for people to really enjoy right about now. When you’re doing that and you’re enjoying other people’s company it’s a pretty mellow experience.”
Sasso said the show is really open to interpretation when people tune in to watch.
“It’s a family show, so it’s a very relatable show for lots of different people,” he said. “I felt like I relate to it personally and other people that I’ve talked to who are close to the process will bring something up that they find relatable in the show, which is different from what I find in the show. And I think that when you have a show, obviously the subject matter here is this family and highlighting the differences within the family, between the characters, the fact that we still are family. I want people to come into it wanting to be entertained by a family show.”
Most might remember Sasso from Fox’s sketch comedy television series Mad TV, who appeared on seven seasons.
“That’s like impossible to choose my fondest memory,” Sasso said about his time on the show. “At the end of the day, we were having so much fun. It was late nights almost every day and every minute of it. There’s really no highlights. The whole show was one.”
And portraying various characters on the show, who could forget Paul Timberman’s Workshop?
“I think my favorite sketch to do was Paul Timberman’s Workshop,” Sasso recalled. “Those were really involved long sketches where we had to pick any number of fake limbs and with piping going up my sleeve with fake blood all over the set.”
Catch the series premiere of United We Fall on Wednesday July 15 for a one-hour premiere at 8 p.m. on ABC.