“Will & Grace” initially aired in 1998. The show ended in 2006 but was revived in 2017. Now, the hit sitcom is airing its 10th season.
In honour of the newest season, here are some surprising things you probably didn’t know about “Will & Grace.”
The show gets its name from a Jewish philosophy book.
The show is named “Will & Grace” after a concept from the Jewish philosophy book “I and Thou” by Martin Buber.
“Buber talks about how in order to have an ‘I-Thou’ relationship in the presence of the Eternal … one needs the ‘will’ to go after it and the ‘grace’ to receive it,” David Kohan, the show’s co-creator and producer told Jewish Journal.
Debra Messing wouldn’t take the role of Grace until she met the actor who was playing Will.
Eric McCormack had already been cast as Will on the series when Debra Messing was offered the role.
“I met with executive producers, and I was told that they had already cast Will,” Messing told CNN. “And I said, ‘I can’t sign on until I meet him,’ because this a show about, you know, friendship, and soul mates, and you can’t fake that.”
Everyone in the show’s main cast won an Emmy Award.
The sitcom made history by being one of three shows whose entire main cast was nominated for Emmys. Plus, each cast member also won the award.
The show also won the award for Best Comedy in 2000.
The role of Beverly Leslie was originally written for a woman.
The Beverly Leslie role was originally meant to be played by “Dynasty“ star, Joan Collins, Leslie Jordan told KPBS.
According to Jordan, after the actress heard she would need to have her wig ripped off, she declined the role.
Jordan, who ended up playing Beverly Leslie, eventually won an Emmy for his role.
The show’s co-creator and producer has talented family members, too.
David Kohan’s sister is Jenji Kohan, the creator and writer of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Weeds.”
The pair’s dad is also a notable player in the industry- Alan “Buz” Kohan has won 13 Emmys for his work.
Grace is inspired by a real person.
According to Jewish Journal,the person who inspired the character of Grace was a childhood friend of the show’s producer, Max Mutchnick.
Mutchnick met her while working on a musical in the drama department of their Hebrew school. They met when they were 13 years old and soon became fast friends, hanging out constantly around Beverly Hills, California.
Karen’s voice is different in the pilot.
If you rewatch the show’s pilot episode, Karen’s voice is essentially Megan Mullally’s natural voice.
But, by the second episode, Mullally takes on a higher-pitched tone that becomes Karen’s signature.
“Will & Grace” made history with their inclusion in the Smithsonian.
The script for the pilot episode was donated to the National Museum of American History. The writers were encouraged to donate their work after Joe Biden gave a stirring speech speaking to the impact the show had on culture.
Sean Hayes originally threw the show’s script in the trash.
Sean Hayes, who plays Jack,tossed the pilot write-up in the trash because he didn’t want to fly to the auditions and leave Sundance Film Festival. But, the pilot did make him laugh.
“I laughed out loud – which is rare during pilot season,” Hayes told Entertainment Weekly. “But I’d only been at Sundance two days, and I would have had to buy my own plane ticket [to LA] just to audition. So I tossed it, thinking there’d be 10,000 more sitcoms.”
Obviously, he still landed the role of Jack.
Debra Messing tricked Madonna when she appeared on the show.
In season five, Madonna took on the role of Liz, Karen’s zany one-time roommate.
Messing later said that she didn’t know any of their names, so she tricked Madonna into thinking she had a different one.
“Madonna didn’t have a clue who we were and she could not remember our names so I told her mine was Rachal,” she told Graham Norton.
“She said, ‘Really? That is my Kabbalah name,’ I said like, ‘How about that!’ so for the rest of the week she called me Rachal.”
Messing said Madonna later sent her flowers, addressing her by her real name.
The show’s guest star list also includes music legends like Elton John, Cher, Janet Jackson, and Britney Spears.
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