ONLY TWO episodes remain of the 10th season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (10 p.m. Wednesdays, FXX), but there's plenty of "Sunny" ahead for Philly's Rob McElhenney, the show's creator, and Kaitlin Olson, his wife, co-star and fellow owner of Old City's Mac's Tavern.
The couple spoke with Ellen Gray about working together - and apart - and about why the show, already renewed through season 12, could conceivably go past that.
Q You work together and you're coming up in September on seven years of marriage. Do you have things you just don't talk about at home?
Rob: We don't talk a ton about work at home.
Kaitlin: Too busy.
Rob: But we're also not spending that much time together [at work]. Production's only 2 1/2 months. And it allows us to bring our kids [Axel, 4, and Leo, almost 3] to set, too, which is nice.
Kaitlin: And then we do different stuff.
Q So when you're not filming, Rob goes off to the office to write?
Kaitlin: Every day, yeah. And I'm either working on something else or taking care of our kids, cooking. He works such long hours, or if I'm off doing something, I work long hours, so when we're working together, it's nice. We get to go together, and see each other all day.
It seems like a sweet answer, but it's really true. I mean, I like him, and I think he's so talented and smart, so when he's laughing at something I'm doing, I think it's like the best.
Q Men who laugh at women's jokes probably do not realize how incredibly effective that is.
Kaitlin: It's so effective. I just admire him so much, so when he thinks I'm funny, I'm like . . . I like to make him proud."
Q You've built comfortable lives around this show. How much of that goes into your thinking when you say, "Sure, I'll do 12 seasons"?
Rob: A great deal. It's just a dream job. And we have enough perspective, and experience, to recognize that it just doesn't happen that often. It barely happens, ever, that you get to work on a television show where you have creative carte blanche, you have your family and your friends around you, a network that supports you and a really strong fan base.
Kaitlin: Some people would say, "Yeah, but you're not getting recognized for Emmys and you're not getting the ratings that maybe a network show is" - none of us ever cared about that.
We cared about the fact that our fans were ferocious and thought we were great. We cared about the fact that we make each other laugh, we care about the fact that we can do what we want and the network supports us - that we're comfortable financially and we have families that we love.
Q Can you imagine going past season 12?
Rob: As long as it's still fun, why not? As long as Danny [DeVito, one of their co-stars] is still with us. But then again, Danny wasn't with us in the first season.
Kaitlin [joking]: We could probably be fine without Danny.
Rob: He would want us to go on.
Kaitlin: He would definitely prefer it if we went on. You know what we should do? We should ask him now, to put that in writing, so that nobody can blame it on us.
Rob [mimicking DeVito]: "Yeah, it's what I always wanted, it's what I always dreamed about."
Q So you never get frustrated?
Rob: Well, sure. But because even those of us writing, producing and editing only make the show six months out of the year, that gives us another six months to do other things. So creatively, I think we're fulfilled because we're still doing the sitcom we want to do, but then we can also do other things.
I sold this movie [a family action film reportedly called "Figment"] and this off-season I'm going to direct it. That's great. It scratches that itch for me. But then I get to go home, every six months, back to Paddy's Pub and I know I've got a job.