I ride public transportation every morning, so I don’t know much about carpooling (unexpected elbows in my head, now that’s an entirely different story!). I’m learning it can make for amusing TV, thanks to ABC’s new sitcom Carpoolers, the story of four different men whose communal morning commute has unexpectedly made them friends.
I pulled show star Fred Goss out of the High Occupancy Lane just long enough to learn more about Gracen Brooker, the uptight businessman he plays on the freshman show. I also found out Fred’s favorite mode of transportation when he’s got to get to work.
What makes this show different from other buddy ensembles?
Your have four lead characters that would normally never be paired up in a show together, and the only reason they know each other is because they live and work near each other and they started a carpool. And it’s a neat little gadget –
we’re only in it a minute or two, but it’s our Central Perk. It’s what triggers the story.
Tell me a little about your character Gracen.
He’s kind of a conservative. He loves his wife and his 22-year-old son who won’t leave the house. But Gracen and his wife actually enjoy his company and aren’t eager to see him leave!
Kids in the Hall alum Bruce McCulloch created the show. Have you been asked to wear dresses in upcoming episodes?
We keep waiting for him to show up in one, but so far he hasn’t. At our table reads, he does read a lot of the female roles that haven’t been cast yet in that housewife voice he uses.
You’ve been married for 17 years. What advice have you given your co-star and newlywed Jerry O’Connell?
I talked to him before he got married and he was jittery, just like anyone is before they get married. I asked him do you love her, and he said, “yeah.” I told him everything else just falls into place. I’ve told him marriage isn’t just the willingness to compromise but the desire to make it work.
How do you get to work?
Since the studio is five miles from my house, I’ve ridden my bike and my motorcycle. I drive my car, but my lease is up in May and I’m planning to get a hybrid. I’ve already gotten rid of my wife’s car and gotten her one. We’re no longer using strictly fossil fuel burning cars.
Who would you put in your fantasy carpool?
If it could be a true fantasy, it would be directors Robert Altman, Albert Brooks and John Cassavetes. Three creative geniuses that I would love to sit and talk with for an hour with on my way to work.
Carpoolers airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.