ABC's new heist comedy, "The Knights of Prosperity," brings former "Grounded for Life" star Donal Logue back to primetime as Eugene Gurkin, a blue-collar guy who decides to get his life together by robbing Mick Jagger.
With his band of equally misguided, Robin Hood-esque misfitsthe titular "Knights of Prosperity"Eugene is determined to steal from the ridiculously rich and give to the poor. The poor being him and his buddies, that is.
The show's much-publicized cameo by Jagger to set up the group's heist brings a lot of laughscould Mick really have a solid gold popcorn butter dispenser in the shape of the Rolling Stones tongue logo? And with other guest stars on tap (including Regis Philbin and Kelly Rippa, Ray Romano, Sally Jesse Raphael and Dustin Diamond), the big question is: Who will the Knights rob next?
Donal Logue talked to us about wearing gold lamé pants, family road trips, his prized sterling silver spork and why it's fun to play the lovable loser.
What do you like best about playing Eugene?
This cast is so insanely funny in all different waysthey make me laugh all day long. I'm kind of the straight guy in the middlekind of like the Hogan of "Hogan's Heroes." But Eugene fancies himself kind of a master of voice and disguise. Which he really isn't. So I get all these chances to try to play all these different characters, kind of Inspector Clouseau-style, which is actually the most fun.
This show stars you, was conceived for you and you're a producer as wellis it frustrating to be overshadowed by Mick Jagger?
It was to be expected. It's a total blessing, ultimately, [but] there was one minor drawback: If we got someone so famous, it would be the thing that people would focus on. But that's completely fine because once the show is the show, everyone will get a sense of who it's about, which is this group. Not even Eugeneit's the Knights of Prosperity. It's such an ensemble show. We're like the Banana Splits.
How do you like having the show launch in mid-season?
It was really kind of fortuitous in a way; when you're doing a show and you're not on the air yet and you don't have that scrutiny, you have this kind of honeymoon experience of production where you're not being messed with that much. We were shooting so muchwe just had time to do our thing, to make each individual episode as strong as it could be.
What's so great about the Knights?
Even though life is tough on them, they're optimistic and always fighting for something better. At some point, you have a guy who decides that he can change the path of his life and say "enough is enough, I'm not gonna take it anymore." Unfortunately, the way he chooses to go about changing his life is through crime, but so be it. It makes it funnier.
Isn't it true that the show is really just a thinly veiled scheme to sell "Knights of Prosperity" T-shirts?
Yeah, you haven't been to Burger King lately, have you? The tie-in starts tomorrow. [Laughs]
Do you relate to the lovable loser you play?
When we did the pilot, it was received so well. I've never really been on a winning side before. Even [when I played] the cab driver on MTV or weird things in the past, there was this certain groupmaybe even a large group of hipsterswho really liked certain things, but it never was some official super slam-dunk hit. This felt like it could vibrate in that direction.
Did you have any unpleasant jobs like Eugene's before you started acting?
I used to work at a hotel from midnight to 8, cleaning robes. I had plenty of those jobs. And you're hoping that at some point, your luck will change, and things will fall in your direction, but there's clearly no guarantee of that. I remember being 25 and working at Tower Records and thinking, "Something's gotta shift soon or I'm screwed."
Ever felt like an underachiever in your own life?
All the time. Right now. I'm standing in a parking lot in Colorado and it's about 23 degrees outside and I'm on a payphone. I always wonder how I manage to end up in these situations. [Laughs]
What are you doing in Colorado?
I decided to take my kids out of school to take them on this super cross-country, crossNorth America journey. We went up to Boston, up through Canada, down to see their grandparents in Flint, Michigan, and then we went to Mount Rushmore, and now we're going to the Grand Canyon.
If you really were a thief, what would you take from Mick Jagger's place?
What about the gold lamé pants?
I've got three pairI'm wearing one right now, which is why everyone's flipping me off as they drive by.
You think you guys could pull off a real-life heist?
I just sent my kids into a convenience store to rob them. [Laughs] No, I sent them in with some money. It's funny to watch them fumble with it and then see what they bring back.
What would a thief want to take from your house?
There's nothing in there that would matter. There's a Buddha that's from Burmathat would be a rough one. But I don't own anything that I think anyone would care about stealing. There's a couple of old guitars that are cool, but I think that would be about it. Aside from the $2.5 million watch that Rolex made me. [Laughs]
Oh wait! There's a silver spork that [executive producers] Rob [Burnett] and Jon [Beckerman] gave me for my birthday last year. [Laughs] From Tiffany's. It's quite fantastic. It was taken from me at the Winnipeg airport because it's a sporkI had to beg them not to take it from me because of its sentimental value.
"The Knights of Prosperity" premieres Wednesday, January 3 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times