Through “Veep’s” seven seasons, the universally despised Jonah Ryan has been called the Pointless Giant, Jimpanzee, the 60-Foot Virgin, Jono Ono and the Cloud Botherer among many, many other things, most of which we can’t print here.
But as the HBO comedy winds down in its final season, might we be adding one more Jonah title to the list: Mr. President?
Jonah, duly bounced from Congress after serving just one term, is making an improbable run for the presidency in “Veep’s” last run of episodes. And while you would think that voters might not gravitate toward a graceless, vain and creepy candidate (newly married to his stepsister, no less), Timothy Simons cautions that recent history points toward his character’s success.
“Now we live in a world where you have to convince yourself that he’s not the front-runner for being such a dummy,” Simons said in a recent video interview at The Times’ office. “Like, he doesn’t have the best chance of winning because he’s the dumbest person there.”
Several “Veep” cast members, including Simons, have teased that the series’ final episode (airing next month), “goes big,” hinting that, yes, we could possibly see “Jonad” in the Oval Office. Because who’s bigger than the Guyscraper? But even if the show doesn’t take the darkest possible road, Simons says viewers can expect an ending that stays true to the series’ signature skepticism.
“One thing that I love about the way it wraps up is — in a reflection of how the last couple of years the United States … and the world has gone — the show does get a lot more cynical, if that’s possible, and it does get a lot darker, if that’s possible,” Simons says. “The characters stay true to themselves through to the end. One thing about it, it really does hammer home: These aren’t particularly great people, and they never have been. We just tricked you into liking them for a while.”
Simons also reflected on his own feelings about the show’s farewell and what “Veep” has meant to his career, which now moves on to an assisted-suicide comedy he’s developing for HBO. (“I do think it’s funny,” he says. “I hope other people do too.”)
You can watch the full interview below.