People are used to “It’s Always Sunny” pushing boundaries these days, but when the show premiered, it was still a surprise. Series co-creator and star Glenn Howerton, who plays Dennis, revealed that the lack of pushback was unsettling in the early days:
“We were disappointed that there wasn’t more negative feedback. In the first season, we were doing all of this stuff about molestation and abortion. And we didn’t do it to get a rise out of people. We did it because we thought that’s what’s going on in the world and this is the kind of s*** we think is funny. These were issues that people tend to get a little stirred by.”
Co-star and writer Charlie Day, who plays Charlie, explained that the fear was that no one reacted because no one was watching. “Sunny” had a tough time in its early days, working on a shoestring budget and placed in a weird time slot. When beloved actor Danny DeVito joined the cast in season 2 as Frank, however, they started drawing in more viewers, and the rest is history. And when it comes to people not being offended by the gang and their antics, Howerton had a pretty good theory.