2:49 AM / Posted by RyShel Admin /

12 August 2010,
Billy Gardell, who's been traipsing around the country for years as a standup, has one of the fall season's plum roles in CBS's Mike and Molly. He's Mike Biggs, a cop who has gained the equivalent of his own personal partner in the years since the police academy. Mike sees Molly Flynn at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, and the result is love. The show, exec produced by Chuck Lorre, who's adding to CBS's biggest comedy hits with Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, is a sweet and funny relationship comedy about two people who happen to be overweight.

It's a big, fat role for a big, fat man. "I broke a chair before I came over here," he told TV critics. "I'm not kidding." And it's appreciated: "When you're a fat guy in Hollywood, you're the bad guy, the cop, or the neighbor. That's what you're doing. 'Bring them to me.' 'You kids get out of here.' 'She's going to kill us both.' "

Mingling with the stars at a swell party Wednesday night, Gardell explained the current sitcom renaissance, in which many new shows treat their characters with kindness, and find humor in lovable behavior. "Somewhere along the way," he told me, "we replaced sarcasm with hatred. Now we're making our way in the other direction." -

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